I have my first student teacher

Discussion in 'Elementary Education' started by Mrs. Porter, Jun 29, 2009.

  1. Mrs. Porter

    Mrs. Porter Rookie

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2006
    Messages:
    53
    Likes Received:
    0

    Jun 29, 2009

    Can you guys give me some advice to make my student teacher (and mine) experience go smoothly?:thanks:
     
  2.  
  3. skittleroo

    skittleroo Connoisseur

    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2008
    Messages:
    1,958
    Likes Received:
    0

    Jun 29, 2009

    keep criticism constructive and positive. Include her as an equal. Don't act like your babysitting her. If she has a good idea, let her know.

    I had the most terrific mentor teacher when I student taught 5 years ago. I learned so much from her and yet she made me feel competent and creative. I hated getting my own room, but I hated leaving her. I have heard about nightmares though.
     
  4. punchinello

    punchinello Comrade

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2008
    Messages:
    367
    Likes Received:
    0

    Jun 29, 2009

    My daughter will be a student teacher in the fall in PA. I would love to hear how you're experience is going and any tips on how to make the relationship work well. She is excited, but not sure what her exact responsibilities will be....I think she starts out teaching just one subject (3rd grade) and gradually increases to the full day.
    What grade do you teach and how long will your student be with you?
     
  5. Mrs. Porter

    Mrs. Porter Rookie

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2006
    Messages:
    53
    Likes Received:
    0

    Jun 29, 2009

    I teach 4th grade and she starts August so we can get the room ready and I can meet with her and teach her a lot of building/classroom things before the kids come. She leaves in december. I had a great experience when I student taught so I want to make it a great experience for her.
     
  6. skittleroo

    skittleroo Connoisseur

    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2008
    Messages:
    1,958
    Likes Received:
    0

    Jun 29, 2009

    considering you are already planning to make it a good experience, it sounds like she will be a lucky one.

    oh, and give her copies of everything (if she plans on teaching that grade).
     
  7. Go 4th

    Go 4th Habitué

    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2006
    Messages:
    942
    Likes Received:
    1

    Jun 29, 2009

    Find out immediately the expectations of the college--do they have a time table of things she has to accomplish, when her observations will be, when she is expected to have the whole class by, etc.

    Be positive and treat her as a professional in front of the students--don't interrupt her in front of students, don't tell her you would do something this way in front of the students, don't tell her you don't like an assignment in front of the students, etc. Sorry--having flashbacks of my experience.

    Seriously--remember that she is probably nervous and scared and probably really wants to impress you.
     
  8. loves2teach

    loves2teach Enthusiast

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2005
    Messages:
    2,311
    Likes Received:
    0

    Jun 29, 2009

    I had a really great experience and an okay experience. Honestly, go4th has some great advice. I would lay out what you expect of him/her immediately (what time you want them there, what time they can leave, what you want them to do from the start etc). I didn't do that great of a job of that and it made the last few weeks drag for me. I would say be honest, but kind. They are ultimately your students (well, theirs too), but you will be the the one held accountable for what they learn or don't learn.

    Good Luck!
     
  9. 773 Miles Away

    773 Miles Away Comrade

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2007
    Messages:
    260
    Likes Received:
    0

    Jun 29, 2009

    Try your hardest to make the students understand that the student teacher is just as much of an authority as you are. They will probably not look at her in the same light regardless, but any bit counts.

    When I was a student teacher I had a really hard time with discipline. My kids were quite a tough group. My mentor teacher thought it would be a good idea to simply leave the room and disappear for mysterious amounts of time. Her excuse was that she wanted me to develop my independence in the classroom and not use her as a crutch. That did not work. The kids acted up when she left and it was just a headache. In the beginning of the year I was in and out of that room so much because of other committments my college arranged for us so it wasn't the best way to set a tone of authority. She should have just stayed in the room with me...

    Also, obviously, remember that you are the model for an excellent teacher. So try to raise the bar in terms of how a teacher should behave, how they should plan, how they carry out lessons, and how they carry out their day. Do as I say and not as I do, doesn't really work... lol.

    And lastly, being a mentor teacher doesn't actually make your job easier... it's not an opportunity to rest! She will definitely appreciate you helping her with any planning, offering her resources for lessons that are coming up, and working with her on carrying out any lessons. She is with you so she can piggyback on your years of experience. Help her reflect on her day with both positive feedback and constructive critism.
     
