How to freak out about impending student teacher in my room?

Discussion in 'General Education' started by TeachCafe, Dec 16, 2016.

  1. TeachCafe

    TeachCafe Comrade

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    Dec 16, 2016

    So I get a bomb dropped on me today that I will have a student teacher shadowing me January through April.

    My P said this was a good thing because my observation went so well an that the steudnet teacher can lear a lot from me.

    I come off extroverted becasue I am friendly but honesty, I pretty introverted and the wording of "where you go, she goes" has me freaking out.

    I have a coteach sped teacher daily and occasionally get a coteacher for modeled lessons. These are experienced, certified teachers so I'm comfortable.

    When we plan as a content team, we plan for the following went then go off and tweak it with our own style. I don't work with anyone hovering over me. I'm a loner in my processing becasue when others are around I get very little done because I'm focusing on them or a conversation starts and such. With STAAR season starting in January, a behavior issue/talking bunch of academically low students. I'm ready anticipating regression central come January since I've seen seeing a LOT of it just with the week off for Thanksgiving so 2 weeks can only be worse and honestly, testing season gets me stressed out as is and I feel like I'm going to be stressed even more having a student teacher in my room.

    It's like when I have a PD on campus and I'm still in my classroom grabbing stuff and my sub walks in. I have extremely detailed lesson plans and the sub is still needing to be walked through every little thing.

    How is this positive for me? I could just be focusing on the negative but it had me stressed all day. I searched her and found a thread from years ago with posters saying 'Oh my supervising teacher was SO welcoming! She had me a whole binder, etc" so I'm spending my Christmas break making stuff and creating a binder for my ST?

    How is this non-stressful and a good thing? She starts the day we come back for PD. She'll be in my P's words "with me everywhere when I go she goes...planning, PLC, etc". I know nothing on how this is to look, I wasn't asked it about it. I'm in my 3rd year of teaching. This groups is just as mentally exhausting as my autism class when I taught sped.

    I STILL have days where I sit in my room on my planning with my head down for a few minutes and cry and wig out then get my crap together and do what I need to do. I walk around my room talking to myself, talking out what needs to be done and what I need from this student and that and I don't want to be judged for being
    I still need to do that but here's someone encroaching on my space. The ideas seems claustrophobic for me. My P says to just be me becasue what I do I working but she doesn't see all. I handle more behavior stuff on my own than she knows because I won't have them thinking I need to call the office for every hissy fit like many do. My partner teacher and I both do this. We seem strong but we handle more stuff "in house" than they realize.

    I feel like I can't say no even though my said if I'm not okay with it she can be moved to a different teacher but I don't feel that's true.

    Am I freaking out over nothing? Is my normal just gone and I need to deal? Will she be on me like white on rice where I feel like I can't breath because I get up and she's following me around the building?
     
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  3. waterfall

    waterfall Maven

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    Dec 17, 2016

    I have a ST this year- for the full year! I also worried that it would drive me nuts having someone "in m space" all of the time. It's actually bothered me a lot less than I thought it would. I guess it would depend on their personality too. I get along well with mine, and I think she kind of instinctively knows not to be talking my ear off all of the time :). Especially at the beginning when I wasn't used to it yet, I used to say, "I'm going to go to Mrs. __________'s room for a minute because she has something she needs to tell me." Really I was just visiting a friend to get a little break!

    At first, it was overwhelming because I was spending all of my before/after school time, planning time, and lunch time talking/explaining things to her and felt like I was getting nothing done. I'm usually really good at using time wisely at school and not working much at home, and suddenly it would be the end of the day and I'd have absolutely nothing done. However, that only lasted for a few weeks. I taught her some basic clerical tasks right away and I'll often ask her to do those during planning, so I can actually get some of my own stuff done. I figure she doesn't need to know about every little thing right away (I realized after the first couple of weeks that I was probably overwhelming her and that she wasn't retaining anything), so I think sometimes it's okay to give her a task so I can get some things done. On our last work day I told her I was just going to catch up on paperwork and that she should just bring homework to do. Now that she's taking over some of the teaching, I actually have tons of extra planning time, so it more than makes up for those first few weeks when I was losing all of my planning/lunch time.

