Fall or Spring?

Discussion in 'General Education' started by futureteach21, Apr 21, 2010.

  1. futureteach21

    futureteach21 Habitué

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    Apr 21, 2010

    So, tonight I'm registering for classes next semester and again had to map out the rest of my college career. I have always wanted to student teach in the fall so I could see how a teacher begins the year and sets up routines/rules. Other people think student teaching in the spring is the way to go... Thoughts? Advice?
     
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  3. newbie87

    newbie87 Comrade

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    Apr 21, 2010

    There's pros and cons to both, but in the people I've known who've done student teaching in the fall there's a longer wait to get a job. I've know, and heard of people, getting a job right off the bat with spring student teaching at their placement. I've personally never heard of this happening after a fall placement, not saying it doesn't. It depends on your finacial situation. If you do fall and don't get a job from your placement, do you want to wait from January until August/September to get a job? If you finish in April/May and don't get a job it's a lot shorter of a wait. On the flip side is if you don't get a job the next year with either, you get more time subbing if you finish in January. Also, if you do the placement in fall, you see the students on a lower level. Like let's say you do third grade. Your students are going to be like high level second graders. You're not going to see a lot of that third grader behavior until it's time for you to leave. :unsure: For the pros and cons, you won't be around for state testing. Which means you might be under less presure, but you won't really see what goes on at that time. I think both have cons and pros. As someone doing a spring placement, I decided on this placement a year ago because I knew I couldn't do fall and be there from day one and have to leave. So, I'm glad I wasn't there from the beginning. I'm also glad I got to see "crunch time" and a lot of test preps. Think of what you want to see and maybe things you never/rarely got a chance to see/do.
     
  4. Muttling

    Muttling Devotee

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    Apr 22, 2010

    I'm with Newbie, but I'll add my take...

    Student teaching helps a LOT and will be your best learning until you do it, but your first year on your own will be the hardest and will teach you the most. There's just no replacement for having your feet on the ground.

    As for which to choose, I strongly suggest that you look for what is most likely to get you a job and I think that is Spring.
     
  5. futureteach21

    futureteach21 Habitué

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    Apr 22, 2010

    Thanks for the responses... but I KNOW more of you have student taught on here! Let me know what you think! What did you do? and why?
     
  6. mrachelle87

    mrachelle87 Fanatic

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    Check schools in your area. We have two teachers that will be on maternity leave after Thanksgiving. Anyone who student teaches in the fall would have a great chance of doing the long term subbing for these classes. In fact, my principal would probably place someone in there for their student teaching with the idea that they could take over for the teacher.
     
  7. Mrs Ski

    Mrs Ski Companion

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    Apr 22, 2010

    I did my student teaching in the fall. Because that is where it fell into my schedule. (well i guess i arranged my self into that) I liked being there to see the set up of the year, but it was hard for me to leave them, and for students and teacher to adjust to me not being there.

    I have been able to sub this spring, and thought I had a bit of a leg up for interviews, because my licence was already approved as opposed to pending.

    Personally I would choose which ever gets you out of school the soonest. (less tuition money)
     
  8. knitter63

    knitter63 Groupie

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    If I had to do it again, I would prefer to ST in the fall. I would like to get out and start subbing right after winter break. This would allow you to get your face seen, your abilities known, and be in on the "inside scoop" on what positions may be open. My niece ST in the fall, graduated, started subbing and BY MAY, was already hired for the following year(in the same building she ST!) : )
     
  9. Kangaroo22

    Kangaroo22 Virtuoso

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    Apr 22, 2010

    I student taught in the spring, but wish that I had done it in the fall. It would have been nice to see a teacher set up their room and especially how their rules and procedures are introduced and reinforced.
     
  10. JaimeMarie

    JaimeMarie Moderator

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    Apr 22, 2010

    I student taught in the fall but my placement was weird and I did most of the set up.
     
  11. myangel52

    myangel52 Comrade

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    Apr 22, 2010

    I had to do the whole year -- so I got both ends of it. :) I have no input for your decision, and I can see both sides of already made arguments. I just wanted to wish you luck!
     
  12. Emily Bronte

    Emily Bronte Groupie

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    Apr 22, 2010

    I did fall. I am glad I did because I saw how the teacher started things up and set the tone. Plus, the teacher introduced me as her co-teacher and not her student teacher. That helped.
     
