Do I tell the principal?

Discussion in 'Debate & Marathon Threads Archive' started by terptoteacher, Aug 27, 2012.

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  1. Momma5

    Momma5 Rookie

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    Why would you leave the room and make her completely responsible? I would have at least come in during the lesson, watched classwork and checked homework to make sure my students were getting the content.
     
  2. terptoteacher

    terptoteacher Connoisseur

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    Even if you were following the university standards, you still should have been checking the students progress. Didn't they take a test, write a paper, or have an assessment of some kind? You should have noticed then and re-taught. Ultimately, their learning was your responsibility and you failed them.[/QUOTE]

    They did fine on her in class assesment of the material. There was no time or opportunity to re teach. Thanks for the support.
     
  3. terptoteacher

    terptoteacher Connoisseur

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    Wow, I did not expect this much dialogue about not leaving the st alone. It's standard procedure around here.
     
  4. a2z

    a2z Virtuoso

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    Of course they did well on HER assessments. They were designed to match what and how she taught the subject matter.

    It is relatively easy to design lessons and assessments to give the illusion of competency. A teacher can also prime-the-pump prior to handing out the assessment thus inflating the grades of the students.

    If you were ultimately responsible, then you were ultimately responsible in all ways. No excuse. By saying you are responsible means that you made decisions that caused this to happen whether it was thinking she was ready to teach solo, judging the lessons/assessments as accurate and sufficient, etc.

    I'd be very careful if you do talk to your P because in reality, you were the student teacher's mentor and the ultimately responsible party to the students in your class. You don't want to look like someone passing the buck and glossing over how your decisions and mentoring led to this happening.
     
  5. catnfiddle

    catnfiddle Moderator

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    I'm sorry you're in this position! You're probably not very keen on taking in another student teacher after this experience, are you? It's a horrid Catch-22, having to leave the room but still being held responsible.
     
  6. stephenpe

    stephenpe Connoisseur

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    As if this may have never come up before in a school setting. I think a student teacher needs to have some autonomy to see if they can establish that teacher student relationship so important to being a teacher. If anyone failed in this situation it was the administration in not having some standards or procedures to deal with a state standard being taught by a ST. How can someone LEARN to be a teacher without actually doing what a teacher does? This is why I think all this testing is for the birds.
    Testing does not equal learning. The real world is not some standardized test.
     
  7. a2z

    a2z Virtuoso

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    I'm confused about inconsistencies in your responses.
    You said in response #6 that you had to be out of the room.
    You said in response #12 that the college only required 4 weeks but you gave her 7 solo weeks.
    You said in response #23 that you were going by parameters set up by college, but that isn't quite accurate since they said 4 weeks and you had her flying solo after 3 weeks of observing instead of 6 weeks of observing. Seems she was short changed on the learning process and shoved into teaching 3 weeks early which then allowed you to be out of the room. That doesn't seem as if procedures are being followed to me.

    You said in response #43 that it is standard procedure around there to leave the room. To me that means something very different than this universities procedures specify that they do not want the student teachers being monitored while they are student teaching solo. That to me just doesn't seem right. Observe then do without anyone watching. I'd love to know what university runs their education program that way and then have that program yanked from the school.

    So, my question is, does the university actually say the mentor teacher CANNOT be in the room or does your school interpret the university's standards to mean this thus giving every mentor teacher time to be out of the room as a perk for taking on a student teacher.

    As others have said, I've yet to see a student teacher flying solo with no mentor monitoring. The purpose of monitoring is to take notes regarding things that need to be worked on and improved and without being there to monitor, these student teachers are actually not receiving the instruction that they should be getting during their student teaching experience. Sure, you can sit quietly and not interrupt allowing her to fly solo, but where is that teaching/mentoring if one goes from being observed to not having anyone monitor them?
     
  8. silverspoon65

    silverspoon65 Enthusiast

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    As someone who regularly has student teachers, I find this insulting. It's not like I am sipping a latte in the teacher's lounge with my feet up while she is teaching.
     
