Questions for you all . . .

Discussion in 'Student & Preservice Teachers' started by JustJim, Apr 12, 2010.

  1. JustJim

    JustJim Companion

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2008
    Messages:
    145
    Likes Received:
    0

    Apr 12, 2010

    OK, I'm not even sure where I should ask this. It looks like I'll be student teaching Spring '11; right now my goal is to get a supervising professor who isn't biased against me. I've a meeting set up for Wednesday with the appropriate person at my university, and need some additional information.

    I know that my supervising professor will be responsible for placement in the schools, selecting my cooperating teacher, and supervising the placement/further instruction, etc. I can see a myriad of ways the supervising professor could cause problems for me.

    What don't I know about the role of the supervising professor? What else falls into their area of responsibility? How closely is a student typically expected to work with the professor supervising student teaching? Is this someone I would be expected to use as a reference when seeking a teaching position?

    Thanks,
    Jim
     
  2.  
  3. futureteach21

    futureteach21 Habitué

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2008
    Messages:
    821
    Likes Received:
    1

    Apr 12, 2010

    Could you elaborate by what "being biased against you" means? Have you had a hard time with one of your professors? If we knew that, we would be able to help more.
     
  4. emmakate218

    emmakate218 Connoisseur

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2008
    Messages:
    1,729
    Likes Received:
    1

    Apr 12, 2010

    At my university, I had a "university supervisor" and while some student teachers had university supervisors that were education professors - there were maybe about three or four professors with the additional role. My university supervisor was a former principal. At my university, our university supervisors could make us or break us. My university supervisor formally evaluated me and was in constant communication with me - probably more so than others because we had an awesome professional relationship. I did really well with student teaching and my university supervisor was my greatest supporter, along with my mentor teachers. She gave great references and will continue to do so to this day.

    I would say one is expected to work extremely close with their supervisor and it is expected that the supervisor will be a reference.

    Why are you so worried about your supervisor? Have you burned bridges with a certain professor that you worry may be chosen to be your supervisor?
     
  5. JustJim

    JustJim Companion

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2008
    Messages:
    145
    Likes Received:
    0

    Apr 12, 2010

    I apologize; I forgot for a moment that I wasn't over in the Sped forum where I usually hang out.

    I'm a graduate student in special education. My undergrad degrees are not directly related to education.

    At the start of the Spring 2007 semester, one of my classmates asked the professor if the professor thought former special ed students might be successful as special ed teachers. The professor's response began with words to the effect that, "Of course, someone with autism couldn't be a teacher . . . "

    I'm autistic, though at that time only one professor (not this one) was aware of this. As might be imagined, I was a bit concerned but since I'd been told I never had to take another class with this professor I just made a note of the time and date.

    The following Fall semester, that same professor supervised a practicum I had to do. I was also told that same professor would be supervising my student teaching. I got through the class (got an 'A' in fact), but the entire semester was a bit . . . stressful.

    At one point, the professor was critiquing a lesson I'd just taught. She was speaking loudly enough that the school principal came running in to see what was going on. I started to ask a question by saying, "I'm sorry I don't understand" and she interrupted, yelling "If you are too stupid to understand, you shouldn't be a teacher."

    I continued the question I had started to ask, saying, "I'm sorry, I don't understand what you just said, could you please repeat it?"

    Eventually, the situation bothered me enough that I wrote a professionally-worded letter to the professor asking that someone else supervise my student teaching, and explaining why. In her response, she said that the "someone with autism couldn't be a teacher" comment didn't sound like something she would say, that this was not something she believes, and it was my responsibility to seek clarification at the time.

    The letter was cc'd to the department chair, who responded that the professor was a 'good person' and decisions about student teaching would be made in the future.

    This (formerly-adjunct) professor is now the (tenure-track) professor in charge of supervising student teachers in our department. She directly supervises all student teachers in my program of study.

    I've no reason to believe the professor will behave objectively towards me. After discussing the matter with a few of the people I trust within the university, I've made an appointment with the person who has ultimate oversight of the student teaching program at the university.

    My questions are intended to provide me with the information needed to understand what is said by this individual, as well as to enable me to ask better questions.

    Thanks,
    Jim

    PS: Had I been given the correct information regarding a substitution for one of my classes, I would be student teaching this fall.
     
  6. JustJim

    JustJim Companion

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2008
    Messages:
    145
    Likes Received:
    0

    Apr 12, 2010

    SwOceanGal, I guess I'm not being clear. This is a non-trivial problem. I didn't "burn my bridges" with her, she "burned her bridges" with me. She made a comment that suggested she would act in a manner inconsistent with federal law (Section 504, P.L. 93-112). She can't deny the statement or claim it was taken out of context as there were witnesses. She has already demonstrated a tendency to behave in an unprofessional manner.

