Discussion in 'Elementary Education' started by strummercohen, May 28, 2016.
May 29, 2016
You can quote and reply in one post. It'll save you some time when replying
Thanks child whisper
Which responsibilities did you have when u volunteered in your mom's friends classroom before student teaching?
^ you did it
The discussion here is also relevant to this thread.
I have read all of the OP's threads on this subject, and I would like to make a post that basically replies to all of them, since they all ask the same thing. Not a criticism, but an observation.
Since you are in a graduate program, you have been successful at the undergrad level even with the undiagnosed ADHD. This indicates that you have some strategies in place for learning with this challenge, so way to go. As for the depression you mentioned on one of the threads, find the right medication, follow your doctor's orders, and you will be just like a lot of other people leading a useful and productive life. Being behind in some of your courses would concern me, because if you rely on "do overs", you will really struggle in student teaching. I have watched my son work from sun up to a late bedtime just to get the amount of work completed on time during student teaching at the graduate level. I would be very concerned for you, staying focused and on track.
You ask if other people have student taught without having classroom experience, and the answer is yes. Many of them are called alternate route candidates, and their "student teaching" is in the real world situation where it is sink or swim. As they are teaching full time, they are, in essence, taking full time courses to learn how to teach. They have a mentor teacher, who may or may not be highly invested in the AR's outcome. Amazingly, many are highly successful, indicating to me that it is possible to succeed as a new/learning teacher candidate despite lack of experience in the classroom.
As for the grade level, when I lived through my son's ST experience, he spent part of the time with one grade, and the other part with another. Part was with elementary, and then followed by high school students. With that in mind, I would say that any classroom experience where you are demonstrating classroom management skills is virtually equal. If, on the other hand, your day care is to simply keep them from killing each other, with no structure, you could struggle. I am not sure why you are trying to become a para instead of a sub, but then, I am not from Boston.
Finally, if Boston is so competitive in the job market, you may or may not need to relocate to land your first contracted job. If you come out of your grad program with high grades, including the ST, and lots of the professionals you work with are willing to write glowing letters of recommendation, you may be poised to do well in the job search. If your ST experience/grades are sub-par, and people seem reluctant to write LOR's for you, then you may seriously want to consider relocating to an area where the need for teachers is high, and the supply is low.
You asked for our stories, so mine is both similar and different from others. I had done quite a bit of volunteer work in classrooms in my home district as my son was in school. When he was in fourth grade, I started subbing, which I did for a few years. Then family circumstances required me to become a full time caregiver for an Alzheimer's patient. Everything in my plan was put on hold. By the time I was free to consider getting back on track with my plan to go to grad school, I was hesitant to invest that time and money for what could be a relatively short career. I became an AR candidate and found a full time job based on two applications and one interview. I imagined I would teach science in MS, but ended up teaching biology in HS, where I had zero experience. To make this story shorter, let's just say I worked my behind off and earned my standard certificate. I also earned a M.Ed. in ESL along the way, earned certificates in elementary, all MS except math, and SPED.
My story is unique because I came into teaching at the same time teachers around me were constantly talking about how long until retirement. Did you know that half of all new teachers will leave the profession within the first five years? Well, I'm still here. Would I go back and become a teacher through graduate school in hind sight? No. For me this worked, although the fact that I love science, have a ton of science courses, and continue to take courses just for fun factors into my decision.
I would make a small recommendation, and not meant in any way as a major criticism. Be careful to not to substitute "U" for "you". Second, if you are going to use the letter "a" before a word that starts with a vowel, use "an" instead. An example: I am going to set up an experiment. I am sure it is my age, but I notice those things every time, so you can consider my observations or not.
Good luck in your career path.
It's not your age. I notice these things ALL THE TIME. Spelling, grammar, punctuation, etc. I'm "only" 28.
I student taught in fourth. I taught third, then second, then third, then sixth, then second, then fourth, then third, and next year will be fourth again. Student teaching was 23 years ago.
The text language when talking to other professionals always gets me! I try to ignore it, but if the OP is wanting to excel in her field, she may be able to stop the practice before it becomes a habit. I always try to nip a potential bad habit in the bud, because an established habit can be a bear to fix.
I had experience teaching college before I student taught. There were plenty of differences between the two, along with some similarities.
Most people I know who student taught had no teaching experience prior to student teaching.
I only remember one person from my grad class that had experience that student taught. She was an outstanding English teacher at a Catholic HS and wanted to go into public schools. What did you teach in college? That is part of my end-game if I get there.
I taught lower-level foreign language classes. University teaching isn't for me; I'm not about the "publish or perish" life.
I did a couple guest lectures at both my undergrad school and my law school, and I enjoyed the teaching aspect, but from friends with their Ph. D. already...they echo your sentiments. I would love to teach law in education at the college level (making use of the JD), but most schools that offer the course want Ph. D. and JD.
May 30, 2016
You've done a lot of observing first right? You should be FINE! I had a similar experience when I was in school. I happened to be in a class with a lot of mom's who were going back to school. They had so much more experience than me, but I rocked it. And you will too!