    I didn't make her a binder, and I don't think she is thinking, "Gee, I wish I had a binder..." My CT didn't do that for me and I didn't realize I was missing anything! I put out a little table and adult sized chair for her with a little set of Tupperware drawers next to it for her to use as a desk, and got a school mascot lanyard for her from the office. She was thrilled- no preparation needed.

    As far as benefits, here's what I've seen:
    -Of course I wasn't "phoning it in" before, but knowing that I have her watching me as a role model I've been extra careful to put in my absolute best and having extremely well thought out lessons 100% of the time. I think I've improved more as a teacher this year because I've had to be more reflective.
    -There is way more support for my kids with having two adults in the room. I can differentiate twice as much because we can split students up, and really high needs kids can get 1:1 support from her at times, which wouldn't be possible if it were just me. Even at the beginning before she's ready to really start doing some teaching, just having an extra pair of hands to walk around and help manage behaviors/keep kids on task would be really helpful, especially with your rough group!
    - I have much more planning time/time to get stuff done while she's teaching.
    - I don't have to write sub plans when I'm out because she can take over.
    - I got a pretty nice stipend for taking her (I realize this may not apply to you)

    That said, if you've thought about it and you truly don't want a ST, you should tell your P immediately. That's not fair to the ST. As a college student I did several field experiences in classrooms where the P had just signed up teachers for taking on a field experience student (sometimes without even informing them- they had no idea until I showed up) and those weren't good experiences. Luckily my CT for my full time student teaching wanted me. If you really aren't comfortable with this you shouldn't do it.
     
  4. miss-m

    miss-m Devotee

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    Dec 17, 2016

    Seconding everything in this post. I don't think your ST will *hover* as much as your P's wording made it sound. I was rarely "glued" to my CT when I student taught. It can also be really nice to have another body in the room, and it's a great opportunity for both of you to grow. If anything, having another person in the room may actually give you someone to bounce ideas off of and get more accomplished because you're brainstorming and processing with another human instead of wandering the room talking to yourself. ;)

    Also - just my 2 cents. If what you're doing is working, then you are a strong teacher in spite of what you see as "wigging out." You said you "Seem strong, but handle stuff in-house" - I'd say that's exactly what makes you a strong teacher. I'd be more worried if you sent every kid out of the room. The fact that you can handle behavior in class and still be an effective teacher makes you a really good candidate for being a CT.

    But if you absolutely can't handle the idea of having a ST and it's causing more stress and anxiety, then don't do it - it's not fair to the ST or you, and it will just add a lot of unneeded stress to your ST, who will likely already be decently overwhelmed.
     
  5. readingrules12

    readingrules12 Aficionado

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    Dec 17, 2016

    Sounds like you are upset how this was thrown on your lap. I can understand that. I do think in a kind way, you could let P know you'd prefer not to have a ST, but you better do it soon. Also, I would say it in such a way that if you must have a ST, you will make the best of the situation.

    Student Teachers are a bunch of work at first, but later they are less work as the semester goes on. Also, I have gotten so many ideas from them. Sure most of what they do are things that are lame or mistakes, but they do try out some neat ideas I wouldn't ever have thought of. I have found it is a great way to grow and it is a great way to have an impact on another teacher.

    Also, my Student teaching experience was that I was paired up with someone last minute who made it clear she didn't want a ST. She was incredibly unpleasant (to put it mildly) to me the entire semester. I like that I can make sure that a ST has a much better experience than mine. I suggest you make the best of this tough situation. "When life gives you lemons, make lemonade."
     
  6. mrsammieb

    mrsammieb Devotee

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    Dec 17, 2016

    I am exactly the same way! I like my own space. I have a YEAR LONG student teacher. It's weird at times. She doesn't ask a lot of questions. BUT she is very helpful. Her classes were over Dec. 5th but she's come in every day anyway. Which is nice. At times, I wish I could just tell her that I need to do stuff and she needs to leave. But I can't. You'll find your groove I am sure. And think of the extra help you'll get!
     
  7. Luv2TeachInTX

    Luv2TeachInTX Comrade

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    Dec 17, 2016

    One thing that may get you out of it.... I could have sworn I read somewhere that in TX you have been teaching for at least 5 years to take on a student teacher.
     
