For those of you who have just finished student teaching...

Discussion in 'New Teachers Archives' started by Erin Elizabeth, Jul 17, 2006.

  1. Erin Elizabeth

    Erin Elizabeth Groupie

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    Jul 17, 2006

    I was asked by the county Superintendent (who was my ST supervisor) to share my experiences with the new cohort that's starting this fall. Of course, I couldn't say no! Gotta stay on her good side! ;)

    So my question for all of you new teachers out there is:

    What do you wish you had known (or had been told) before you started your credential program?
     
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  3. DZH494

    DZH494 Rookie

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    Jul 17, 2006

    I just graduated in May, and I know of some people that decided that they did not want to be a teacher,during students teaching. I wish that there were a class that explained in detail the life of a teacher, and allowed the students to experience what it would be like after graduation before going through 3 years of college.
     
  4. zoerba

    zoerba Comrade

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    HOW TO INTERVIEW! I had never had to interview for a job before. Well, I had to interview to get into my credential program, and although I passed, it was barely. Likewise, my first pre-screening interview for the district I failed. My second one I passed with flying colors though.

    Some people are just not born natural interviewees. I was shy, nerveous, unprepared, and lacked confidence. After a LOT of preperation I finally feel I can accurately represent myself.

    I also wish that I would have been prepped a bit on the political aspects of becoming an educator. I still don't really feel like I know what's going on in that arena.
     
  5. clarnet73

    clarnet73 Moderator

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    Jul 17, 2006

    How to run conferences!

    Because of the timing of my 2 placements, I had never sat in or run a parent-teacher conference until I had to run them in my room this year for some VERY demanding SPED parents. They didn't go so well... yipes!!!

    oops... i just saw this is before you start your program. I still think it's something they should teach you in colelge, though. ;)
     
  6. Steph-ernie

    Steph-ernie Groupie

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    Jul 18, 2006

    The details of the first and last day of school. I didn't get to participate in either in student teaching, and so I was a little clueless when I had to do my first day and my last day on my own this year. Also, I did get to do conferences while student teaching, although most of my peers did not - it was the best experience. I think it should be worked into all student teaching placements somehow!
     
  7. Loves2TeachinSC

    Loves2TeachinSC Rookie

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    First - I agree about parent conferences. I think that is my biggest fear as a first year teacher because I didn't get to experience it during student teaching.
    Second - I also agree with the first and last days of school! Although I did get to experience a glimpse of both, because we spend the entire year at the school we are student teaching in. So, the first and last day I was there, was very much like the first and last day of school - as far as excitement and discipline issues go. However, it didn't have to do with the planning.
    I think in college they should teach you what it REALLY means to be a teacher. I went into the profession thinking it was going to be dandy. And although I still am VERY excited about teaching, I am also VERY nervous because of all the STUFF I have to do to get ready for the first year! A lot of times, when you are in a practicum/student teaching, you do the things that you are supposed to, but the primary teacher is still there to take care of all the paper work and major issues.
    Also, how to plan and carry out a field trip. What all goes into field trips? How do you get started? ETC...
     
  8. Erin Elizabeth

    Erin Elizabeth Groupie

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    Jul 18, 2006

    I agree with you on these things! Many times new teachers have to "wing it" if they didn't get a chance to experience something during student teaching.

    Is there any advice in particular that would have helped you through your actual student teaching experience? (Besides what you've mentioned already? :) )
     
  9. keeley73

    keeley73 Rookie

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    Jul 18, 2006

    I went in to my student teaching mid September and so missed the first couple weeks when all the procedures are taught. I also did not do conferences. One thing I wished I knew more were all the acronyms when I participated in a meeting for one of my students who was about to be tested for ESE. I felt so lost...and if I felt that way I can only imagine how the parents felt.
     
  10. zoerba

    zoerba Comrade

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    Jul 18, 2006

    ESE means what?

    I know that
    ELL - English Language Learner
    ESL - English Second Language
    ELP- Extended Learning Program
    ED? - Emotionally Disturbed _______

    those are all I can think of at this second. I know there are more out there. Post them if you can remember!
     
  11. Tinsley81

    Tinsley81 Rookie

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    Jul 18, 2006

    Oh all the acronyms! We need a list BEFORE student teaching...I'm still looking stuff up, or having to ask someone!

    Also-What the job market is REALLY like (we were told not to worry until the last meeting of student teaching...2 days before graduation. Gee, thanks for the heads up! It took me 2 years to find a el. ed job!)
     