I observed in 2 different classrooms (10 weeks each) before I student taught. I didn't get too much experience but it got me familiar with certain aspects of the classroom.
Here, student teaching is part of the Bachelor of Education program (a B.Ed is a requirement). The responsibilities and requirements of each student teaching placement increase with each placement; the start of the first placement is strictly observation and by the end of the final placement, the student teacher will have taken over most of the classroom instruction. Other than as a student, I had never stepped foot inside a classroom when I began student teaching.
I was a business major undergrad and for my Masters in Ed and certification after having kids and volunteering on their classrooms. The more observations/volunteering/experience eith kids the better.
I'm hosting a ST in the fall (my 7th ST). And I'm a bit concerned about her social/interpersonal skills. I'm kind of wanting to embrace her nerdy brilliance....with caution as its really all on me whether my kids succeed or not.
In reading over this thread, it definitely appears that you are nervous about student teaching. As long as you have completed your observation hours before student teaching, you will have as much experience as most student teacher. I have hosted several - from traditional and nontraditional certification programs. If you go in willing to try different things with students and willing to learn from your mistakes, there is no reason that you will not be successful. Watch your cooperating teacher, learn from what he/she does, and then try some of those same techniques yourself!
May 31, 2016
Many of our education programs here are concurrent--the student is working towards their Bachelors degree and their Education degree at the same time. Programs that are stand-alone to earn a B.Ed after having a Bachelors degree still have 3 student teaching placements during the year, with increasing demands at each.
1. I graduated with a B.A. (English) and a B.Ed with qualifications to teach K-Grade 6. I have since added qualifications up to Grade 10.
2. Hours in a classroom are part of the program--This is what student teaching looks like at one of the universities we take student teachers from--over the course of 2 years, students complete all three student teaching placements:
1st year students: Will attend once a week. There is NO expectation for independent teaching. Co-planning or co-teaching is encouraged. Student is to immerse themselves in the classroom environment building relationships with the students, getting to know the context, and learning the MANY pieces that go into our profession that do not involve independent teaching. There is no evaluation involved. It is a year of formative assessment. Students will present a learning portfolio at the end of the term, at which time the MT will write a formal conference report.
2nd year students:
Sept- December: Will attend twice a week until the last two weeks of November. A 2 week block at the end of November. Independent teaching (planning, assessment, etc) is expected with an evaluation during the 2 week block.
Jan- April: Will attend ONCE a week for 6 weeks, then a 6 week block beginning in the middle of February until the end of March. Independent teaching (etc) is expected with another evaluation at the end of the block.
3. Looking at how the student-teaching experiences progresses should answer this question.
4. I took the first level of my Special Ed qualifications when I graduated; I took the other two levels (to become a Special Ed Specialist) once I was working.
I think that you are right. I will take your advice. Thank you.
I agree. Student teaching is meant to be a learning experience. The cooperating teacher should be modeling how to teach and you can learn from that.
Jun 4, 2016
Out of curiously I was wondering did you read my original post before you decided that you agreed with me? Also, have you successfully student taught without experience, if you have please tell me your grade level and the classroom that you worked with. In other words, tell me your experience.
Yes, thanks for your words of encouragement, that is basically what I am going through right now. I am in a graduate program trying to get a license in moderate disabilities at the grade 5-12 level. Almost everyone who is in my master's degree program is a paraprofessional (teacher's aide) or a teacher. According to my teacher, only a small number of people work in field's outside of education. So it can be intimidating to try to become a teacher near so many people who have more student teaching experience than me. But I hope that I can do it. Please feel free to share you story of successful student teaching without experience. The more stories I hear about this the better. I would like to hear what grade level you taught and everything.
Jun 5, 2016
For what it is worth, I would be very surprised if the paraprofessionals have any student teaching experience, unless they are individuals who have teacher certifications working as paraprofessionals. While they may have more actual hand's on experience working with the students with disabilities than you, they have no more experience than you do actually being the teacher and making the decisions, planning, and assessments. If they are paras with teacher certification, and have not taught other than as paras, they may have serious doubts about their own ST experience, since they ended up working as paras, not employed as the classroom teacher. I totally understand your anxiety, but if you are current on all required work, and capable of staying on task, meeting due dates, meeting goals, and turning in projects on time, you will almost certainly do well.
My son did his ST as an undergrad in Music Ed., but was not able to find a job in the field after graduation, along with many in his class. When he entered the M.Ed. program for ESL, he ended up having to student teach again, since he had a CEAS, but not a standard teaching certificate. The work load was significant, the need to stay focused and complete the work by the due date was always on his mind, and he had the course that met at night once every couple of weeks that was his cohort, and he had to factor that in. I can tell you he did get behind when he became sick, and he was forced to withdraw without a grade on his first attempt. That weighed heavy on his mind when he was in the second attempt. Even though he was not penalized for the medical withdrawal, it created anxiety that was stressful. I only share this with you so you understand that there is stress, and even though he had been through a ST experience before, it was in a different field, so different from the second ST. If the paras have had a ST experience before, it obviously was not in SPED, so they are essentially in the same boat that you are.