  8. Luv2TeachInTX

    Luv2TeachInTX Comrade

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    Dec 17, 2016

  9. Kenz501

    Kenz501 Cohort

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    Dec 18, 2016

    I don't know how it is for most student teachers, but I'm mildly autistic, and student teaching was one of the scariest things I ever did. I didn't know anything about teaching, but I didn't dare ask a lot of questions at first, for fear of looking ignorant or foolish. It would have helped a lot had my cooperating teacher guided me through the process of teaching and provided really clear and easy examples. As it stood, I was overwhelmed by all of the teaching strategies I learned in school and wasn't really sure what I was supposed to do or how real teaching was supposed to take place. I stumbled through my lessons, relied on the book too much, and had a pretty hard time with just basic stuff. I could have benefited tremendously from more structure instead of just stumbling through it. I would have loved it had my cooperating teacher written out some detailed lesson plans for me to follow along with him as he taught his lessons. I was trying to take in a lot, and it was hard to keep up. I couldn't really figure out what he was doing well enough to do it myself.
     
  10. McGonagall

    McGonagall Rookie

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    Dec 26, 2016

    Okay... well, let's start at the beginning.

    I'm new to these forums, fresh from my student teaching and deep into a long-term position already. As I just finished student teaching, I may have some unique perspective to give you.

    First thing is first: going into the classroom, I had VERY few expectations for my mentor teaching. Your student teacher is probably just as scared of the process as you are, and she or he does NOT want to step on your toes. I was with my mentor teaching for a year (an observational period from January - April, just once a week) and then full time from September-December. In the beginning, I TRULY stayed out of her way. I did NOT want to be up in her space, and I certainly did not want to harm HER success as the lead teacher.

    However, I was lucky and my mentor teacher did a LOT of things that made my experience well worth it. I was lucky and had one of the best student teaching experiences in the world, and a lot of that was due to my CT who made the atmosphere accessible and open. We shared the space, and we found ways to be flexible with each other. She shared her goals for the classroom, I shared mine, and we found a nice rhythm. I never hovered. She never set unrealistic expectations. Our students flourished.

    Some things that my CT did to help me:

    - Gave me my own space (so I did not have to hover around hers, or feel tentative when looking for materials or supplies). Give her a desk and maybe a set of drawers to keep things in and so she stays organized. It can be hard when you don't have your own space, and by giving your ST their own space, you are maintaining some of YOUR space for yourself.
    - Allowed me time in the classroom to become acquainted with the routine. I picked up on her classroom management fairly quickly because she did not throw me into teaching too quickly. She gave me time to get involved with the students, and started me off with smaller lessons and tasks that really didn't require a lot of planning (this helped me become comfortable with the students and the classroom)
    - Introduced me to other staff: this was a BIG one! By introducing me to other staff, I felt more comfortable and at ease leaving the "safety" of our classroom and being alone in the copy room and teachers lounge. As a student teacher, you feel lost in a foreign environment. Let's face it - schools have their niches and cliques, and nobody wants to step on toes. It is easy for a student teacher to become attached to their mentor teacher out of comfort, but by the end of my time there, I was on a first name basis with the whole staff and that started with introductions.
    - Kept the lines of communication open. I was afraid of stepping on toes, and I was certainly afraid to ask questions... in the beginning. But somehow, my CT knew this and approached topics at the beginning that ANY student teaching might have questions on... technology, grading, individualized plans for students, etc., The more we talked, the more I learned, and the less I had to rely on her later on in the semester.

    I never got a binder from my CT. I was okay without it. What made me successful - and by extension, my CT successful - was an open line of communication and an open, welcoming environment. Remember that your student teacher is there to learn, and she is probably just as afraid of the experience. Try to think back to your time student teaching... how did YOU feel? What did YOU want from the experience?

    Your student teacher may not be an experienced, certified teacher, but keep in mind that she or he has gone through (at a minimum) four years of education. They are new, yes, but they are not uneducated. Keep an open mind, and an open heart, and remember what you love about your job and share those moments with your charge.
     
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  11. Leaborb192

    Leaborb192 Enthusiast

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    Dec 26, 2016

    ,
     
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  12. McGonagall

    McGonagall Rookie

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    I went to a university where we were placed in a classroom every semester. I was with teachers that clearly did NOT want me there, and it didn't matter how willing I was to help, or how willing I was to just sit down and shut up (like they wanted me to). It all comes down to attitude. To be honest, my first classroom experience nearly knocked me out of the profession - I was lucky enough to be too stubborn to quit, and I ended up such a positive note.