  10. touchinglives

    touchinglives Companion

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2008
    Messages:
    121
    Likes Received:
    0

    Jun 29, 2009

    Everyone has given excellent advice. I had one teacher that was just wonderful. She allowed time for me to watch and learn before easing me into teaching on my own. I suggest you encourage your student-teacher to take a lot of notes while they observe, and allow time in the day to answer questions and give advice.
     
  11. MrsHoot

    MrsHoot Comrade

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2008
    Messages:
    436
    Likes Received:
    0

    Jun 30, 2009

    I had one wonderful co-op teacher and one not so good one. My suggestions from being a student teacher...

    1. Try to let go of control as much as possible!!!!! Teachers who can not let go of the control are the hardest ones to work with and really do not teach their student teachers anything.

    2. DO tell a schedule, my teacher was there from 7:30 every morning and stayed until 5:30 every evening. As a student teacher... I really didn't need to be there that late. Eventually she told me I didn't have to stay that late. I mostly did extra things at home and was just sort of sitting around with her. I felt obligated to do her hours but she was one of the only ones who stayed there that late.

    3. Let your student teacher make his or her own mistakes. =) I did a read aloud in one of mine that I did not read beforehand. I thought it was boring and so did a lot of the kids. BUT they made me finish it anyway (the kids). I know now that I will always pre-read books. =)

    4. Let your student teacher try some of his or her strategies! I am big on hands on learning, but when I suggested it to one of my teachers she told me not to waste my time with it. =( I personally didn't see it as a waste of time. My good teacher also let me implement my own classroom management plan which was really good experience for me.

    5. Definitely positive, constructive criticism! I am one who takes everything to heart and I get sensitive. I know I am not perfect, but it's much easier to hear when there is a positive spin on it.

    I know one poster said they didn't like it when their teacher left for periods of time... but I really liked it. One of my teachers left for very long periods of time when I was full time teaching. I did have one scary incident with a BD child whos aide was out of the room. But if you're going to be a teacher.... you need to be able to feel comfortable and rely on your own devices not the teachers.

    My other teacher NEVER left and would interrupt me during lessons and it was HORRIBLE! I also am the type of person that gets nervous when other adults are around watching, but am perfectly fine when just in front of the students. I feel that teachers do need to leave so that you get the experience of being THE teacher instead of just a teacher in the room.

    Just my two cents!!
     
  12. MrsHoot

    MrsHoot Comrade

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2008
    Messages:
    436
    Likes Received:
    0

    Jun 30, 2009

    Also- maybe encourage or give your ST a copy of your first day plans because it is always helpful for when you have your own classroom!!
     
  13. MrsHoot

    MrsHoot Comrade

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2008
    Messages:
    436
    Likes Received:
    0

    Jun 30, 2009

    encourage him or her to take notes I meant to say. =)
     
  14. LiveNLearn

    LiveNLearn Comrade

    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2008
    Messages:
    284
    Likes Received:
    0

    Jun 30, 2009

    I agree, Mrs. Hoot!
    My first mentor teacher had terrible classroom management, but allowed me a lot of freedom. She had faith in me, and from the start allowed me to take on activities. It slowly progressed to more and more lessons.

    My second mentor teacher had absolute control, interrupted my lessons, did things like tap her watch to indicate I was running out of time, and just generally made me second guess myself the entire time. It was miserable.

    Give your student teacher the chance to be both- student AND teacher.
     
  15. punchinello

    punchinello Comrade

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2008
    Messages:
    367
    Likes Received:
    0

    Jun 30, 2009

    MrsHoot, what a fantastic post. I am saving it in my "favorites" for my daughter to read.
     
  16. dragonfly05

    dragonfly05 Companion

    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2006
    Messages:
    189
    Likes Received:
    0

    Jun 30, 2009

    Hi there! I just finished my final phase of ST last semester in 4th grade. I had an incredible CT. Here are some things I would suggest:

    Open communication is huge. Sometimes we were so busy, we didn't have time to converse when I had a question at that moment. My CT gave me a notebook in which he would write questions for me and expect me to answer...and write my own for him. This was a great way to keep communication during busy times.