  9. a2z

    a2z Virtuoso

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    Perk doesn't necessarily mean that you are doing nothing or sipping coffee with your feet up while you are out of the room. Another meaning could be that you take that time to do other things you couldn't do if you were in the room actually monitoring how the student teacher is doing as she is flying solo or if you were yourself teaching the class. It may mean that you take the time to meet with another teacher that happens to have a special at the same time, make copies, enter data, etc.

    So, if you want to be insulted and insinuate it means sitting back with your feet up and sipping coffee, be my guest. I can't stop you. However, you decided for it to mean that, not me.
     
  10. DizneeTeachR

    DizneeTeachR Virtuoso

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    I was an ST and my teacher left me. She knew that I had been subbing (one of her friends was friends with a teacher I subbed for)...So I was actually alone with the students a lot more than the other ST's in the school.

    We did have weeks of solo, we were to show our lesson plans and they were to help us and then leave it to us. I don't know how this is so weird for college students about to go into classrooms be left alone to teach students?!?! I mean subs come in all the times. In our college we had to do all the background and different test (ie TB) before we were allowed to teach. I didn't have to do TB to be a sub...

    I will say that a2z does have a point, some teachers do use that "perk." I mean I was alone at different points of the day with my st class. My teacher was down chatting it up with a friend. I'm NOT saying all are like that, but there are some who do use that.

    I would agree it in the future it would probably be best not to have a student teacher in a testing grade... but you learned that and can move on. Or maybe not before the test... I know our college had spring and fall semester st opportunities.
     
  11. gregoire

    gregoire Rookie

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    Hmm...I won't comment on whether you should or shouldn't talk with your principal, but I will just say my mentor teaching made me teach on my own after the 3rd day and it stayed that way for 10 weeks. And yes, she was relaxing in the lounge. I was too scared to say anything for fear she might fail me. I could have really used the benefit of a mentor teacher and I didn't learn as much as I could have. And this person goes around being called Dr. ____. My head supervisor figured it out by the end though when he keep coming around and my mentor teacher was never there.

    In the end, I did okay by pushing through and working hard. The kids were sad to see me go, they actually thought I was the real teacher!
    I've met some really wonderful mentor teachers over the years and wish I could have worked with them.:)
     
  12. amakaye

    amakaye Enthusiast

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    It was standard in the area I did my ST in for the cooperating teacher to leave the room as well. We had to do at least two full weeks where we were responsible for the whole day: attendance, classes, extra duties, etc. We started by observing and then began talking over a few classes/subjects at a time. My CT went over my lessons a few days before and made suggestions, and then we would have time to reflect on them during a prep or after school. However, I created the assessments and did all the grading for those units I taught.

    Many programs have requirements like that where they have to do "at least x weeks" of teaching everything; handing over some subjects earlier is not necessarily a bad thing. My CT could tell I was ready, so she gave me responsibilities more quickly than others may have gotten them.
     
  13. amakaye

    amakaye Enthusiast

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    Let me add that the CT was supposed to be out of the room for portions of those two weeks, including at least one full day. This was only after she had observed me over the weeks leading up to that when I was teaching a few subjects. It was in no way "observe, and then teach without anyone watching." We also were observed multiple times by our university supervisors before we fully took over the classroom.
     
  14. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

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    There are some people who are so rude in their responses that even if I agreed with them, I wouldn't say so. Yes, yes...sometimes I most certainly do behave like a twelve year old.
     
  15. iteachbx

    iteachbx Enthusiast

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    I'm really surprised its such common practice for student teachers who are not employees of the district to be permitted to be left alone with students. As a student teacher I was told by my college to never be alone in the room with the students, and my CT made sure that happened. I had a student teacher this past spring and she was never, ever left alone with the students. She had plenty of time to teach and be in control of the class and I feel like she got a realistic and meaningful experience. IMO it was more meaningful that my co-teacher and I were always with her because when she was in control we were able to see what she was doing well, what she needed to improve on and give her feedback. Ultimately they were our students preparing for state tests and it was OUR responsibility, not hers to make sure they were prepared for every portion of the test. My principal would certainly not want to hear me say "oh well the student teacher taught that lesson."
     