    Be optimistic, positive and inviting.
     
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  13. Leaborb192

    Leaborb192 Enthusiast

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    ,
     
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  14. McGonagall

    McGonagall Rookie

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    It's such an important profession, and I personally think classroom teachers who accept student teachers or field students should be of a higher caliber than what is often offered... out of six fields and my student teaching, I had two that nearly knocked me down. Simply hated having another individual in the classroom, and made my three months or so pretty miserable.

    To the OP: if you truly, truly do not want a student teacher... don't make it obvious to the student teacher. Just do your best.
     
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  15. Kenz501

    Kenz501 Cohort

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    Dec 26, 2016

    I would just like to add, though, that even though we are taught a lot of strategies in college, it's not always easy to apply those strategies. It is CERTAINLY important to provide structure and answer the questions student teachers don't ask.
     
  16. vickilyn

    vickilyn Multitudinous

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    Dec 27, 2016

    I would like to think that by now OP has found out how NOT to freak out about having a student teacher, but I would say that if she is still freaking out and dreading this assignment, I would hope she refuses the position. My son had a Music CT who HATED giving any control of the class to anyone, and it was a semester of hell. He came away from that placement shaken, lacking confidence, essentially bullied by the CT. She has now been taken off the roster of potential CT's, but my son can never get that semester or experience back. I understand the comment about appearing extroverted while actually being somewhat introverted, but that should not become someone else's problem. Please, be honest and give the ST a chance to learn and feel appreciated.

    I have had to accept new teachers into my school who have never worked with students like ours, and I find it taxing, not fun. However, this will probably become a teacher that I will work beside, so I do my best to bring these new hires up to speed on the whys and the wherefores of our system and what we are looking for. I am not always a best friend, but I have walked away wiser for what these new employees were able to share with me. Because I do remember the horrible experience that my son suffered through, I would excuse myself if I was unable to interact meaningfully with the new teachers. It is a hard job, and our students can be trying (understatement). I don't ever want to be a stumbling block for someone when they are truly trying.

    My son went on to earn his MEd. in ESL, with a ST experience. Very different teacher, warm and inviting, went out of her way to include my son in the total semester experiences. My son is quick to tell others how much she influenced his teaching style, how she helped him become a confident ESL teacher. As a mother, I am grateful every day for that CT, as it helped make my son the teacher he is today.

    Just a thought. . .
     
    Last edited: Dec 27, 2016
  17. Kenz501

    Kenz501 Cohort

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    I had a similar experience to your son as an ST. Look, I get that it's probably really difficult to train a student teacher while handling a disruptive class. It might even be tempting to push him or her into the background and resign them to taking notes in the corner, grading papers, or tutoring, but the student teacher is looking to you to help him or her learn how to be a confident teacher. There are a few things you can do to keep everything professional and respectful.

    Make sure you have control of your classroom. If you can't get your kids to sit down, pay attention, and do what you tell them to do, you shouldn't have a student teacher. If you do have control of the classroom, gradually transfer a little discipline responsibility to the student teacher; your students have to respect your student teacher like they would you, and a student teacher needs to learn how and when to discipline students. Classroom management was my biggest issue when I was left alone in a classroom. You shouldn't put your student teacher through this.

    Please do not point out that your student teacher is like your students in appearance or actions; this will kill their confidence. I had a cooperating teacher once who refused to give me much control at all. I ended up looking like a student; she didn't allow me much more control than she allowed her students, and even though she probably wasn't intentionally trying to belittle me, I felt like that's what she did. Your student teacher might immediately go back to remembering the way it was for them when they were students, and the first thing you need to do is help the student teacher feel welcome and build confidence, and you build confidence by giving up control and communicating to the students, verbally and non-verbally, that the student teacher has your authority in the classroom. Please, don't use the "tiger mom" approach here; student teachers need to have their confidence built, and they need to feel like they know what they are doing. You need to set them up for success and show them how to be several steps ahead of cocky disrespectful students.

