How was your ST experience?

Discussion in 'General Education' started by Danny'sNanny, Apr 9, 2009.

  1. Danny'sNanny

    Danny'sNanny Connoisseur

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    Apr 9, 2009

    Wonderful? Terrible?

    I am finishing up mine, but it was a really rough semester. Yes, I made some mistakes and learned I had some weak areas. But also, I really felt that my CT was unsupportive. Now that I'm pretty much done, I'm being told that maybe I should re-consider looking for my own classroom next semester, and I'm freaking out!

    I need to hear some stories from those of you who had rough experiences, learned from it, got your own classroom and made it work!
     
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  3. TeachOnTheBeach

    TeachOnTheBeach Rookie

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    Apr 9, 2009

    I'm sorry what is ST?
     
  4. Jem

    Jem Aficionado

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    Apr 9, 2009

    ST-student teaching

    Mine was weird. I was with my teacher in the fall for observations, and then she took me for the winter as a student teacher... because she was pregnant. She spent most of the semester in the lounge, chatting and literally putting her feet up. That was FINE with me, as I loved being able to have the freedom. I felt really comfortable, but my ST was def. moody and PREGNANT. She left in March, and I took over the class for the rest of the year. So where as she wasn't critical of me, she was def. moody and non-existent.

    One of my saving graces AND downfalls is that I don't care much what other people think. So if someone told me I should think about another career, I would probably think 'f you' and walk out. But that's also very bad, because that's also what I think when people are trying to give me constructive criticism....
     
  5. FarFromHome

    FarFromHome Connoisseur

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    Mine was pretty good. I student taught in junior high and high school music (vocal), and then in a second grade regular elementary class. There were some situations that were tough, but I made it through fine.

    You learn a lot in student teaching, but it is still not really able to prepare you for your first year of teaching. You will learn so much more doing it on your own. In student teaching you are going into someone else's class. You will have your own class, and it will be completely different. You can set things up in your own way that will bring the most success.
     
  6. kimrandy1

    kimrandy1 Enthusiast

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    Apr 10, 2009

    Way back when I did st, we did two experiences of 8 weeks each. My first was in a KDG classroom with an excellent teacher - she was a hard worker and dedicated to the kids, and she expected no less of her student teacher. I mean, we had planning sessions that started right after school (3:30 PM) and lasted until 9 or later. One of the great things about her is that she refused to let me fail (or let a lesson I was teaching flounder). As we planned, and as we talked, she offered a lot of "what if x happens while you're teaching, what would you do?" and "have you thought about x?" She made me reflect and turn things all around before actually teaching anything - even a readaloud.

    My second 8 weeks was with a 1st grade classroom, the teacher had surgery my 2nd week and they thought, since I was already there, they'd not get a sub. I did weeks 2-5 alone, no sub plans or anything. And since the surgery was not planned, I didn't even have an inkling of what the teacher was going to plan for the upcoming weeks. All of her guides were at home with her, and she wouldn't let me come and get them. The other first grade teachers helped me somewhat, but they needed their own guides, so they wouldn't let me take them home, either. I had to try to figure out discipline, planning and assessment all on my own - and during the school day while I was actually trying to teach, since I had no access to curriuculum at home. And, of course, report cards came out during week 6, and the teacher thought I should do them, since I'd spent so much time teaching the kids for 3 weeks, and I knew them well by then. Oh, and of course, I had to fully plan for and teach week 7 and 8, becasuse those were the original weeks I was supposed to teach to pass the st experience.
    I honestly have no idea what kind of teacher she was because I only saw her for 2 weeks of the whole experience.

    And after that, she gave me a mediocre rating on my st. She said I wasn't good at stepping up and doing what needed to be done without an excessive amount of guidance from her.

    Kim
     
  7. Canadian Gal

    Canadian Gal Habitué

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    Apr 10, 2009

    I had 4 different ST experiences, because that's how things are done in Saskatchewan. We started with 7 half days of observation with a partner, and we teach one lesson.