  13. DizneeTeachR

    DizneeTeachR Virtuoso

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    Apr 22, 2010

    I did mine in the fall as well. I liked getting the room ready (although my neighbor was a teacher & helped do this in the past). Mine was a little weird because I had been subbing for about a year & a half before student teaching & my teacher knew this, so I did "jump" in a little more I think than others.

    I loved being in the fall. I was able to leave & start subbing right away which I did get a 2 week before Xmas job, so that was nice. I was hired the summer at the place I did most of my subbing at.

    Someone mentioned leaving the kids. Yup it was sad, but you get done with your student teaching before they are done as well, so I wouldn't put much weight into that for my decision.

    It really is where you want to be with experiences & money.

    Good Luck!!!
     
  14. kcjo13

    kcjo13 Phenom

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    Apr 22, 2010

    I did it in the fall, and I'm glad I did. As others pointed out, you get a whole semester of subbing, which I HIGHLY recommend. (I think everyone should have to sub for a semester before getting a permanent certificate, but that's another topic.) I also got two long-term sub jobs at the school I ST at in that spring. I got to do a lot of different classrooms, and get a ton of ideas.

    Another reason I don't prefer spring is you don't really see either a beginning or an end to a year. Most ST placements don't begin on the day back from break, and they end early in May, before school is officially out (of course that is going to vary widely with colleges, I just know that's how it is around here, and likely in CO also). In fall, I got to start on Day 1, which personally I feel is more important. That was the most nervous I have ever been, was on my first day on the job, but it was better because I basically set up the day as my CT did.

    Naturally, there are going to be pros and cons for both. Ultimately, I have to agree with the poster who said whenever gets you done faster! In the end, it is NOT worth it (in my opinion) either financially or education-wise to wait just to be there during a different semester. Good luck!
     
  15. kcjo13

    kcjo13 Phenom

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    Apr 22, 2010

    There is also testing to consider. In the spring, in some states a week or more is given up to state testing, not to mention the massive buildup to those tests. Quite frankly, proctoring tests and/or reviewing for tests is boring. And not what true teaching is (ooh, is that bad to say? Hope not).

    My advice is to decide what you need the most experience in-and find out when schools do that, fall or spring.
     
  16. DizneeTeachR

    DizneeTeachR Virtuoso

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    Apr 22, 2010

    I forgot to mention... I loved my mentor because I got to make copies of everything she had!!! I did K & she said go through the whole alphabet & make copies of what you want!!! LOVED THAT!!! I have a nice file of all that stuff (I should say scanned on the computer now), although for some reason I didn't grab A,B,C!!! LOL!!!

    So when you do make an extra copy for yourself & your files for when you do teach!!!
    I did this when I subbed & there was an extra as well.
     
  17. YoungTeacherGuy

    YoungTeacherGuy Phenom

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    Apr 22, 2010

    It sounds like there are many pros and cons on both sides.

    Here's my story:

    I student taught in the spring (February-May). I was offered a job for the upcoming school year in early May. The principal at the school where I student taught was being transfered to a school across town and needed to hire a 1st grade teacher. Long story short--she liked me (from seeing me student teach) and hired me to teach 1st grade at her new school. Everything worked out wonderfully.

    I still work for the same principal (5 years later) and will always be grateful to her for seeing something special in me!
     
  18. greenbean6

    greenbean6 Companion

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    Apr 23, 2010

    It seems like it has all been said but you can at least add a tally mark to the pro FALL side. I student taught in the Spring, started early February and ended mid May. I didn't really get to see anything to do with the end of the year. I did get to proctor state testing but it isn't hard and I would have been fine figuring it out on my own. The real bummer was that state testing fell right when I was to begin my solo teaching, which was only for four weeks. So basically the mornings of two of my four solo weeks were devoted to state testing.

    In addition, I still really want to observe the start of a new school year. So.. in August my fanny will be parked in a chair observing my former master teacher as she starts her year so that I can get ideas for when I start mine in September.
     
  19. YoungTeacherGuy

    YoungTeacherGuy Phenom

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    On the bright side, at least you'll get to see how the school year starts! The first few weeks can be tough! CONGRATS on your new position!!! :hugs:
     
  20. futureteach21

    futureteach21 Habitué

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    Apr 23, 2010

    Okay great! Now... after mapping this all out- I am going to have to go full throttle to student teach in a fall semester. If I took the recommended course load and no summer classes I would naturally end in a spring semester. Is ST in the fall worth really pushing hard and having a lot on my plate at once?
     
  21. Peachyness

    Peachyness Virtuoso

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    Apr 23, 2010

    So, you only do one student teaching assignment?