    Don't focus on academics with an ST. If your student teacher isn't sure how to present a concept, work on presentation. Chances are the student teacher already knows the content. Most of the classes, if their preparation program was similar to mine, deal with content. What they may not know is how to effectively present said content, how to interact with students, and how to deal with sass and other behavior issues. (Treating the student teacher like a child and not interacting with them and incorporating them into the class environment (as a fellow adult--give them power over students!) may directly undermine their authority in the classroom, causing students to disrespect them and give them a hard time.)

    Please, resist the urge to treat your student teacher like your student. Make an effort to give them much more respect than your students. Don't scold them roughly if they make a mistake while presenting the lessons. Laugh it off, and help your student teacher make a workable plan! I remember how defeated I felt when I presented a half-finished Power Point, and my CT thought I didn't have sufficient content knowledge because of it. That was really humiliating. Please don't do that to your student teacher. Forgive even glaring errors, and just help them work through it. Some STs may not possess the "super-human" planning and organizing skills seasoned teachers have. Show them how; don't just feed them to the wolves.

    Talk to your student teacher and find out what they consider their strengths and weaknesses. Help them play toward their strengths and build on their weaknesses. Ask them to come up with solutions that they think might help, and be willing to go a little "out of your way" to help your ST. (For some reason, I had a huge issue presenting my lessons. I guess it made me look like I didn't know my content, but that wasn't the issue at all. I would have benefited a lot from being able to present in front of my CT instead of being humiliated by her students.)
     
  18. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Dec 27, 2016

    If you don't want a ST, tell your P you'd really rather not. I can't believe a ST would just be assigned to you! I have had 5 STs and volunteered each time because I love what we do and energized by coaching/mentoring. The last experience was this fall, ST was in my class from day 1 thru beginning of December and while I volunteered for a ST, it was a terrible placement. My ST had no idea how to teach, listened to but didn't learn from feedback, taught incorrect concepts, and is probably on the spectrum which made communication difficult at best. Had this placement been 'dropped in my lap' it would have just made the experience worse
     
  19. Kenz501

    Kenz501 Cohort

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    I'm on the autism spectrum, and I would advise the OP to listen to the above post. Apparently, we need special accommodations to be successful. We're intelligent, but we need a lot of guidance, like I remember I would have been happy had my CT just written me a script to follow at first. If you can't help us feel comfortable, we probably won't perform well. I had plenty of less than cooperative cooperating teachers; please, don't become a CT if you aren't ready to find out what your ST needs to be successful and are willing to give it to him or her. Some of us have issues just like your students do, and you need a lot of patience with us. If it seems like we're ignoring your instructions, maybe you weren't clear enough. At times, we require coaching and guidance like your students do. If you aren't willing to listen to your ST's perspective and try to give him or her a leg up, don't bother.

    Regarding communication issues, sometimes explaining isn't enough. You need to provide clear examples and honest feedback. Allow your ST to text or email you; written communication can be more specific and detailed and easier to understand. Explain to them exactly what you think he or she did wrong and how he or she could do better next time. Chances are your ST is terrified and doesn't know how to respond to the environment. You have to ease your ST in gradually, (work on classroom management first) and, yes, you do have to coach them on how to teach, sometimes from the very beginning. I'm sorry if this was something that was supposed to covered in the teacher preparation program; I can tell you from experience that it wasn't covered thoroughly in the program I attended, and I think that's probably the overall case now. You should do what you can to bridge the gaps, even if you have to walk them through the teaching process as if you were training one of your students to teach. I'm sorry, but I feel we are not responsible for our deficits, as most of us probably aren't aware of them until we start working in a classroom. Most of us, though, I would guess, are eager to learn and don't want to be a hindrance, though.
     
    Last edited: Dec 27, 2016
  20. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Dec 27, 2016

    Thanks for your insight, Kenz. In the case of my ST, she admitted to not being ready for her own classroom. Her college offered to pull her from the placement after a month when her supervisor realized how difficult this was (and further conversations with the director of her placement revealed that while book smart, my ST had left a trail of unintended consequences behind her at her college with professors who found her off putting, communication that came off as rude and disrespectful, etc) So while I felt for my ST and wanted the best for her, my ultimate responsibility was my class of twenty kiddos whose learning I wasn't going to have compromised. This would have been an even worse situation had she been 'dropped in my lap'
     
    Last edited: Dec 27, 2016
  21. Kenz501

    Kenz501 Cohort

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    If I ever get enough experience to get a student teacher, I think I know exactly what I'll do.

