Having a Student Teacher

Discussion in 'General Education Archives' started by jenglish97, Jul 28, 2005.

  1. jenglish97

    jenglish97 Devotee

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    I am having a student teacher for the first time in September. I was wondering if you could give me some advice or ideas of what I should do or ask my student teacher to do. For example, I would like her to have a file box and add things to her box as she teaches during the semester (monthly theme folders). I would greatly appreicate your advice and ideas. Thanks again for all your help.

    Jen :)
     
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  3. wvsasha

    wvsasha Companion

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    I would wait and see what the college is requiring first and then see what you can do to enhance their requirements. GOod luck and have fun!
     
  4. Lovelabs

    Lovelabs Comrade

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    What grade level? I agree that you should find out what the college requires. I really enjoy having student teachers, but contrary to what many believe- it's a lot of work, but very rewarding.Good luck!
     
  5. cinmcl61

    cinmcl61 Rookie

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    One of the things my teacher did when I was a student was have a special hat - if he was wearing it then I was the one the students had to ask me for whatever they needed
     
  6. CanadianTeacher

    CanadianTeacher Groupie

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    From a recent student teacher who had a bad experience...

    Keep your expectations realistic. Don't make her feel as though she can't ask any questions because 'she should already know the answer.' Realize that everyone follows their own learning curve and be patient if she doesn't seem to be getting something. She will learn much better if you are friendly, open and genuine. Ask her questions about how she feels things are going and have regular, constructive discussions. Tell her what you will be looking at when you are watching her teach. There is so much to know but she won't be able to master everything at once, so pick a few things per day or lesson to focus on. She is vulnerable now and you can build her confidence or destroy it (Seriously!). These are just some things I pulled from my experience (I am still rebuilding my own confidence from this awful experience).
     
  7. clarnet73

    clarnet73 Moderator

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    Things that helped me when i student taught (2nd grade, fantatic experience)

    I had my own "desk" (actually a table, but served the same purpose), with office supplies, pencil holder, markers, and the binders of stuff I needed... I had my own space instead of having to share hers

    She gave my my own lesson plan book to use for when I took over full-time... my university required us to write full lesson plans for the first lesson in every subject and any that were being observed, and just asked us to OK our plans with our teacher otherwise, and that "your CT will tell you when they think you're ready for a plan book instead"... mine gave me one almost immediately

    We sat down each week at the beginning and discussed who would be teaching what, and who would be handling what, so there wouldn't be confusion

    When I took over full-time, she stayed in the room the first couple days and used the time to clean out her desk, closets, etc... which of course the kids thought was pretty funny... she was there if I needed her, but let me handle things myself... and told the kids 'I'm invisible. You can't talk to me unless Miss D. says you can." The kids LOVED this concept!!!

    Some lessons, she'd informally observe and write me notes on things that were great and things that might work better if... it was helpful to have her perspective, especially how many things she saw me doing that she liked!

    Good luck... I'm sure you'll be a GREAT CT!!! Be honest, but also be positive... and if there are issues/problems, tell them right away instead of letting them become bigger, etc.
     
  8. cmorris

    cmorris Comrade

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    I had 2 CT's for 2 grades, in two schools. The first was MUCH better than the second. My first one had me helping the students and passing out papers immediately. By the end of the week, I was teaching (one or two lessons). Each week, another class was added. After solo week, she gradually took over. This was VERY helpful for me. It wasn't too much and I could work my way up.

    She also treated me like a person (my second CT didn't). She offered constructive criticism. We also just had "chats"--it made both of us more comfortable.
     
  9. jenglish97

    jenglish97 Devotee

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    Thanks for all the helpful information so far... It is really helping me out. I have to say that I had 2 excellent student teaching experiences for myself and have use a lot of what I learned from my CT's in my own classroom. They were a great help and very resourceful.

    By the way, I teach second grade inclusion (I am the special education teacher.)
     
