Just found out I have an intern for the spring semester

Discussion in 'General Education' started by gr3teacher, Dec 28, 2020.

  1. gr3teacher

    gr3teacher Phenom

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    Dec 28, 2020

    So I expressed that I'd be willing to take on a student teacher, but wasn't really expecting to get one... after all, this is only my second year at secondary. But... they assigned me one.

    This is going to be a weird experience all around. I'm all virtual for at least a few more weeks, and then I'll be mostly virtual with a couple in-person students... plus I have an odd schedule (I team teach three classes with three different general education teachers, and teach a special education-specific resource room elective for my other two classes). Good part about that though is that my various co-teachers all have some of the classes she might want to see... honors, ELL, intervention... so she'll definitely get to see a wide variety of what is offered to middle school math teachers.

    Does anybody with experience hosting a student teacher have any advice on making it a productive experience for her? This is also my last semester as a PhD student, so I'm actually looking forward to having the opportunity to practice some observation type skills.
     
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  3. waterfall

    waterfall Virtuoso

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    Dec 28, 2020

    Make sure that you, the ST, and her university supervisor are all very clear on the expectations and what the experience will look like before the experience starts. Especially with this crazy year, you need to make sure you're on the same page. For example, will she be doing virtual and in person services? If you end up going fully remote or having to quarantine, what does that look like for her? Is there a set amount of time needed for her to "take over" and are you comfortable with her fully taking over? What will her involvement be with IEPs/meetings, etc.?

    Some people also find it helpful to have a set meeting time (weekly, daily, whatever works for the two of you) where you'll discuss her performance, next steps, etc. When I had a full time ST at the beginning, it was overwhelming and I felt like I was getting nothing done. My planning, before/after school, and lunch times were spent talking to her. It took 10x as long to walk her through doing something as opposed to just getting it done myself. I found myself working a lot of extra hours that first month or so. However, you more than get that time back later. As the experience went on, she took over more and more and I actually got a lot of extra planning time while she was teaching (yes, I did observations, but I didn't just sit there watching her every minute of every day).
     
  4. viola_x_wittrockiana

    viola_x_wittrockiana Comrade

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    Dec 28, 2020

    I could not emphasize that more. I was my co-op's first ST and parts of the experience were a mess because she had no idea what the school of ed. expected and my university supervisor was a moron and didn't meet with her beforehand to give her the guidelines/handbook. He figured she'd been at it for something like 13 years and somehow already knew, despite not being from the area or having any interaction with the university. The SoE timeline said we were supposed to be observing and doing office-y, maintenance-y tasks the first week. . . I got handed the full schedule with a sub to supervise me on day 3.

    Figure out early on how to communicate specific feedback constructively to this person and follow up regularly. I got almost no useful feedback, which certainly didn't help me learn or grow. "You're so capable," was the only thing I remember hearing from her.

    If there's anything you've wanted to do, but needed another set of hands for, now's the time. Our kids got to do small ensemble work because one of us could have the full band and the other work with pull-out groups.
     
  5. Loomistrout

    Loomistrout Devotee

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    Dec 29, 2020

    Consider the observation instrument, Student Engagement Rate (SER). It’s basically a seating chart where the observer makes quick tallies every three minutes (sweeps) of what each student is doing while the teacher is teaching or directing an activity. At the end of the observation period, usually 20-25 minutes, the observer leaves the SER on the observee’s desk without comment. SER is not an observation of style, management or lesson design. It shows in objective, graphic form exactly what the teacher is doing and what students are doing at the same time. The observee can peruse the form in private and toss it or ask for a conference to discuss it. All of my STs asked for a post conference. If interested I can PM you an example.
     
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  6. Milsey

    Milsey Habitué

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    Jan 2, 2021

    I can tell in 30 minutes whether they are cut out for the job. Remember, you are not allowed to leave them alone with the class!
     
  7. catnfiddle

    catnfiddle Moderator

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    Jan 3, 2021

    This sounds like an amazing opportunity for both of you! Your hybrid teaching as well as your mix of co-teaching / resource classrooms will provide a perfect learning experience for an aspiring educator. The biggest suggestion I can make is for you to find a good communication platform independent of your online classroom. That way you'll have the ability to coach real-time without undermining your intern's growing classroom authority.

    Not necessarily. The rules and regulations may vary according to each individual state and school. Heck, my dad and I student taught in the same district (decades apart in the Philly suburbs) and had totally different experiences in this respect.
     
  8. viola_x_wittrockiana

    viola_x_wittrockiana Comrade

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    Yep. The district I attended as a student allowed for time-limited solo teaching. Teachers were allowed to leave the ST alone with the class for long enough to use the restroom or make/fetch copies, that sort of thing.

    Me, I wasn't allowed to be alone with the class, only for pull-out instruction where my co-op or anyone else could have observed. This was the same state. I wasn't even allowed to have the classroom keys, as in my co-op couldn't send me ahead with the keys to let the general music kids in the gen. music room while she finished up in the ensemble rehearsal room. Same district, different school, I was allowed to be alone with groups of students with our university supervisor rotating between 8 interns.
     
  9. Tyler B.

    Tyler B. Groupie

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    Jan 3, 2021

    Thanks for taking a student teacher or intern. Teachers who are not struggling owe it to the profession to help train the new teachers coming up.

    That said, I've fired 3 student teachers in 30 years of teaching when it became obvious they were not cut out for the job. One had serious emotional problems, could not overcome bashfulness to speak to adults, and the other seemed oddly unable to tell when students were or were not on task. She could not distinguish chaos from a smoothly running lesson. The third one saw no problem about being late or unprepared.

    I've had 9 outstanding student teachers.

    I suggest you give your intern lots of opportunities to lead, then follow up with feedback and modeling. Once she's tried and stumbled, she'll be very curious and aware of what you are doing.

    If you think there's any chance that the intern will fail, make sure your honest feedback is in writing, and that you have a copy.

    Good luck with the Ph.D!
     
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  10. Tired Teacher

    Tired Teacher Connoisseur

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    Jan 4, 2021

    Being virtual would be a hard time for having a ST for me. Hats off to you for being willing to do it! I tried to build a connection w/ mine whenever possible. Most were cool, but I got a couple of doozies over the yrs. I think it is really important to know what the U wants from you too. Then make sure he/she understands the expectations. I'd encourage her to see a wide variety of classes at 1st b/c everyone does things differently. Then find out what she is most comfortable taking on and start with that. Also, giving ST positive feedback The ST might surprise you and have some fun new ideas! You ever know. Good luck!
     

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