    First, I would want the student teacher to get used to the students. I would want him or her to learn how to spot misbehavior and quell it quickly. I would want to do this by giving the student teacher a list of examples of student misbehavior and the approaches I take to keep it low. Of course, I wouldn't expect the student teacher to discipline my students right now, but I would want him or her to know what good discipline looks like and what goes on "behind the scenes" to keep the classroom like that. During this time, I would probably also give the student teacher some basic menial tasks, like running copies, grading papers, and entering grades in the grade book. (My cooperating teachers didn't cover one page of classroom management strategy with me, and I wish they would have.)

    After I was confident my student teacher understood what I expected of my students, how I got it that way, and what I do to maintain it, I would probably start small and introduce the pacing guide, lesson plan writing, and effective teaching strategies. I would probably re-write one of my lesson plans in the college's preferred format and teach it in front of the student teacher to give him or her an idea of what the descriptions and terms mean. (For example, TSW: identify adjectives. Strategy: cycle of instruction, small group discussion. Materials: paper, pencils, worksheets, manipulatives. Vocabulary: adjective. Method: the teacher will introduce the word "adjective" to the students as "a word or group of words used to describe nouns." Adjectives usually answer the question "how many?" or "what kind?" Students will give several examples of adjectives using the "describe yourself" oral activity. Students will then be asked to write about themselves using the worksheet provided.) During this time, I would want the student teacher to sit at a "teacher desk" and take notes, carefully labeling and outlining the parts of the lesson plan being covered during the lesson. After papers were collected, I would want to give the student teacher the responsibility of grading them and of entering the grades into the computer. This way, the student teacher would get hands-on experience with grading student papers and working out a lesson plan from beginning to end.

    Later, after about a day or so of getting my student teacher used to what a workable lesson plan looks like when taught, I would want to give the student teacher a copy of another pre-made lesson plan and ask the student teacher to develop a lesson of his or her own to teach. During a planning session at the beginning of the day, I would want the student to go over the lesson with me so that I could help him or her with any confusing parts. (One major pitfall I had as a student teacher was trying to cram complex activities into the plan to make the thing look good on paper. Unfortunately, these lesson plans were often not usable. I learned that less is more; lesson plans should be kept simple. In fact, it might even be a good idea to let beginners work backwards, teaching first using a pre-made lesson to get the feel of it and then writing the lesson plan later.)

    Whatever responsibility I give to the student teacher, I would want to not take away for any reason unless the plan wasn't working. If the student teacher froze in front of the class and was unable to continue, I would want to be able to jump in with my back-up plans, but if the student teacher was doing okay, I would want to continue to relinquish control of my classroom to the student teacher.

    During planning that week, I would want to introduce the student teacher to other intricacies of teaching, including how to consult the pacing guide or standards list for the lesson, how to prepare a unit plan using Bloom's Taxonomy, how to prepare a weekly plan, and how to prepare a daily plan with two or three measurable goals. I would also want to cover how to prepare and grade tests and quizzes and which websites to use to develop helpful rubrics or provide early finishers or students who needed remediation with additional related assignments. I would want to keep Bloom's Taxonomy terms simple and limit the student teacher to using pre-written sentences to easily describe simple lesson plans.

    The student teacher's assignment for that week would be to develop a unit plan, break it into a weekly plan, and break the unit plan into daily lesson plans with easy measurable goals that incorporate simple learning strategies, like direct instruction and small group instruction.

    I would want to continue to work with the student teacher until I was confident that the student teacher understood how I ran my classroom and what my expectations were. Once I was confident the student teacher would run things correctly and go through the daily routines with ease and understanding, I would sit in the background a little more and allow the student teacher more control of the classroom, including discipline. I would want to do this by asking the student teacher his or her opinion on what I should do with misbehaving students, based on the information I gave the student earlier. The student teacher would be asked to follow my classroom management plan with disruptive students (step one: give students a non-specific verbal warning--"boys and girls, there is too much talking," step two: speak to the offending student(s) in private--"bobby and sue, I know you are talking, you need to pay attention or take time off from P.E / recess." step three: bobby and sue, I'm sorry, I gave you a chance, you are getting ten minutes off of P.E. / recess,")

    I would want my student teacher to continue controlling my classroom, asking me for help and tips along the way if necessary, as long as things went well. If things stopped going so well in certain areas, I would want to stop, back up, and help my student teacher clear up any misunderstandings.
     