    I do think she is a darn good teacher, just not one I am willing to work with.

    I'm not going to try to "make nice" to her, I've no reason to believe it would be of any benefit. Instead, on Wednesday I'm going to meet with the person with oversight for the entire student teaching program at the university. I will try to make a case for being assigned to a different supervising professor. I need to understand the role of a supervising professor in as many contexts as I can, in order to ask appropriate questions, weigh the responses, and strike the best deal I can.

    Jim
     
  7. futureteach21

    futureteach21 Habitué

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2008
    Messages:
    821
    Likes Received:
    1

    Apr 12, 2010

    I really have no advice, but I do feel you are handling this professionally. This professor was out of line and I think you have dealt with it well. Best wishes.
     
  8. newbie87

    newbie87 Comrade

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2009
    Messages:
    262
    Likes Received:
    0

    Apr 19, 2010

    To answer your question, here you only see your supervisor 5-7 times. Less, if they feel you're doing a good job and are super booked. Also, you can ask supervisors for letters of rec, but you don't have to. I've had a great relationship with both of mine. I have one from my first one and plan to ask my current supervisor for one before her last vist. No eyebrows are raised, though, if you don't. I hope you end up with a supervisor you get along with.
     
  9. MissCeliaB

    MissCeliaB Aficionado

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2009
    Messages:
    3,426
    Likes Received:
    599

    Apr 19, 2010

    Did some other stuff get deleted? I am missing where the attacks happened in this thread. I think we've all read and heard enough supervisor horror stories to know that this could be a legitimate concern.

    On the bright side, if you are working with this person, she will be super careful about doing anything that shows bias or prejudice to you at the risk of losing her job. Could actually make things easier for you...
     
  10. JustJim

    JustJim Companion

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2008
    Messages:
    145
    Likes Received:
    0

    Apr 19, 2010

    I don't think anything else was deleted or edited.

    In the real world, a person could face potential consequences. In academia--in this university, in this department--not so much, particularly when the attitude of the professor in question seems to be representative of the department. I wish I could say, "I don't want to deal with any more potential problems, I just want to be a teacher," but after 5 years of this nonsense I don't even want to be a teacher any more. I just want the degree I've worked so long towards, and to get out.

    I went to the meeting on 4/14; the outcome is that seemingly the only way I can student-teach without this professor as a supervisor is to teach in a community/school system far enough away that she won't want to commute there. Some rough cost-analysis suggests in the long run this will cost less than dealing with a supervisor who seems determined to ensure that I am not successful.

    I'm going to do that, just to get it all over with.
     
  11. juhesihcaaa

    juhesihcaaa Rookie

    Joined:
    May 18, 2010
    Messages:
    5
    Likes Received:
    0

    May 18, 2010

    Personally I see my advisor on a daily basis. Partly because I have a class with him and partly because I go to a rather small school. I'm lucky in the fact that he's a very nice guy and a great advisor. On an advisory level, I see him at least once a quarter but this quarter I've seen him four times.

    Hope everything works out in your favor.
     
  12. EZLN1

    EZLN1 Companion

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2006
    Messages:
    123
    Likes Received:
    0

    May 25, 2010

    wow, that sounds terrible, but I am not surprised by the program's reluctance to call out the teacher and make the appropriate changes for you. "Teach far enough that they wont want to visit you"...that's got to be a joke, right?

    I would nag that program to death to change supervisor. At the end of the day, you are PAYING them for a service, and you have more than enough evidence to grant your rather simple request.

    My supervisor was horrible. The ego, and as one of my MT's said, "diva like" attitude drove me crazy. I was very close to losing it after an incident when their was some misinformation from one of my MT's, leading to a lecture like talk as if I was a child. I remember thinking that this crusty, self-absorbed man could never be the reason why I failed the program as he talked and talked and lectured me about professionalism.
     
  13. JustJim

    JustJim Companion

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2008
    Messages:
    145
    Likes Received:
    0

    Jun 28, 2010

    EZLN1, I saw your post when you wrote it, but had to think about how to respond.

    I could do as you suggest--it is tempting--but past experience has shown me that I can lose a year or two whilst jousting at windmills. As I wrote before, my goal now is to get out; I no longer plan to be a teacher. The quickest route to achieving that goal is to accept the offer, get student teaching out of the way so I can complete my program, then go off and find a real job where I don't have to put up with all the nonsense my fine professors model and teach many of their students.

    So I'm looking at it in this way: an administrator has given me the opportunity to student teach at a smaller school: one closer to my residence, with smaller classes. Then I'm done.
     

Share This Page

Members Online Now

  1. miss-m,
  2. MrsC,
  3. Zine
Total: 415 (members: 4, guests: 382, robots: 29)
test