  16. a2z

    a2z Virtuoso

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    And being passive-agressive is any better? LOL
     
  17. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

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    Maybe a little. :p
     
  18. Rox

    Rox Cohort

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    My program required the teacher to leave the room when I did my student teaching. However, my teacher didn't, he said he would just stay in his corner and do some work. But he didn't. Instead, he would constantly interrupt my lessons to tell me what I was doing wrong and it became very frustrating because it was just that he wanted things done HIS way. My friend who was doing student teaching in the same building had a mentor teacher that would sit in a "voting booth", a large cardboard box in the back of the room, and she would fall asleep there. Anyway, I had to have a "certificate of eligibility" before doing it, and while it is not a credential, perhaps that is what qualified me to be alone with students?

    I might make a comment such as: "I realized that the low scores occurred in the area that the ST taught, so I guess next time I'll be sure to follow up/monitor/assess/whatever."
     
  19. geoteacher

    geoteacher Devotee

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    In the end, what is taught in your classroom and how it is taught is your responsibility. I would, however, take this as a learning experience, and I would probably mention it to the principal in the hope that change might occur. Perhaps it is not good to take on a student teacher when they might have to teach test-critical information.
     
  20. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

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    So...

    Your student teacher sucks. Not "abusively" so, but it's not pretty. What do you do? There is not time to teach everything twice, obviously. And of course you would make efforts to help him or her improve, but if they don't...? If they are to be solo, I'm just not sure how to handle this. I think it is UNFAIR to come down on someone who opened her classroom to a teacher in training when that teacher in training failed to produce stellar scores. Most student teachers are not at the top of their game yet.

    Basically, in summary, the whole system sucks.
     
  21. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    If its clear a ST can't do it solo, I don't turn over everything..the ST continues to teach some 'safe' lessons...I teach what's most crucial. This happened to me once...I made it clear to her university that she just wasn't ready and they had done her an injustice.
     
  22. silverspoon65

    silverspoon65 Enthusiast

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    Actually when I had a student teacher last year I was out of the room meeting with other teachers, entering data, writing lesson plans, grading papers, AND writing reports and evaluations of her, finding resources for her, and meeting with her supervisor, not to mention that I was in the room during her evaluation time, spending hours with her on her lesson plans, and I was constantly monitoring the learning of my students. I just don't see anything easy about taking on a student teacher, but I think it is a responsibility of our job to help groom the next generation of teachers. My day might look different when I am giving the teacher more responsibility, but it certainly isn't easier. There are perks for sure but leaving the room while the ST is teaching isn't really one of them (unless I have to pee).
     
  23. DizneeTeachR

    DizneeTeachR Virtuoso

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    I know during my ST my mentor teacher was glad she had me. She would tell me somethings going on in other classrooms with the STs and it was interesting to hear the teacher side and then hear the ST side.

    The other thing is after I did my solo wks, we were then asked to back out of the classroom slowly (I don't know if others did this), the last week we really weren't to be in the room but only a little bit, we were to go observe other teachers and grades.

    I can only say the best thing for me was the substitute teaching helped me be prepared especially in the "teachable moment" arena!!!

    I hope you don't shy away, but take this as a teachable moment for yourself. You learned some things.
     
  24. Cicero

    Cicero Companion

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    So I guess I come from a very different student teaching experience... My university has an internship after we already finish our undergrad and we teach for a year. Most of first semester I observation and team teaching, but the second semester is at least one class completely solo. So if I didn't have any kind of of evaluation, there was no one that was required to be in the room with me...My mentor and I always planned together though and he did observe me on a pop in basis and provide notes of suggestions

    On our county wide test my students did average lower than his, and it broke my heart but he was the first to point out difficulties my class as a whole had over his (like students that probably missed class more often than the came, and students that even he couldn't get to do anything) and not to blame myself.
     