    I had to do two. Both were in the spring though; January through March and April through June. I wish I had one of them in the fall time though.

    Good luck FT with student teaching.
     
  22. McKennaL

    McKennaL Groupie

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    Apr 23, 2010

    I student taught in the spring...and was gung-ho about it. i like the idea of STing and then immediately being able for hire for the fall.

    But hind-sight? I think I would prefer the fall ... WITH qualifications.

    Question:

    WHAT ARE YOU DOING SPRING SEMESTER?

    At the university I did my elem ed certificate through they call the students back for one semester after student teaching... to "process" what they saw/did. THIS, I believe, is a CROCK!!! It's a semester to forget!

    But to be able to sub/LTS/volunteer - be a spring semester replacement??? THAT would be PERFECT!

    You have to know that in interviews you will be asked (a LOT)... How do you set up a class for THIS or THAT (and they aren't talking physical set-ups...but rather procedural)? How do you form your groups, how do you assess at the beginning? What would you like to know BEFORE you start? How do you plan out your year?

    And THESE are things a FALL ST has WAY over the Spring ST.

    PLUS... if I were a fall ST, I would be there EVERYTIME my cooperating teacher goes in BEFORE school starts. I would be picking her brain WELL before the children arrive.

    THEN....!!!.... I would do SUCH an incredible job that if I didn't get a LTS/full-time job immediately afterward... I would sub in THAT school and on my days without subbing - I would volunteer as MUCH and in as many grades in that school as I could (imagine not only seeing the beginning of the year - but the prep before spring standardized testing??). A full year of training for the price of a half!

    Whichever you end up doing.... my best wishes to you for a great student teaching experience.

    (By the way... here is a link to my post about how to make the most of your student teaching semester - it's the best advice I could give you):

    http://forums.atozteacherstuff.com/showthread.php?p=1046035)
     
  23. Ms. I

    Ms. I Maven

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    Apr 23, 2010

    I think between fall & spring, it would be better to see how a school yr begins, so I think fall would be better.
     
  24. newbie87

    newbie87 Comrade

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    Apr 23, 2010

    I can see why people are picking Fall. However, one thing amazes me about these replies. You'll see how things are set up. I can tell you, in my placement things aren't set up the way they were the first day I got there. Things are always changing. I think you're always assessing students and breaking them into different groups. So, you don't see things being assessing just on the first day/first months. Honestly, if that's how you exspect it to be, or if that's how you teach :(, something is lacking.
     
  25. monsieurteacher

    monsieurteacher Aficionado

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    I did mine in the spring, and in a way I regretted it. I don't think I would change it if I had to go back, because it meant I finished half a year earlier.

    Newbie, do you really believe that no assessments are done in the first months of school? Yes, things are moved throughout the year, but setting up at the beginnng of the year IS huge, as is discovering exactly what the first day of school is like. You get to build routines (or at least see them in action.)
     
  26. newbie87

    newbie87 Comrade

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    I said assessment aren't only done in the first months.

    I think, though, the point I'm trying to make is your first routine/assessment doesn't always work out. I don't care if you're teaching your first year or your 21st. Every student is different and one routine/assessment is not going to fit them all and fit for the whole year. I think it would be nice to see these things, I think people are being a bit dramatic in their claim that if you miss the first half/you miss the whole shebang assessment/routine wise. You can agree or not. These routine change and more assessments are needed, because I've always been a believer that students grow so much before they come back from Christmas break. That's why I believe what I said earlier. If you're STing a grade in Fall let's say freshmen. You're really STing 8th graders. Hence, why you're always assessing. I hope any grade things are always changing. :unsure:
     
  27. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Apr 23, 2010

    I don't think anyone said anything about only assessing one time a year...what the posts have said, newbie, is that spring tends to be STATE STANDARDIZED TESTING times- and that does change what goes on in your classroom. State testing is high stakes in many districts- some schools use results to compare teachers, determine merit pay, place students in upper level classes, compare schools, compare districts. No one is saying that assessment isn't ongoing, just that standardized tests are different. To student teach during state testing gives you some insight into what goes into getting kids ready for the tests, administering the tests but it may give student teachers less time to actually TEACH.

    What happens in the beginning of the school year does set the tone for the school year- it's when you begin to grow as a classroom community, learn rules and procedures, build a climate...sure this is ongoing and dynamic as are most things about teaching, but when you walk in as a spring student teacher, that climate is pretty much strongly in place...knowing how to get there is critical to the successful management of a classroom.
     