  12. teacherece

    teacherece Cohort

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    Jul 18, 2006

    Here's my two cents on this subject: I'm a mom of 16 years and a non-traditional student (I'm 45). I just finished school and I wish there were about 10 classes that could have been added to help me prepare better; however, the best way to learn is by getting into the classroom. I made the best of every field experience, practicum, etc. that I could. Here's a tip: Don't just sit there and wait for the teacher to ask you to help. Get involved in the classroom (this is hard for those who are shy, but teaching isn't for shy people). Volunteer to help the children and ask to grade papers, etc. I did this at my last practicum which was 2nd grade. I ended up student teaching in the same school in 3rd grade. During my ST, I planned field trips because I made myself involved with everything and I got to know everyone. I stayed every day later than I should have (I have 2 kids and didn't see them much this last semester). My diligence paid off. Not only did they hire me to teach 2nd grade this year, but the day after I graduated, I was asked to be a long term sub and finish up the school year for someone who was sick and retiring. I was thankful that I offered to grade those 2nd grade papers in my last practicum because I knew the 2nd grade curriculum and was able to grade the basal reading extensive comprehensive tests because of it.

    I think that Harry Wong's 1st days of school should be a book that is required and perhaps a 1 credit class that helps prepare teachers.
     
  13. Mrsstarz

    Mrsstarz Rookie

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    Jul 18, 2006

    Last fall I did my ST and I really felt unprepared! I felt there should have been a class that ran like a classroom where we were able to put ideas and theories to practice before ST. My supervising principal hired me as a permanent sub after graduation until the end of the year. She told me that Student teachers aren't supposed to know everything when they get there. Student teaching is the time to learn about teaching. I was also told that if I wanted a job that I needed to put myself out there, join everything, and get to know everyone. I did that and now I have some great news friends and some great recommendations. Our district laid off 24 this year, so I couldn't get a position for the next year. However their letters of recommendation helped me secure a position. I also agree that Harry Wong should be given to every new teacher!
     
  14. JustWondering

    JustWondering Companion

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    Jul 18, 2006

    I don't know if your university/school has this resource but I know many of them do... Career Services. Ours allows you to bring in your resume, cover letter, etc. and they will help you make them great. Another thing ours does is mock interviews and several seminars a year about how to word things and answer questions. Sometimes they would do a special presentation for clubs if asked. Maybe if your had such a resource it would of been useful to know it was there!

    *** Edit***

    I agree with the Harry Wong book recomendations! I will be a First year teacher and it answered a lot of questions and calmed a few neves. Since I did not go through the school of education I will be getting my crash course through the first year with mentors and the ACP (Alternative Certification Program) I chose to get certified through.
     
    Last edited: Jul 18, 2006
  15. Erin Elizabeth

    Erin Elizabeth Groupie

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    Jul 18, 2006

    I have never utilized the university's Career Center, but I do know they do something similar to what you mentioned. My university's teacher prep program has several different cohorts that have agreements with the different COEs in the area. My particular Cohort is supervised by the County Superintendent. She organizes a mock-interview / resume &cover letter-critiquing night with the local HR Superintendents from the county districts. As far as I know ours is the only cohort that has this opportunity.
     
  16. Irissa

    Irissa Cohort

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    Jul 18, 2006

    ESE= Exceptional Student Education
     
  17. alien teacher

    alien teacher Rookie

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    Jul 19, 2006

    Things to Know to ST

    Wear comfortable shoes! You will be walking on concrete all day, every day.

    Dress in layers. You never know when the A/C will work and when it won't.

    Be prepared for the smell of stinky, hormonal teens.

    Stay hydrated even though it will make you need to go to the bathroom. Your body will adapt to when you can go.

    Keep aspirin in your bag.

    Do not give students your aspirin. Also, be sure you fill out the nurse pass, even if the student in puking her guts up- without the pass the nurse can't/ won't do a thing and will rake you over the coals.

    Buy your EZ Grader before you begin ST.

    Be prepared emotionally for those times when you feel like you have to be the "Bad Guy". You are not their friend. Also, the other teachers may feel threatened by you. Be prepared to be an outcast. That may not happen, but don't be surprised if it does.

    Keep your mouth closed and your ears open- you learn more that way.

    Plug into websites that offer real resources- like this one. The best advice/ ideas you will get will be from other teachers- they've been there, done that.
     
  18. MrsCAD

    MrsCAD Companion

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    Jul 19, 2006

    I thought that class was Student Teaching? ha-ha!!