    I did that with someone who had taught me, which was supposedly not allowed, but it happened somehow. While my partner got to teach a lesson in her major (Math) I was basically ordered to teach a Core French lesson because I speak French - despite the fact that it was neither my major or minor.

    My partner was pretty unexperienced in working with kids and it showed - she taught a pre-algebra lesson and had the kids so confused at the end of it (she didn't explain what a variable was and only used x and y as examples so when the kids saw questions with other letters they were lost), so it wasn't that hard to shine.

    My mini-lesson, which was supposed to take only 15 minutes, took the entire Core French period, which blew my CT away to the point that he went and got the P to watch. It was a great experience.

    In my second experience, where we taught 10 mini lessons while being at the school 10 half days with a partner, I taught a little bit of everything and my CT wasn't really that memorable. My partner and I had to teach lessons with specific classroom management targets and the only thing I remember about the whole experience was that my CT was impressed by the fact that I was easily able to adjust my diction to my students' level.

    My third experience was a three week block at the high school and we were in groups of five. We were each supposed to teach one class for two weeks, however, I was sent on my own to a third Social Studies teacher for some reason - I can't remember exactly why. For my minor I was also sent to another gym teacher, mainly because she wanted a unit in a sport that I competed in in University.

    It was my saving grace that I was sent to teach with someone else. Two of the CTs were AWFUL. I ended up working with a good guy who helped me grow a lot, and gave me a lot of help and advice.

    My 15 week long experience was with the same CT as my 3 week experience. It took place a couple of semesters later (3 actually) because they couldn't find me a city placement the first time around and I was unwilling to leave the city for my internship.

    My experience was great - I got to work with three teachers and was allowed a ton of freedom to try new things. Only once did my CT really have anything to say about something I did that didn't work, which I took really hard at the time (I gotten used to being a shinning star so to speak) but I've since learned that sometimes things just don't work, and you have to be prepared to re-teach material if the kids don't get it the first time around. So yeah, ST was wonderful for me, though it didn't completely prepare for having my own classroom!

    Especially since teachers in the division I STed in got an hour of prep time a day, and I've always worked in divisions where we get about 3 to 4 40 minute preps in a 6-day cycle. That hour of prep time is wonderful and it sucks not to get that much time!
     
  8. loves2teach

    loves2teach Enthusiast

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    Apr 10, 2009

    I was really blessed to have 2 very experienced teachers (together, they had 50+ years of teaching experience). They were both great examples. I work with one of them today, and she is such an inspiration to me.

    Now, as far as mentoring student teachers... I have had some great ones, and a dud. The dud makes me not want to have student teachers in my room anymore, but I will- my thinking is if someone took me in- I should take someone in. Hopefully the summer will change my thinking too :) Time always does for me.
     
  9. Crzy_ArtTeacher

    Crzy_ArtTeacher Comrade

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    Apr 10, 2009

    I had two placements in ST, one was in elementary with a jaded teacher that had been doing it way too long. While she wasn't a horrible teacher, you could just tell that she was unhappy.

    My second placement was amazing, it was the high school level in a more rural setting with no real behavior issues. It was fantastic and the teacher was quite young, late twenties so she was fantastic to relate to and laid back.
     
    Last edited: Apr 10, 2009
  10. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Apr 10, 2009

    Wow! My main ST experience was in a Title One, urban school. I was in a trailer with the cooperating teacher- sharing that small space. My cooperating teacher was great- it was the end of the year so she finished her assessments and let me have at it under her guidance. Many educational/family/emotional issues in the class- I saw a lot and learned a lot. So different than where I teach now- suburban, high income district with many resources for teachers and kids. I'm thankful everyday for where I am and for the great experiences and education I enjoyed on my journey to where I am.