  28. kcjo13

    kcjo13 Phenom

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    Um, well no, one assessment isn't going to cut it for your year...neither is one seating arrangement, or one routine, or one anything. But I do know that the beginning of the year is when we do placement tests, DIBELS, Stars, and begin to set up groups and whatnot. By the spring, with a few exceptions here and there, most of these decisions have been made. Ongoing assessment is needed to maintain a student's success and achievement, but the process of setting it all up and getting students where they need to be is extremely important. Plus, the first day/week of school is PARAMOUNT to the success of a teacher.

    And as cza stated...standardized testing is VERY different from daily, ongoing assessments that teachers do.

    I don't think anyone is being dramatic...just giving opinions...I know for me at least, I'm not using the words "set up" as in how posters are put on the wall and desks are arranged. I'm talking reading groups, writing workshop routine, math partners, etc.
     
  29. tgim

    tgim Habitué

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    I did mine in the spring. I have had spring and fall STs, and both have pros/cons. I do think seeing how a teacher sets up the classroom and manages things at the beginning of the year is a pro. However, many colleges near us allow a ST to have 5 days in the classroom at the beginning of the school year so s/he can see how it all gets organized and started - even though they won't ST until spring.
     
  30. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

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    I student taught in the spring "naturally". I think I would prefer to begin in August for reasons already stated and so the student teacher and regular classroom teacher start out as a team in the eyes of the students...I didn't have a problem with this whatsoever, but I've heard enough horror stories. That said, I am impatient and waiting so long for a position would kill me (I wouldn't be open to beginning mid-year).
     
  31. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

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    I think you misunderstood. When people state that one benefit of fall student teaching is the opportunity to see how things are "set up", they are not necessarily meaning assessments.

    Not all but many new teachers spend a substantial amount of time preparing for their first year, and they are so busy with the bigger picture that they suddenly find themselves wondering, perhaps only days before school begins: Goodness, how do I actually start the first day?! The second? Do the students just come in? Sit where they want? What do I do first? Rules? Assessment? Ice-breakers? What if the students don't stop talking? Things of that nature. Hopefully a future teacher's prep program did in fact prepare her to answer such questions, but even so, it can send people into a panic...so it is beneficial to be part of the first of a school year to witness how even just one teacher goes about getting things in order and off the ground.

    I don't think anyone believes that assessments are only given in the beginning days or weeks or couple of months...so don't worry. :)
     
  32. amaran20

    amaran20 Rookie

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    Apr 24, 2010

    I had no choice in when I did mine, because my school had it set up that all the Early Childhood majors would ST in the fall. It worked out great for me because I played softball in college which is a spring sport :) but ALSO because I was ST in kindergarten and at that age I think the beginning of the year is the most important part. With older students the middle of the year might have a lot more content and information to teach, but you also need to think that they will probably be doing state testing in the spring. What grade do you want to ST?
     
  33. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    I think the most important part of classroom management is the tone you set from the beginning. Seeing a strong teacher set the tone and deal with those first few infractions is probably one of the best lessons you can get.

    Everything else-- test prep, content and so on-- your college classes and the other teachers you eventually work with can help prepare you for. But to be able to see a teacher actually set the tone for a year is an incredible opportunity.

    That said, it's not worth losing your mind to cram too much in in order to get fall student teaching. You're learning so much here that so many other new teachers don't.

    So if it's a toss-up, great, go with fall. But if it would simply be too hard, then do it in the spring and continue to soak up all the info you can here.
     
  34. indigo-angel

    indigo-angel Companion

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    I honestly don't think so. I wouldn't suggest killing yourself to student teach in the fall. In the Spring semester, since classroom rules, procedures, and expextations are already set up, at least you can focus most of your energy on teaching and job searching. When you interview, you can talk about things you are actually doing in your class at the time, plus you may get a Spring Break. If you want to know how students progressed through the year, you can go back and look at artifacts that the teacher has. Also, I think that in the Spring, there may be less of a power struggle between your cooperating teacher and you because they have already established their classroom.
     
  35. YoungTeacherGuy

    YoungTeacherGuy Phenom

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    Apr 24, 2010

    Alice, have you ever been in any sort of teacher coaching position at your school? Here in my district, each school has a "teacher coach" who supports teachers in many areas (classroom management, lesson design, student interventions, etc.), and I could TOTALLY see you doing that type of thing!

    I agree wholeheartedly with you! Set the tone from the very first day of school! The first few weeks of school are so incredibly important! :thumb:
     

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