    The one thing I wished I knew more about was curriculum programs - Step-Up to Writing, AR, LIteracy Lab, etc. I think that should be integrated in there somewhere!
     
  19. Erin Elizabeth

    Erin Elizabeth Groupie

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    What are some things you did to cope with the stress that comes with student teaching?
     
  20. Loves2TeachinSC

    Loves2TeachinSC Rookie

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    Jul 19, 2006

    Our classroom management class used Harry Wong's First Days of School as one of the textbooks. We also watched a lot - if not all of his seminar/videos! It was beneficial.
    Something I did to cope with stresses of ST, was to take some time to BREATHE and RELAX! If you aren't careful, you will get overwhelmed very quickly. I was lucky because I was in my class the semester before 'getting to know everything'. That helped a lot! Also, if you are a procrastinator - get rid of it NOW! Trust me...I know! If you get things done before they are due, you will have more time to relax in the long run! The biggest thing about stress: it is easier to PREVENT than to COPE! I felt better in the long run when I did things ahead of time. Also, you may be tempted to take things home...although I took several things home during student teaching, I felt better on the days I did everything at school before I left and took nothing home - or very little home! Granted, some days I stayed until 6, but I felt so much better that I didn't have to take it home and work on it. The more you do at school, the faster you do it so you can get out of there. If you take it home, you piddle at it and it ends up taking you longer! Just my opinions.... :) Sorry so long!
     
  21. DZH494

    DZH494 Rookie

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    I was thinking about a class, during the first or second year of college. Student teaching is the very last class to take.
     
  22. teacherece

    teacherece Cohort

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    Jul 19, 2006

    Loves2teach...what a good program that dealt with classroom management. Ours focused more on child development. Like I said above, I could think of 10 more classes to add, but getting in the trenches is the best way to deal with it.

    Erin...the best advice I can give you is as soon as you get your ST assignment, call your CT (cooperating teacher) and find out what she wants you do do your unit plan on and GET STARTED BEFORE YOU START ST'g. The same goes for your management plan. These are things that you cannot do in class because your are too busy. Use the first few weeks before you start teaching everything to observe your CT. You can learn so much by observing. You also get to know the kids then too.
     
  23. Erin Elizabeth

    Erin Elizabeth Groupie

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    I'm done with my student teaching! :)
     
  24. alien teacher

    alien teacher Rookie

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    Jul 19, 2006

    stress

    I agree with the person that said it is easier to PREVENT than it is to COPE. Do things ahead of time. Have an idea of how you will manage the classroom, then be ready to be flexible. What works for one student will not work for another.

    Also... spend the money to get your hair done or your nails done on a regular basis. You will need the TLC. It seemed very self-indulgent until I started my ST then went to subbing. Now that I have a job, I can't wait to start getting paid and set up monthly appointments.

    I also agree that if you take work home it takes longer. It is also easier to get side-tracked. You will also feel guilty for grading papers with your family sitting right there. My family was great- it was a self-inflicted thing. Nevertheless, it was just one more thing to deal with. Manage your time as best you can and get everything done at school that you can.

    Also, learn to forgive yourself. Just because you are a teacher does NOT make you perfect. You will make mistakes but it will be OK. Learn and go forward.
     
  25. Loves2TeachinSC

    Loves2TeachinSC Rookie

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    AMEN TO THAT alien teacher!
    "Also, learn to forgive yourself. Just because you are a teacher does NOT make you perfect. You will make mistakes but it will be OK. Learn and go forward."
     
  26. Mrsstarz

    Mrsstarz Rookie

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    I have to agree that you need to get as much done as possible before you leave school. I did my student teaching in the fall last year. I started the week before the kids did and my CT wouldn't share any particulars about lesson plans, units, or anything that was going to be taught. She felt it would be too over whelming, but had she given me a heads up I could have started working on it sooner and had more time to relax. One good thing was that I was hired as her sub until the end of the year. I spent the entire year with my class! I saw her use Harry Wong in the beginning of the year and Love & Logic (I think that is the name) when she disciplined. I carried everything over after Christmas and I had a wonderful 6 months as the teacher! The principal would walk in and ask what I did to get my class so quiet. So I think classroom strategies should be introduced before student teaching so you can practice them before hand. They definitely make a difference!
     
  27. SarahnVA

    SarahnVA Rookie

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    That's funny because my first semester with my school of ed the book WAS required for a one credited class. However I only borrowed it from the library (trying to cut the costs) and was going to buy it this summer. However, my aunt who's a principal is giving me a signed copy! I'm pretty excited!