    Let your ST teach without interrupting, even if they are making a mistake. I made a couple of mistakes (who doesn't) along the way...and my CT was so good about not interrupting my lesson. This really allowed me to reflect on my teaching and talk with him about it at a more appropriate time. He also was great about giving me positive feedback.

    Also, my CT focused a lot of his attention on classroom management. He wanted me to leave his room with a firm grasp on that. I'm so glad he did, because that is arguably the most important part of teaching!

    He did his lesson planning with me. This allowed me to see how it really worked...he gave me a copy of his template to use. He also constantly asked if I had questions, so I wouldn't feel like I was asking too many. :lol:

    And, I think one of the most important things he did for me was to act like I was another teacher in the classroom. He never referred to me as an aide, helper or anything like that. I think this really made the students respect me as a teacher, more so than if he had introduced me as a helper.

    Good luck!!
     
  17. amakaye

    amakaye Enthusiast

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2004
    Messages:
    2,397
    Likes Received:
    4

    Jun 30, 2009

    Schedule some reflection time, and make sure both of you stick to it. Help the ST think about their strengths and weaknesses, as well as analyzing particular lessons.

    Give some guidance, but let them be free to try and fail. Even if you know that a particular idea won't work perfectly, let them go with it and then help them adjust/improve it.

    I also liked it when the teacher left the room for a while--the kids definitely were different without her there, but I needed the experience of not having a safety net!
     
  18. MrsHoot

    MrsHoot Comrade

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2008
    Messages:
    436
    Likes Received:
    0

    Jun 30, 2009


    Glad I could help! I re-read your first post about your daughter. I can tell you a little about the format of my student teaching which I think would be similar to what she will experience.

    I spent about the first week mostly observing--well that was the plan. My teacher got laryngitis though so I ended up taking over a lot of lessons! Then I pretty much got one subject a week. (I had two 8 week student teaching sessions) then the last 3 weeks- 2 of which I was teaching everything, and then the last week I phased out. So it was very gradual in the beginning and tried to be gradual as I phased out and as my co-op teacher resumed her normal school year.

    I know everywhere does it differently, but thought that might help with some of her expectations!:hijack: -DONE! =)
     
  19. Miss JE

    Miss JE Companion

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2007
    Messages:
    113
    Likes Received:
    0

    Jul 1, 2009

    I had wonderful mentors when I student taught! One of them always left me nice notes at the end of different weeks just letting me know how well she thought I was doing or an idea I used that she liked! We all know everyone loves getting positive notes! Sometimes she would leave a little gift with the note - like a free book she got from the book order or a fun pen! I always felt appreciated and plan on doing the same when I havea student teacher! She also had a desk set up for me in the classroom which was nice to have my own space!

    My other mentor teacher had a notebook that we could just jot notes back and forth to each other in when we thought of a question or comment for each other. It was a nice open way to communicate!
     
  20. JoviHawk

    JoviHawk Rookie

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2009
    Messages:
    89
    Likes Received:
    0

    Jul 1, 2009

    I buy my student teachers a cute little journal and give it to him or her on the first day we meet. I tell them to write down ALL the ideas they get, books to remember, websites to remember, etc. As much as you think you'll remember things you always forget. Especially months later. I "make" them write in it daily!
     
  21. MrsHoot

    MrsHoot Comrade

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2008
    Messages:
    436
    Likes Received:
    0

    Jul 1, 2009

    I have a great parting gift too that my co-op teacher did. She read "The Important Book" by Margaret Wise Brown (I believe) and then had students create a page about me.
    The important thing about Mrs. hoot is she's _________.
    She _________________________.
    She _________________________.
    She _________________________.
    But the important thing about Mrs Hoot is she's ________ (same as first sentence).

    Then they illustrated it. This was in second grade and I thought it was an awesome present!! It was neat to see what the kids wrote and thought about me.
     
  22. Mrs. Porter

    Mrs. Porter Rookie

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2006
    Messages:
    53
    Likes Received:
    0

    Jul 1, 2009

    Thank you for ALL of the stories of how many wonderful cooperating teachers there are out there!
     

Share This Page

Members Online Now

Total: 201 (members: 4, guests: 184, robots: 13)
test