  22. Kenz501

    Kenz501 Cohort

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    Dec 27, 2016

    I agree. I think there should be a pre-student teaching screening process to help weed out those who need to work on communication and presentation. Think about it, it may not just be an issue for ASD sufferers, it could also be an issue for people from other countries and sufferers of various disabilities. If their experience was as frustrating as mine, I think they could have benefited from a few extra steps to help with the communication issues. If a student clearly lacks the skills needed to do well during student teaching, that student should be provided extra training by his or her school so that those issues won't interfere. For instance, a student teacher with a communication or presentation problem could be allowed to give presentations in front of his or her peers and professor first, then allowed to give practice lessons in front of teachers who volunteer, gradually working his or her way up to presenting in front of actual kids without confusing or upsetting them. I think the "sink-or-swim" approach is ineffective preparation for today's new teachers. A lot of issues could be lessened, if not alleviated, by targeting areas that student teachers need to work on (such as organization and preparation).
     
    Last edited: Dec 27, 2016
  23. McGonagall

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    Dec 27, 2016

    There needs to be more than just student teaching... I am very confused by other university requirements.

    At my university, we were in a classroom every single semester that we were enrolled in the education program. I visited five different schools before beginning my year-long. From first field placement to last, my requirements varied and increased in difficulty. For example, in my first field placement, I was largely in an observational role (though I was placed in a reading specialist classroom and did take on some of the groups). As I continued through the program, I was required to start teaching lessons and conduct different research (such as writing conferences, running records, etc.,) that corresponded to my course work. Each field placement required 40 hours during the semester.

    My year-long was my student teaching placement. I interviewed for the position with the teacher adn was accepted. Then, I do one semester like a "normal" field student - observing, teaching a lesson here or there, and completing necessary course work (I was enrolled in my reading methods course and therefore was working on different literacy techniques). Then, after a semester, I began student teaching officially. I took on one subject a week, independently taught for a minimum of five weeks, and then "weened off" to give control back to the teacher.

    In comparison, the student teacher in the classroom next door had seen one classroom, 2.5 years prior, when she had started her education program.

    She was great, too, but there was a difference.
     
  24. Kenz501

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    Dec 27, 2016

    I agree. The more classroom experience you get, the better you do. An ideal teacher preparation program would have freshmen doing some pre-student teaching exercises (observations, grading, and tutoring), sophomores doing lesson planning and small group tutoring, juniors doing traditional student teaching, and seniors running their own test classrooms. Even content knowledge should be taught within the context of teaching it to someone else. Education students should also be required to substitute teach or work as teachers' aides a few days a week during most of their undergraduate experience. They need to know what they're getting into.
     
  25. McGonagall

    McGonagall Rookie

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    Dec 27, 2016

    I disagree with the last part of your statement. While it would be IDEAL for students to work as substitute teachers or as teachers aides, it simply is not realistic. I have been fortunate to work with children in the professional capacity throughout my undergraduate degree...however, this was only possible because it was an after-school program for a youth development organization. My courses were during the school day, and it would not have been possible for me to have a paying job during the normal K-12 school hours and be successful at school.

    I worked non-stop throughout my undergraduate but I was lucky to work within my field in some capacity. Not everyone is so lucky. You've gotta work to get through college, and while it would be great if everyone could work (and get paid a decent wage working in their field) not everyone can, and it would be unfair of a university to require that.

    Field work is sufficient. It would be awesome to get paid for it, but where would that money come from? I did my 40+ hours a semester. I benefited and suffered. Anymore and I would have drowned.
     
  26. Kenz501

    Kenz501 Cohort

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    Dec 27, 2016

    You are right, perhaps, but if it were volunteer work, part of a work-study, or something the colleges paid a small stipend for, I don't think the students would have trouble finding positions as teachers' aides. Of course, there might be protest from those who use those jobs to make a living wage, but maybe they could work something out (like offering the students positions as aides to regular education teachers, where aides would usually only be assigned to the classroom with students with special needs). Small group tutoring would also be a pretty good way to get into a school, but tutoring and teaching are often different, as the tutor isn't responsible for the classroom.
     
    Last edited: Dec 27, 2016

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