  10. jenglish97

    jenglish97 Devotee

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    CanadianTeacher-

    I am sorry that your student teacher experience was not good. This is what I want to avoid and give her a great student teaching experience. I feel that is a start in learning to become a teacher.

    Thanks again for your information.
     
  11. mjennings

    mjennings Companion

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    I agree with what everyone else has said. I was a student teacher this past teacher and my best advice for you is to be understadning and flexible. It is really imporntat if you are open to using any on her ideas. Also helps to communcate and share comments and suggestions everytday. My CT was great about that....after a few lessons she would write notes while i was teachign and then we would sit down and share her comments/suggestions adn things that she liked. Very impotnat, dont always share the comments adn suggegstions, make sure you note something that you like about the lesson. This makes the ST feel like she/he is on the right track! PS. it was also nice on mt CT part to let me make and keep any of the manipulatives and materials that i made during my student teaching.....
     
  12. CanadianTeacher

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    Just the fact that you are asking tells me you will be a great mentor. :)

    I also agree with the above about giving her her own workspace - that's another thing I didn't have and it makes it very difficult to work adequately.

    One more thing....remember that she is in an unfamiliar place with people she doesn't know. She may also be on the shy side and somewhat introverted (yes, some teachers are). Accept this if it's the case and don't fault her for not being outgoing enough with the rest of the staff. I found out at the end of my practicum that I was expected to go visit other classrooms, and actively collect ideas from other teachers, etc... despite being in a very unwelcoming environment. This was not communicated to me, nor was it made easier by people going out of their way to make me feel welcome while in THEIR territory. Let her make her own decisions regarding how she will proceed outside of the classroom and don't try to control it. Treat her like the adult that she is and just gently guide her.

    Again, you are taking the time to ask, so I think she is lucky to have you as a mentor. ;)
     
  13. Danny'sNanny

    Danny'sNanny Connoisseur

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    let her make lots and lots of copies of the stuff you use. I have 4 big boxes of files that I've copied from teachers I've worked with plus books that they don't use anymore and gave me...and I'm not even ready for student teaching yet. I really appreciate all the stuff I've been given, it will save me time and money in the future (and money is something college students never have enough of!)

    try and include her in social stuff. One day at the beginning of last year, after the kids went to lunch and the teacher I was working with said, "Bye, I'll see you in an hour!" and went to eat in a friend's classroom. I had to wander around looking for teachers I knew to eat with, it was very uncomfortable (I'm kind of shy) ;)

    Enjoy this experience. I'm now very good friends with the teachers I've helped. I love having experienced teachers to call when I need help in a class or with a lesson plan, or just to chat with.
     
  14. KYgirl

    KYgirl Rookie

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    I think everyone else has given you some great tips. I just finished my student teaching in April, and it was not a pleasant experience. It is very important to remember that student teachers need constant feedback. I never sat down with my cooperating teacher to discuss the day, discuss how my lessons went, what I could do better, etc. I had to literally ask her tons of questions to get her to give me suggestions. I had no idea what she thought about my teaching until the principal at the school where I'll be teaching said she gave me a glowing recommendation.

    Make sure you let your student teacher be involved from the very beginning. My cooperating teacher had a really hard time giving up control of the class, and she wanted me to use a lot of the same ideas she had used for years. Let your student teacher use some of her own ideas if she wants. That will help to build her confidence.

    I am sure you and your student teacher will have a great relationship and she will have a great experience. I think it's great that you are asking for tips on how to make her experience a valuable one.

    Good luck!
     
  15. jaszmyn

    jaszmyn Comrade

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    I just recently finished student teaching and I had a wonderful experience but kinda uncomfortable. Please make sure that your behavior management plan is in tact. I started student teaching in january and it is very difficult to come into a classroom where you are not sure of the mamagement plan or it is not very solid.

    The students would ask me for things that they new their own teacher would say no to. when I would take them in the hallway, it was absolutley embarrasing!!! So please make sure your students treat her like a teacher and give her the same respect as they would you.