I did not have a ST teacher experience, as I explained before, but I have been successful as an AR candidate/teacher. I can tell you that the need to stay current and prepared for those classes while actually working full time was stressful. I witnessed AR candidates who had struggled with the program who did not remain in teaching, just as I have witnessed teachers from traditional programs wash out after the first year or so. Teaching and ST is an individual experience, and you will make it your own, based on what you put into it. No one else's experience, past or future, will be exactly like yours. Embrace that individuality. Make it your own. Hard? Yes, I think always. Doable? Yes, I think with diligence and dedication.
I hope you can truly embrace SPED, and feel that you haven't "settled" just to get a job. I once again went back an read all of your posts, and it just doesn't sound like your heart is in this, IMO. As the parent of a student who has changed job directions after not being able to find a job in the field he preferred, I have witnessed this emotionally taxing decision to try something that is not the first choice, wondering if it is the right choice for you. If depression is involved, and it often is, it is draining. I can tell you that I find SPED exhausting on a good day, so I am concerned when people choose it without experience, especially working with HS students. Do I think you can be successful? Yes. The better question, however, is "do you think you can be successful"?
I wish you well. Best of luck.
The vast majority of the student teachers I know in a K-8 setting have had no previous job experience in working with children. I know I didn't, and I don't feel it hurt me in becoming a teacher. You'll be fine, and I wouldn't worry about it. Just do well in student teaching and learn as much as you can about teaching through experience and from other teachers. Good luck to you.
Did you major in education as a college major? What level of education did you study (middle school, high school etc)? How did you find that you handled student teaching without classroom experience?
I observed my cooperating teacher, tried methods from my university education classes, and tried a few ideas from books of successful teachers I read. I had some good days, and some not so good days. Classroom management was the toughest for me. I found substitute teaching (which I did after student teaching) and ideas from books helped me the most in this area.
Don't feel you have to be successful in student teaching right away. You are there to learn to become successful. You will make mistakes. When you do, get yourself up off the ground, dust yourself off, and try again in a different way. If you work with your cooperating teacher and use the ideas from teachers in this forum, you'll be better off than I was. I didn't have this forum to turn to when I started.
Jun 6, 2016
Thanks for you insight. Would you be open to speaking over the phone if you had the time about your experiences? You could email me with your number at firstname.lastname@example.org with your experiences. Thanks.
Jun 10, 2016
If you're not interested in contacting me, by phone that is fine. I respect your privacy.But could you at least answer this question: did your son have any prior experience (volunteer/ internship) working with ESL students before student teaching?
strummercohen--You have received multiple replies on this thread from people who had no experience working with students before student teaching. Every situation is different; you cannot use the experience of others to decide whether or not you will be successful. Go into your experience determined to learn everything you can.
I understand what you are saying. It is time to put this thread to rest. Everyone has given me good examples of how they were successful at student teaching without classroom experience so thank you so much for that. At this point, I am just being redundant by continuing to ask all of these questions. So before officially retiring this thread, I would just like to thank everyone for all of their help for sharing their experiences. In the future, I am probably going to start a thread asking people for help with finding ideas for math and science lesson plans. Thanks everyone for sharing your experiences with me! It did help me in a big way
I've noticed that this board pulls for each other. I'm going to pay it forward and do the same for you! Good luck!
I had no experience. I subbed a few days here and there, and I worked at an independent study charter school as a TA (obviously this had nothing to do with actual classroom experience, other than some interaction with individual students).
I was thrown into it after 3 weeks. Up until then I was observing the classroom and slowly taking over doing the warm up, doing some activities with them by the 3rd week of being 100 % responsible for lesson planning, grading, discipline, phone calls home, everything.
Even though I had no experience it worked out great and I learned a lot. It was hard, but worth it.
Aug 12, 2016
How did you handle the process of student teaching if you only had experience observing in a classroom and no experience teaching? What grade level did you teach? Please answer these questions of you can it would really help me a lot thanks
The MAJORITY of student teachers have zero experience teaching and have only observed prior to student teaching as part of their requirement to graduate & get a licence/certificate. Student teaching is their FIRST teaching experience.
Student teaching is when you learn. No one is expecting a student teacher to walk into a classroom and take over. The process will vary, but usually the ST will observe, plan for and work with small groups (perhaps a guided reading lesson to start), then gradually start to plan and teach in collaboration with the host teacher. Think of process of gradual release of responsibility we use with our students--in this case, the student is the student teacher.
Exactly! And we had two 8 week placements for student teaching. I did one in 2nd and the other in 6th. The ideas was that you gradually take over -- and fully instruct by weeks 6 & 7-- and then hand the class back over to close out. But I knew my mentor teacher personally (I went to MS/HS with her daughter) and actually requested that she take me on, so I got to jump in a lot sooner. She really worked with to guide me and fine tune my management and delivery of instruction. It was phenomenal! But her class was also amazing so it was a really easy transition. By the I got to my second placement it was testing season so there wasn't much for me to do other than help with test prep so my lessons were kind of 'meh', but I still got to experience 6th grade. Whatever happens... the good, bad and ugly... learn from ALL experiences and just be down for whatever happens. You have to be flexible and just roll with the punches.
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