Impossible Situations

Discussion in 'Student & Preservice Teachers' started by skyline, Mar 14, 2019.

  1. otterpop

    otterpop Phenom

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    Mar 25, 2019

    What curriculum materials do you need in order to plan? Can you make a photocopy?
     
  2. skyline

    skyline Companion

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    Mar 26, 2019

    I wasn't given curriculum materials. I asked and asked about pacing guides and materials. She finally gave me a ELA pacing guide (after I told her I needed it for a college assignment) even though she acted like it hurt her to find it and print it off. Then, she complained about my assignments. I found out the pacing guide was useless. Finally, after my supervisor brought it up, I got a teacher's manual for reading only, which I asked and asked myself about. I have nothing for other subjects.

    She doesn't let me plan much and takes over. She hands me worksheet after worksheet she says she wants the kids to do. There's no rhyme to reason to the ones she picks, and she acts like I should just know to pick what she would have. If I ask questions, she gets visibly frustrated a lot of the time. Some days are worse than others. And, there's the issue, my university doesn't want to see me doing that many worksheets.
     
  3. otterpop

    otterpop Phenom

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    Mar 26, 2019

    It is unfortunate that she's so difficult to work with. It doesn't seem like she is very happy to be collaborating with someone, which makes it odd then that she agreed to have a student teacher in the first place.

    Not in defense of the way this person is acting, but in my own classroom, I'm not always in line with my pacing guide. Different schools have different policies regarding how closely pacing should be followed, but for me, when it gets close to testing season I start thinking about small items students need to review. For instance, I might think my students need more practice with cause and effect, so I may do a one day mini lesson on that. Sometimes that may mean finding my own materials, rather than going on with the next lesson in the textbook.

    I can't say whether this is the case for your CT, but testing season can be stressful as you are trying to make sure all content has been covered sufficiently. And no matter what is driving your CT's decision making, she should be communicating that process with you. Clearly that is not happening.

    Can you possibly get a worksheet from her a day or two on advance and build a lesson around that, instead of trying to find your own materials? If she is handing you a worksheet and saying "teach this", you still have the freedom in what that class structure will look like regarding partner work, sharing answers, I do/ You do / We do lesson format, and how you might work with a small group of struggling students. If you are trying to be more interactive and still use the worksheet, I recommend looking up Kagan Structures. There are some great, simple ways to make worksheets more collaborative.
     
  4. skyline

    skyline Companion

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    Mar 27, 2019

    Thank you for taking the time to respond with detailed, helpful information! I will definitely look into Kagan Structures!

    I'm not in a testing grade. She's just all over the place. Most things are inconsistent, including student routines and expectations. She's not taking the time to share her thinking for teaching content. She often doesn't know what she wants to teach until the evening before or the morning of, which means she's digging for stuff to do in the morning. I can understand being out of sync with a pacing guide if she's adjusting her teaching to student needs, but I'm not seeing evidence that's what she's doing. I can't predict or anticipate much other than Spelling, the way she has student practice vocabulary, and read the story of the week (sometimes). Many things are random.

    I have no idea why she'd take a student teacher, because it's obvious it's frustrating for her to spend any time with me. She even uses body language that shows frustration towards me. It's awful! I feel like a burden, and she acts like I should just jump in and know what to do when she's so disorganized and not sharing her thinking or how she plans with me. I don't get it!
     

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