    One more very important thing. My CT was very helpful by letting me make things during my student teaching that I definatley(sp) plan to use now. She made me theme folders--like you said before. And allow your student teacher to become familiar with the other teachers and the team. I came to school early and helped out the teachers. (Actually one of the other teachers on the team got me my current job--she knew the principal at the school I was interested in).

    One more thing! (ha) Allow her to experience more than just the academics part of school. Take her to falculty meetings, PTA, even let her sit in on a parent conference (if possible). Everything behind the scenes will give her a real feel for the school environment. Paperwork too.....
     
  16. Sarah Leigh Ann

    Sarah Leigh Ann Companion

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    The school I teach in was the school I student taught in- I actually teach next door to my CT! (How wonderful is that!!)

    My CT is a wonderful teacher. She contacted me in the summer and asked me to come to the beginning of the year preparations at the school. I was there from the beginning- registration, first day, dismissal, etc. My CT sat down with me and we made a plan to implement me into the daily schedule a little at a time. We started from the morning then to the afternoon.
    For you student teacher all of the above are great ideas but something I loved was observing other teachers in the school. I got so many great ideas from all the teachers. I even had other teachers come in and observe me.

    Student teaching at my first placement was the best- my second one was different but good. The teacher did not have a management plan in place but the students were very much under control.
     
  17. MzB

    MzB Rookie

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    I absoluetly LOVED my mentor teachers and still talk to them on a general level.

    One thing, let him/her know that you're there for anything. Depending on your comfortability level, give them your home/cell number. And sometimes talks bout NON school stuff. This will help make the relationship closer and will help her be more comfortable talking to you about school stuff.

    DO NOT ASSUME SHE HAS LEARNED EVERYTHING!!! Depending upon the school and even depending upon the professor, she may NOT have learned certain things. When I started, I was unsure about a lot of things; I knew about them in a general sense, but NOT from school, just common sense. Make her feel comfortable, because chances are she'll have a "dumb" question to ask that she SHOULD have learned that she didn't. We learned a lot, but a LOT was lacking too.

    Set the tone from the second she walks in. Let the kids know who she is and what she'll be doing and that she is a teacher just like you and to act accordingly. Sometimes, especially when we don't start teaching right out, we get a little...comfortable with the kids which makes beoming the "teacher" later a little bit harder respect-wise.

    Also, make sure you include her in ALL areas of teacher life. If you have a meeting, she goes too. If you all as teachers go out, she goes too.

    And its very important to see what the school wants first. We did a semester of Methods with 2 days in school, and a semester of daily teaching, and we had a GANG of work for methods. Just see what they need and try to make accommodations for it. Remember its not HER making up the assignments (I heard tale of some mentor teachers getting an attitude with the student over the assignments, like she made them up).

    The main thing to remember is that student teachers are just that, students. They're still learning.
     
  18. MisterG

    MisterG Comrade

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    I student taught last spring and this past school year was my first year teaching...

    Id say find out what the college school wants to do first. Then ask them what they want to do. My college had me observe for two weeks only...then I started teaching...each week adding more and more until I was fully student teaching for two months....then I slowly backed off until I was only teaching one subject a day. Feel free to let them run the classroom the way THEY see fit. See if they want to build a unit...what are your expecattions on them doing lesson plans? Might be a good idea to have them write some so they get used to it because it is a pain in the butt every week to do.
    Have the students understand that this teacher is in charge and that she can hand out punishments..etc. Encourage the student teacher to do this!!! I had a hard time at first disciplining her class...until she kept egging me on to lay the law down.

    ""One of the things my teacher did when I was a student was have a special hat - if he was wearing it then I was the one the students had to ask me for whatever they needed""
    I dont know if thats a good idea. Thats just going to make you look silly, and also probably break school rules if there is a hat policy. Also...students should be able to freely go up to the student teacher. They shouldnt be going to you if you arent teaching the lesson or if it is a question the student teacher is the one in charge. You need to give full responsibility to the student teacher.