    I also wish we had more interview practice. We only started talking about interviews my last month of school. Now I'm job searching and overly stressed!
     
  28. keeley73

    keeley73 Rookie

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    Jul 20, 2006

    Honestly, I had a wonderful mentor teacher when I did my student teaching. The whole thing could not have gone any better. A lot of things that I use today are things that I learned with her. Every year I just keep building on what works for me. In my graduating class though there were a couple of people that had nightmare experiences. I was lucky though and think that other than the mass quantities of paperwork required by admin. it is pretty parallel to what I learned.
     
  29. 1st-yr-teacher

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    my school did a great job our last semester before graduating. We took a class titled "Teachers as Leaders" and in this class we prepared our resume, professional portfolios and those were taken as a grade. The professors also commented on the resume and portfolio as to how we could improve them. We also had a great experience in bringing in local principals and superintendents and had to do "mock interviews". Also, they brought in several first year teachers who graduated from our program a year before to do a q&a forum. The class really helped a lot!!
     
  30. keeley73

    keeley73 Rookie

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    Did anyone ever look at your portfolios? I have had two teaching jobs sincs graduating and neither of the principals wanted to see the "portfolio".
     
  31. Musica

    Musica Rookie

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    My first interview, they just wanted to ask questions. I mentioned the portfolio and sat it to the side of me on the conference table and no one looked at it.

    At my second interview (job I was offered/accepted), I had it in front of me on the small round table we were all sitting at. I offered it at the end, and as we were all just chit chatting and asking me some final questions, all 3 people looked through the whole thing, complementing some of the things I had in it, my lesson plan outline, etc.

    They also asked me to bring it back for the 2nd round interview I did and I gave it to them which they all looked through again while I played my instrument and taught the lessons to students. The music dept chair commented on how impressed she was and how differently people now present themselves in interviews. It was very gratifying that they all took the time to look through all that hard work that I put in to it.

    Portfolios in general were stressed a lot in my classes, all the way from sophomore Ed psych up. I had to do some varied length of one for most of my concentrated Ed classes and student teaching (huge one, obviously) One of my professors is pretty much an "expert" on professional portfolios and gives so much great advice for maintaining them as we move towards eventually getting tenure, etc.
     
  32. 1st-yr-teacher

    1st-yr-teacher Comrade

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    While I was job searching, I went by a school one time to just drop off my resume and recommendation letters and the principal ending up sitting down with me and looking through my portfolio. I ended up not getting the job though because the teacher who was leaving decided to stay. Other than that, I have only really shown the interviewers things in my portfolio as we went through the interview.
     
  33. ms_chandler

    ms_chandler Comrade

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    I haven't met many people who liked student teaching. I, along with other friends, decided I didn't want to teach during my student teaching. My "(un)cooperating teacher" didn't like the classroom and was itching to be an administrator which she did the next year. I was told to "kiss her butt" by my friend who also student taught under her. I am not that type of person. I was a little pissed, but I took the "C" she gave me and no one ever asked me about it. I was hired by 2 wonderful school districts.

    Before student teaching, they should prepare you for the sudden lifestyle change. I turned 22 literally the day before I started student teaching, and my life went downhill quickly. It was a horrible time, and I literally counted the days. I thought something was wrong with me until I heard from other people how big the lifestyle change is. I am just now getting comfortable with the whole switch.

    Experience is everything, though.... You just need to learn as you go along....
     
  34. srh

    srh Devotee

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    Jul 26, 2006

    Erin: How fun! I did the same thing for one group of my university's student teachers last December (invited by my former instructor; it was my first year of teaching). I got to share for about an hour and had a Q and A session.

    Among many other things, the ST students seemed especially interested in knowing the "hidden curriculum" of school staff, from the perspective of a new teacher. We all learn about the hidden curriculum students deal with (what are all those things NOT explained in the classroom but that occur on the playgrounds, in hallways, locker rooms, etc.), but in teacher ed, we don't usually learn about all the nitpicky things new teachers have to wade through! So I talked a bit about "THE parent" (we all get one--I was "lucky" and got one the first year! HAHA), the longer-than-expected staff meetings, BTSA (induction program) demands, the intrusion of zillions of school assemblies, etc. Those are truly the things I felt especially unprepared for. Wouldn't it be wonderful if we just went to school and taught our classes??!! :-D Have a great time...I enjoyed sharing and seeing the looks on those poor ol' teacher ed students' faces as those unanswered questions got answered!
     

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