  25. sumnerfan

    sumnerfan Comrade

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    Bravo!
     
  26. ecteach

    ecteach Groupie

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    Do not mention it. You will sound desperate.
     
  27. teacherintexas

    teacherintexas Maven

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    It is for the universities I've had student teachers with as well.
     
  28. terptoteacher

    terptoteacher Connoisseur

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    I guess I failed again! :whistle::dizzy:
     
  29. MaggieB

    MaggieB Rookie

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    My class, my responsibility, no excuses! My district does not leave STs alone in c/r no matter what universities say. The students are assigned to me and ultimately I am responsible for ensuring that learning occurred.
     
  30. iteachbx

    iteachbx Enthusiast

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    That's why I would never leave a student teacher to teach alone in the classroom and/or leave an entire unit or topic or whatever on the sole shoulders of a student teacher.
     
  31. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

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    But that's what many universities REQUIRE. My CT was absolutely not to get involved in planning, teaching, assessing, refinement, nothing during those solo weeks. As I said, this system is clearly broken if teachers opening their classrooms to STs are going to be slammed for the following the procedures.
     
  32. Mathemagician

    Mathemagician Groupie

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    The university doesn't exactly have control over the school district though. A program where CT's are required to do nothing is, as you have stated, broken, and the university should be making MAJOR modifications. I honestly can't believe a CT would be required not to get involved in refining or assessing or planning...that's like the whole point of student teaching..to learn it with a safety net.
     
  33. iteachbx

    iteachbx Enthusiast

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    I don't see how any principal could let a university come in and dictate how they run their school. The school officials should be the ones ultimately in charge. If I was in that situation the university would either have to make adjustments to their requirements or I wouldn't want a relationship with that school. Let's think about this in another fashion- not student performance. What if the teacher is out of the room and a student is seriously hurt, or a student has a seizure or needs a defibrillator, or there's a fire- and something happens. Is the university going to be held responsible because their student teacher was in the room- or will the school be held responsible? It's a sticky situation and if I were a principal and a university adamantly required ST to be left alone I would tell them I'm sorry I can't accommodate you here. That's just me.
     
  34. iteachbx

    iteachbx Enthusiast

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    Totally agree with everything you said here too. I totally can't wrap my head around this idea of ST being alone- I'm not trying to be negative towards any of the teachers there because you're just doing what you're told. I'm just looking at the bigger picture.
     
  35. dgpiaffeteach

    dgpiaffeteach Aficionado

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    My CT stayed in the hall, a couple doors down where there was a large table. She was close enough where I could call for help. But the students realized it was just me. I taught all the same sections and she sat in on one a day. She alternated which sections she sat in on. It was great. I liked it because the kids really do act differently when she was there. I didn't get to try as much discipline management stuff if she was in the room.
     
  36. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

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    Our CTs are paid...guess that makes it trickier.
     
  37. a2z

    a2z Virtuoso

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    How is the CT supposed to evaluate how you are doing flying solo if they aren't to be monitoring what you are doing and how you are doing it?

    I'd also be hard pressed to allow a ST to be completely solo knowing that plans he or she came up with were awful. That is educational neglect in my eyes since as the teacher of record I would be ultimately responsible.
     
  38. YoungTeacherGuy

    YoungTeacherGuy Phenom

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    I did have a few weeks of solo teaching; however, my CT and I planned out each lesson/each day together. Although she wasn't in the classroom with me, she pretty much knew the lessons I was teaching because we planned together.

    My university required two-three weeks of solo teaching. During that time, though, a university supervisor came to evaluate me on a few occasions. Also, my CT was in and out of the room throughout the day.
     
  39. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

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    a2z, I didn't make the policies...
     
  40. a2z

    a2z Virtuoso

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    JustMe, I didn't say or imply you did.... I understood that when you said many universities require. I was just giving my input on the policy your university has.
     
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