    Provide feedback..saying "yeah...it was good" isnt good enough. WHen your principal comes in...they are looking for stuff you are doing AND NOT doing right. You should do the same...offer advice. Dont get mad at them if they ask the same question over and over again...espeicially if you have a loaded classroom full of stuff everywhere.

    At the very least...give her a desk or table for stuff. I ended up having a large desk and managed to still clutter it up with stuff.

    Also...they would probably love you forever (I know I would) if you gave them a copy of everything you did in the class. Maybe that means worksheets, ideas, units, themes...etc. I struggled so much because I didnt have the resoruces I needed my first year. As I student taught...I kept a copy for myself if there was extra...that helped alot.

    ""Allow her to experience more than just the academics part of school. Take her to falculty meetings, PTA, even let her sit in on a parent conference (if possible). Everything behind the scenes will give her a real feel for the school environment. Paperwork too.....""
    AMEN and a Half! This is sooooo important for student teachers to know how meetings go and all that, make them feel like part of the staff, because....they are.

    Also...this has been said before alittle bit...but talk to them...talk their flipping ears off....then put the ears back on and talk them off again. Give them as much advice as you can and give them stuff you have learned over the years about dealing with students, parents, administration...etc. Tell them where to avoid too...if that makes sense. I went with some other student teachers into the faculty room before school in the mornigns and my teacher said that wasnt a good idea because the 'whiners' would be in there. Some teachers go and use the faculty room as their 'whining' room and its true. Administrators can pick up on this and if they see the student teachers hanging out in there...who knows what they might think of the student teachers.

    Speaking of Administration...have the Student teacher meet with them, get to know them...thats important. And the janitors, and secretaries, and support staff...etc. Basically tell them everything that you wished you would know if you were in their shoes....

    Ok...im done, lol.
     
  19. IndyJo

    IndyJo Companion

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    A big thing that made my student teaching experience successful was that my CT included me in everything - asked my opinion, went to meetings, lead parent-teacher conferences. He really immersed me into really being a true teacher. When I got my own room, I felt so prepared because I had an authentic, not shielded experience.
     
  20. srh

    srh Devotee

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    My favorite thing from my last Master Teacher (MT) was that whenever I was doing a lesson, she would go to her computer and start typing! At first, I didn't know what she was doing, but she was giving me instant feedback, even typing in many of the actual things I was saying...it was so cool to get a "transcript" back with her comments interspersed. She did this unless she got interrupted, and I knew that she was really paying attention to what I had planned, to how I was executing the lesson, and to how the students were responding. Great idea...(and she always took time later to "clean up" her fast typing. You don't have to type 100wpm!!)
     
  21. mmeblue

    mmeblue Rookie

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    If you give the student teacher responsibilities, and she makes a decision that's different from what you would have done, PLEASE, talk with her instead of changing things with no warning. Talk things over with her, see if you can find out her reasons for making the choice she did, and if you feel you need to change the decision, explain why.

    I'm hesitant to get into details, since this is a public message board and anyone could read what I post. I didn't have a good experience because of conflict with my CT that neither of us handled well. We had different ideas about what education is all about, and they didn't work well together. If this happens with your student teacher, talk with her about it. If either my CT or I had been willing to start a conversation about our differences, things might have gone a lot better for both of us.
     
  22. jenglish97

    jenglish97 Devotee

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    thank you

    I want to thank everyone for all their great ideas and suggestions. I really do appreciate them. It really got me thinking of what I want to do with my student teacher this semester. I really want her experience to be one that she can say she really got somethings out of it. Thanks again... If you have anymore ideas, they would be great. :) :thanks:
     
  23. MisterG

    MisterG Comrade

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    Jul 29, 2005

     
  24. jenglish97

    jenglish97 Devotee

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    Jul 31, 2005

    :) Thanks for your valuable information. This has been helping me out.
     

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