Has this ever happened to you? Student teaching nightmare...

Discussion in 'Secondary Education' started by DreamerSeeker, Apr 2, 2019.

  1. DreamerSeeker

    DreamerSeeker Rookie

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    Apr 2, 2019

    I'm 3 weeks into my student teaching now at a high school. I am supposed to be taking over all my cooperating teacher's classes and actually start teaching, but I am not even close to being prepared yet. I'm a few weeks behind on my own assignments for my educator's program, and my cooperating teacher is telling me to do things last minute with very little-to-no time to prep.

    I am full time at school 7:00am to sometimes after 3pm. When I get home, I spend nearly 3 hours trying to complete my assignments for my educator's program, then nearly 4+ hours trying to find and gather relevant material for what I will be teaching in CT's classroom which isn't easy. I am trying to create powerpoint slides to use as visual lectures, that alone takes nearly 4+ hours to gather up relevant information. It's currently 12 (midnight right now) still trying to gather material to teach for tomorrow.

    Before my student teaching began, I spoke to my CT, she told me to begin with evolution. So I did. Spend a month coming up with stuff for evolution, got all ready. Then, first day of student teaching, she is covering DNA/RNA...nowhere even near evolution. So CT tells me to start prepping for Mendelian genetics. So I am, now she's changing it up saying she already covered so and so and to do this and that instead. Now this morning, she told me that tomorrow she wants me to take over her earth science class on bioremediation. I don't even know bioremediation! I'm am very discouraged and regret student teaching at the high school. I already told my CT as well as my program coordinator, but no one is understanding what level of stress I am under right now! I'm only one human. I can't do all things at once especially in so little time!

    Can someone please help me here?!
     
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  3. rpan

    rpan Cohort

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    Apr 3, 2019

    What is your program coordinator saying about this situation? Sometimes it is necessary to do things on the fly and wing it in teaching but I wouldn’t expect a ST to be able to have those skills just yet. Here’s a tip about PPTs. You don’t have to make everything from scratch. Googling “Bioremediation PowerPoint high school” will yield fruitful results. They won’t be perfect to what you want but they are a good template and starting point to save time. Also, you can introduce any topic by student inquiry - it doesn’t always have to be teacher directed. For example, a webquest on a topic, or finding a video on YT, playing the video and getting students to answer focussed questions on the video. These are good ways to introduce a topic to give you a bit more time to prep.
     
  4. Fred A.

    Fred A. New Member

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    Apr 3, 2019

    I feel your pain very much. I am so sorry that you are going through what you should definitely NOT have to go through. I am a first year teacher so I recently went through the student-teaching "experience." Perhaps these deplorable experiences are just another aspect of the ongoing attempts to defund and starve public education and higher educaiton teaching programs. My CT was as bad as yours if not worse. The CT was not at all interested in actually supporting my success. She pulled last minute changes and was actually hostile and unwelcoming in numerous ways. I was forced to spend countless hours documenting the situation in case I had to defend myself and my completion of the program at a later date. I believe CT's do get a stipend of some kind, at least mine got $1000 so I heard. Perhaps once some get that check, they "check out."

    There are so many issues involved it is hard for me to say with the info given why this is happening to you. One possibility is that the teacher feels threatened by something about you -- your relationship with the students perhaps, your new/fresh ideas -- and is seeking to undermine you. I cannot say. I would discuss this with your university supervisor, which I did, and which led to an unannounced observation/meeting of the supervisor with my CT, and that really went a long way toward solving the problem. After that meeting I was able to pull out a very grudging and diplomatic response from my supervisor that the CT was acting very unusual. Just hearing that provided me with much needed support and validation.

    The CTs are not a part of the university. They are, in my experience, not trained let alone orientated as to how they should handle the student teacher.

    I hope this helps.

     
  5. geoteacher

    geoteacher Habitué

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    Apr 3, 2019

    I am sorry that your experience was so bad! I have had several student teachers in my classroom, and, based on what I am required to do, it is hard to believe that others do things so differently. I am required to provide a statement of expectations for my student teacher within the first week that he/she is in the classroom. In that document, I spell out exactly what he or she will be responsible for. The current university emphasis is on co-teaching, and I clearly explain to the ST that we will follow that model as much as is needed, but when I feel that the ST is ready, he/she will assume full responsibility for the classes. STs start taking over classes beginning with Week 2. I expect them to complete at least 3 weeks of a 9-week placement where they assume complete control of the classroom and the curriculum. The university supervisor does observe throughout the placement, but I also do informal observations with feedback every week and formal observations every other week. I require that lessons be written at least a week ahead of time so that we can do any necessary tweaking. What am I paid for this? Nothing. Was I trained to host student teachers? Absolutely. I've had student teachers who struggled and others who really flourished. Even though I am not technically teaching during each placement, I am often working just as hard as the student teacher.

    You mention CTs feeling threatened by the ST and the new ideas. I have to say that, in my case, I love to see new ideas at work. It is always great to get a fresh perspective on what I teach. Working with a ST also reinforces how far I've come - so, I guess what I'm trying to say is that one shouldn't paint all CTs with the same broad brush.
     
    Last edited: Apr 3, 2019

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