How many classes did you student teach? (student teaching only 2 class periods)

Discussion in 'Student & Preservice Teachers' started by Cakester710, Feb 1, 2020.

  1. Cakester710

    Cakester710 New Member

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    ...and I feel like I'm not doing enough, especially compared to the experiences I'm seeing in these forums. My CT teaches both AP and on-level US History. I took over the on-level sections (2 of them), and we "co-teach" AP, but I seldom do anything beyond walking around/talking with students about their work.

    Only giving me 2 classes has given me a chance to be really intentional about my lessons + has enabled me to build strong relationships with the on-level students. However, I feel like my experience is somehow inferior to others who had to take over all of their CT's classes completely. Is/was anyone else in a similar situation to me?

    Thank you!
     
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  3. rpan

    rpan Cohort

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    I took on my CTs full load of classes (4 classes). Everything from lesson plans to marking to ringing parents for behaviour. Basically everything she did on a day to day basis, I did. It was so overwhelming and I had to learn so much in such a short space of time but on hindsight it really prepared me for being a teacher. I got a first hand taste of a teachers workload and everything a teacher did.
    Nowadays student teachers don’t take on as much. I know that because I am a CT from time to time. It’s doing them a disservice. STs need to know if they can or want to handle everything that being a teacher entails.
     
  4. swansong1

    swansong1 Virtuoso

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    I think that the state of high stakes testing in today's' educational climate has affected traditional student teaching. When many of us older folks were doing our student teaching, we were able to take over completely in the classroom. That allowed us to develop the necessary skills to jump in right away when we got our first job.

    Unfortunately, that doesn't seem possible in many schools now. The testing preparation is too important to allow "just" a student teacher to take over the class. Either the CT is afraid to give up control because their scores may not be so high, or the school itself is hesitant.

    This is actually a valid concern for many teachers whose jobs depend upon adequate scores. So, this means some new teachers really don't get the preparation that makes them confident and competent to succeed in their own classroom.

    OP, if you are one of the teachers that are being affected by these policies, just try to get as much out of the experience as you can and don't fret about the things you are not allowed to do. Do you have meetings with other student teachers in your consort where you can swap stories and ideas? Don't be afraid to keep posting for advice here now and when you get your first job. There are so many excellent teachers here who willing share their advice to help young teachers starting their careers. Good luck!
     
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  5. Cakester710

    Cakester710 New Member

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    Thank you for the insight! I know the situation is largely out of my control, but I still sometimes resent my peers who are having a more "authentic" experience. My CT has some of the highest AP scores in the district, which is why (she was honest about this last fall) she doesn't want to give me total control over those classes. It just seems like everyone else is having the experience of teaching all day, which makes me nervous that I am underprepared for this fall.

    I asked my CT for more responsibility in AP, so I am going to start facilitating more discussions and teaching a few full classes beginning next week. I've been excelling in my on-level classes, so she trusts that I'll do a good job. However, it doesn't feel as natural as in on-level, when on day 1 it was established that I will be the primary teacher for the spring.

    I'm hoping to find someone else who is having/has had a similar experience, with a CT who doesn't want to give up control.

    Thank you so much for your advice! I do enjoy the fact that I am able to still have a social life/participate in on-campus events as a second semester senior.
     
  6. Ima Teacher

    Ima Teacher Maven

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    I had one week observing, then added a class each week. I was not allowed to take the AP class. Three freshman classes. One junior senior journalism class. One AP English.

    I did that with my student teachers except one. We did a pilot of coteaching model. I liked it much better, and so did the teacher.
     
  7. vickilyn

    vickilyn Multitudinous

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    AP classes are very high stakes classes, and most experienced and licensed teachers essentially shadow experienced AP teachers for a year before taking over these classes, or at least the passing the baton and power situations I have witnessed in science classes. I believe that OP is being presumptuous to think that she, a student teacher, should be allowed to teach one of these high value courses. OP is being given a front row seat, however, to watch a very successful teacher in action, and should not confuse observing a master teacher in action with doing nothing. OP should consider how "wonderful" she might feel if students who are highly invested in earning college credit through taking AP classes didn't score high enough on the AP exam to earn that credit because they were being taught by a student teacher. Sorry, I don't think that a student teacher has any business teaching an AP class. If you want to teach AP classes, graduate, prove yourself, convince admin that you are a strong enough teacher for the job through your evaluations and teaching record, go to the AP training, shadow another AP teacher for a year, and then get eased into the class as the full teacher.

    Your teacher isn't guilty of not wanting to give up control for no reason. Your teacher is honoring the commitment she legally has to assure the AP students a teaching level that will allow those students the opportunity to be successful in college level material while still in HS. If you don't understand the difference, then you are definitely not the ST who I would let teach an AP class.

    I guess the question I would have for OP would be this: How many AP classes did you take while in HS, and how many of them were taught by ST? If you say lots of them, well, I wouldn't find that anywhere near typical, and I would question that, because I've never seen even one.
     
    Last edited: Feb 1, 2020
  8. Cakester710

    Cakester710 New Member

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    This insight is extremely helpful. I did take several AP classes in high school, and all were taught by seasoned teachers. It has been extremely formative to watch my cooperating teacher facilitate discussions in AP, and I do understand that teaching AP classes requires a level of comfortability with content and pedagogy that I do not have as as student teacher. I didn't mean to come across as entitled to all of my CT's classes (AP or not), I just feel as though I will not experience what it's like to to teach bell to bell or be responsible for 160+ students prior to entering the classroom this fall, and I'm worried that will be to my detriment.
     
  9. swansong1

    swansong1 Virtuoso

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    Makes me wonder why student teachers are assigned to teachers with AP classes. If the ST doesn't have the experience of taking over completely, how can they be adequately prepared for the rigors of their own classroom?
     
  10. Ima Teacher

    Ima Teacher Maven

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    I’ll have to say that teaching three freshman English classes, co-teaching one journalism class, and watching the AP class was adequate for student teaching.

    Nothing truly prepares you for your own classroom. It’s a whole different ballgame once it is all up to you.
     
  11. vickilyn

    vickilyn Multitudinous

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    OP, many ST have teachers who are OK, but not the kind of master teachers that most AP course teachers have become. You are getting a rare chance to learn from such a teacher in a way that few ST get to experience. You get to ask the why, how, and when of the AP course, dissecting what she teaches and how she teaches the course. You will not have to worry about making mistakes in the AP class, but will have the advantage of making sure you understand how things are done. The courses you are taking over will walk you through the bells and whistles, but most teachers would give a lot to have your experience in working beside a highly rated and effective AP teacher. I think that only better ST are allowed to work with a CT who teaches high caliber AP courses. Hope that helps put things in perspective.
     

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