    I've mentored 4 student teachers and several new colleagues. I aim to give them the 'space and freedom' they need to try out new things in a safe, non-judgemental climate while at the same time trying to guide them, teach them, push their thinking in what they are doing, the decisions they make...:angel:
     
  11. GoldenPoppy

    GoldenPoppy Habitué

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    Apr 10, 2009

    My ST was wonderful. I worked with a 6th Grade teacher my first placement and she was willing to give me as much or as little help as I needed. I had already taught for 5 years in a Montessori school, so I felt ready to jump right in. The plan was that we were to observe, teach a few lessons, then manage the class on our own the last 2 weeks. I took over on the 3rd day and never looked back. My CT was very strong at unit development and she was great at looking over my lesson plans and making suggestions to strengthen them.

    My second placement was in kindergarten and my CT was the woman who had been my kindergarten teacher. That was very cool. I learned a great deal from her about assessment. I loved working with Mrs. J, but after being in her class, I knew that working with the older kids was where I would be best.
     
  12. adventuresofJ

    adventuresofJ Comrade

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    Apr 10, 2009

    Looking back on it... I didn't learn anything from my CT. At one point she stopped me in the middle of a lesson to criticize. I'm sure this was a harder placement though - I'm certified for high school social studies and was in a lower grade LA/SS classroom. I was always over time... I received no help planning... I did have a good example to what not to do.. Almost nothing was ever explained and when it was there was NO detail or the same thing was repeated over and over... I was expected to be a mind reader. She also went straight by the book - its a terrible book - so i struggled to find things that were exciting - incorporated other subjects... The kids have their hands held and have no responsibility, they are not taught responsibility...
     
  13. cjven

    cjven Rookie

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    Apr 10, 2009

    I ST in the spring with 10th grade World History and my CT was retiring that year. He was very knowledgable of the content area but very boring. He would get up in front of the class and write three things on the board, talk for 40 minutes and then assign the section review questions.

    Needless to say that anything I did was better than that. After a week of observation, we co-taught for a week and then by the third week the class was mine. The transition was difficult because the students were already familiar with his policies and since we co-taught a week of lessons I forced to work like him.

    After my first few weeks he would just read in social studies office and I rarely saw him. He did give me an excellent recommendation, however!
     
  14. sumnerfan

    sumnerfan Comrade

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    Apr 10, 2009

    nonexistant
     
  15. RainStorm

    RainStorm Phenom

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    Apr 10, 2009

    I really enjoyed my ST, but I have always felt I would have done fine as a teacher with or without it. My first placement was in K -- a grade I never wanted to teach, because with my disability it is just too hard physically for me. (If the fire alarm goes off during nap time, I can't bend over to get the little ones up and that scared me!) My CT was old school, a "scolder" rather than a nurturer, and had one face for the parents (nice and sweet) and another in the classroom. She totally favored the cute girls, and had no patience for rowdy boys (which was all of them.) She basically looked at having a ST as a free worker, and gave me a long list of posters she wanted me to make (for her classroom) and some that had faded over the years that she wanted me to remake for her. I complied with a smile, worked hard, learned many things I didn't want to do as a teacher, and moved on to my second 8-week placement.

    My second placement was overage or behavior-disordered 5th grade at an inner city public housing school (meaning all of the students in the school lived in the surrounding public housing park.) It was overcrowded, smelly, roach and mouse infested, with no usable technology. Every student received free or reduced priced lunch. Every parent was on welfare. I worked for a CT who was 1 year from retirement, very, very old school, and who had volunteered to take these particular group of kids. While she clearly cared for the kids, she did things that made me shudder. (She punished kids by putting them in the "low group" for reading! She made students sit in their reading groups -- so all the low students were "over there" and all the middle students were in another group, etc.) I will also say that she had an impossible class, and somehow she made it work. These were kids that threw chairs in music class, turned the tables ove rin art class, and had been banned from orchestra for destroy8ing some of the violins. One child had full-blown aids (her mother had died of it 2 years prior.) Several ended up homeless during the time I wa there (which is hard to do when you live in public housing!) Somehow, she kept all those students, who had been kicked out of regular classrooms for absolutely outlandish and threatening behavior, in order and made them behave. She kept them in line. They knew she cared about them.

