Is this typical?

Discussion in 'Student & Preservice Teachers' started by skyline, Mar 8, 2019.

  1. zmp2018

    zmp2018 Rookie

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    Mar 13, 2019

    She might be in that spot in her teaching career where she can change things at the last minute and still achieve something. My mentor told me at the end of my experience that he never wants to let his student teacher down, so he always made sure I knew what would happen the night before class. Each night, we would discuss the next day, and I would watch him teach our morning class, and then I would teach our later classes.

    I think it is unfair for your mentor to change things all the time. She might be able to do it and not encounter any issues, but she has to remember that new teachers are not typically able to wing things. I am not sure how many student teachers she has had before you, but mine had six before me, so he knew how to handle a student teacher. My mentor would be so specific and explicit that he would send me lesson plans with projected times for each activity, which I really appreciated.

    I student-taught seventh-grade ELA, and that was a unique experience because the curriculum was very focused on the state testing. My mentor was so worried about his state test scores, so we did a lot of co-teaching. I had my moments to shine, but I followed a lot of what he did because he wanted things to go a certain way. I still had moments where I could be creative, however. We had a general pacing guide and then specific lessons in each unit.
     
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  2. skyline

    skyline Rookie

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    Mar 13, 2019

    Hi Zmp2018,
    Thank you for sharing your experience! It helps me understand the way it should be. It is really nice that your CT sent you lesson plans and projected times! My CT hasn't had a student teacher, but she's served as a mentor to a couple new teachers.

    I was hoping my CT would be consistent about taking time with me after school to discuss the next day or two at least. I don't understand why she doesn't realize changing it up last minute (right before the lesson begins) would be a problem for me, especially with content I haven't looked at yet or materials I haven't had a chance to read. She acts like it's normal, and I'm the one with the problem when I look like a deer in headlights.

    It sounds like you passed student teaching with flying colors? Did your student teaching experience lead to a job?

    I'm so worried how my student teaching experience will affect me in the long-run. I feel all over the place and like it's impossible to show what I'm cable of doing. I keep hoping I get the chance to plan and teach in a normal way. It's been very stressful!
     
  3. zmp2018

    zmp2018 Rookie

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    Mar 13, 2019

    I did end up with a wonderful recommendation from my mentor and supervisor. My mentor told me that I was one of his best student teachers and also had the most content knowledge out of all his student teachers. He told me that he had to actually teach concepts to student teachers, but he never had to do that with me.

    Student teaching hasn’t landed me a full-time teaching gig, yet, but it did land me a daily “building sub” position. I am in the same school each day and put wherever there is a teacher absence. I love being in the same building each day even though it’s not a full-time teaching position.

    One of the things about student teaching is that you won’t learn everything about teaching in the short time you are student teaching. There are certain things you won’t learn until you have your own classroom and are on your own. Even as a sub, I love being on my own and not being watched and critiqued every minute of every day. My mentor was awesome with constructive criticism, but I was always really self-critical of my performance and worried that I was messing up BECAUSE I was always being watched.

    The best advice I can give to you is “fake it till you make it,” I guess. You want that solid recommendation from your mentor and supervisor. Student teaching will be an important factor in getting that first job, but I feel that after your first job and some years of teaching experience, student teaching does not matter as much as actual teaching experience.
     
  4. skyline

    skyline Rookie

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    Mar 13, 2019

    Being watched every minute of everyday is not fun, especially when it's done by a mentor that isn't supportive.

    Subbing is great experience. What grade and subject matter do you want to teach?
     
  5. zmp2018

    zmp2018 Rookie

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    I want to teach 7-12 English. I student-taught a 7th-grade ELA class and really liked that age group, but I like high school, too.

    The secretary at my school where I’m a building sub always tries to place me in an English room if an English teacher is absent, so it’s really nice. Another nice thing about subbing in the same school each day is I’m able to build a rapport with the students. A lot of students know me, now, and it makes classroom management so much easier.
     
  6. TeacherNY

    TeacherNY Phenom

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    Mar 14, 2019

    I would not have gone into school during the weekend as a student teacher. I had a weekend job so I would have refused. The cooperating teacher should work with you either before or after school.
     
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  7. skyline

    skyline Rookie

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    Mar 14, 2019

    Exactly! It's not possible for me to go in certain hours over the weekend. She doesn't have a set time or day and goes in at random times (all hours of the day and night), just whenever she feels like it, so even if I was available, I would have to wait by my phone ready to go. I don't know why she took a student teacher since she doesn't want to take the time to show and explain things or plan with me.
     
  8. zmp2018

    zmp2018 Rookie

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    Unfortunately, I think some teachers take a student teacher just so that they can sit back and relax, which is horrible for molding people into the profession.

    Before my student-teaching semester last semester, I had "pre-student teaching" for six weeks last spring semester. My mentor for that experience was definitely not as a good as my student-teaching mentor. He would leave the room and go to chat with other teachers or make copies. He told me he did not want me to feel uncomfortable, so that is why he left the room, but I needed him in the room so that he could offer constructive criticism! My evaluations from him felt useless because he barely saw me teaching. It was frustrating. I think he just liked having someone to take over his workload for half the day.
     
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  9. skyline

    skyline Rookie

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    All the difference the CT makes! I wish my CT would leave the room and just let me teach since she doesn't want to take the time to tell me what's to be taught next. Then, when I plan lessons without much information and input, she decides last minute there's things she wants me to teach. I don't have time to look it over before teaching it. It literally makes me sick to my stomach and has affected my health.
     
    Last edited: Mar 14, 2019
  10. skyline

    skyline Rookie

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    Mar 14, 2019

    I'm flexible, but I don't know how to adapt in these circumstances to make it work.
     

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