    From the first day I walked into the room, she treated me as an equal (not as some free labor.) We basically just split up the work. I took some reading groups, she took others. She did the lessons for some subjects, I did them for others. She taught some, and I taught some. When she wasn't teaching, she was planning, or working with a struggling student. She never just sat. While I hated some things she did (like putting kids in the "low group" to punish them...) she certainly taught me how to control an incredibly rough group of kids. She was open to my ideas, and let me try things. She was positive and supportive. She wanted me to succeed.
     
  16. frogger

    frogger Devotee

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    Apr 10, 2009

    I wouldn't judge teaching on your ST experience at all.

    Mine was okay - the teacher was nice but she didn't include me in a lot of stuff like planning or meetings which was good and bad - good because she let me leave about 20 minutes after the kids left but bad because I think I missed out on a lot of the other side of teaching that we don't know about.
     
  17. Go 4th

    Go 4th Habitué

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    Apr 10, 2009

    Mine was terrible. I ended up being moved to another class before it was over with. We are just VERY different people and have VERY different teaching styles. She did tell me that I shouldn't be a teacher. She didn't like any lesson I did or anything I did with any of the students--even swinging with them on the playground was wrong. I honestly lost a lot of my confidence because of her. For the first few weeks of school I dreamed of her every night. It was just an awful experience. She wouldn't even talk to me unless someone else was around. ACK!!

    Anyway--it did make me question a lot at the start of this year. I was very scared that what she said was true and that tends to be a motivator at times for me. I was upfront with my P and AP and let them know that my experience wasn't wonderful. I asked them both to do eval's as soon as they could, and even asked the lit coach and the tech coach to come in and observe me. Every review I have gotten has been wonderful. All of my reviews before this lady were wonderful, but I just let her affect me way too much.

    Don't let this person do to you what mine did to me. Once you get into your OWN class, it is different. You will be fine, and you will learn something new every single day. We all have areas of weakness or areas to improve in. No one is perfect. And every single class is different.

    BIG HUGS!
     
  18. leighbball

    leighbball Virtuoso

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    Apr 10, 2009

    Its funny bc I thought I had the best ct during st bc she let me do so much. But I learned in my own classroom that she didn't really help me. Luckily I had confidence in myself bc she gave me no guidance.
     
  19. PEteacher07

    PEteacher07 Cohort

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    Apr 10, 2009

    I had a fantastic ST experience. It helped me realize that I liked elementary school physical education much better.

    No classes you can take with a professor can fully prepare for student teaching b/c college classes are predictable. Learning to think on your toes is what you will learn from ST b/c being in a real classroom with real students will force you to!
     
  20. melnm

    melnm Companion

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    Apr 11, 2009

    I didn't have a good ST experience as far as the teacher went. She was not a good teacher. I think she was just there for the vacations and the benefits. She wasn't helpful. She always left as soon as the teachers were allowed to leave and wasn't helpful to me. But, I did have a truly wonderful group of 3rd graders to work with!
     
  21. teacherintexas

    teacherintexas Maven

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    Apr 12, 2009

    My ST leaves before the buses. Oy!
     
  22. mrsc_teaches

    mrsc_teaches Companion

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    Apr 12, 2009

    My Mentor teacher was EVIL! and I mean it. She told me that I shoudl work in a bank instead of teaching because I had kids. She told me to teach a lesson on character traits and gave me NO INFO on it at ALL! She was evil. The day I was to be observed, it went to H*** and a hand basket and so when I met with my university supervisor she came in to tell the supervisor how terrible I was. Well she was so demeaning about it that my supervisor called the head of the department at the college and made him change my placement. I did fabulous after that. While st is just a taste of what you will do everyday I think I did learn somethings. I was in a special needs pre-k room at one point with 8 other adults. It really taught me how to work with other people because that room could only run with that many people.

    I just want to say I get a high rating on observations and overall performance and I leave about 10 minutes after we are allowed to go. Dont judge someone based on what time they leave the building. That doesnt "prove" how good of a teacher they are. Someone could stay till the doors closed and still be terrible at teaching.
     

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