Student Teacher Dilemma(s)

Discussion in 'Secondary Education Archives' started by LambdaChi96, Feb 4, 2007.

  1. LambdaChi96

    LambdaChi96 Rookie

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    Feb 4, 2007

    I am a CSU student and just started my student teaching. Im on their Track A program so I observed for 1 quarter and started my student teaching this quarter and Im "done" at the end of the year.

    I got switched at the beginning of the quarter because the original teacher I was under decided she did not want a student teacher anymore because she got a new admin position and only had 3 periods with her kids and didnt want to give up 2, which is completely understandable. Only problem is that I had to go into a new school, new environment, new everything and start over and take over.

    The new school Im at is ok. Im currently student teaching two classes - 2 world history periods, and 1 U.S. history periods. I havent fully taken over, instead I have been "team" teaching with my master teachers. The master teacher I have for U.S. History is great. He helps however he can, and allows me to use his lesson plans, and is pretty easy going. His style fits mine exactly - lecture, powerpoint, just getting up in front of the class and talking. The kids do their own work and if they want to learn and pass they can, and if not, its their choice. I was in all AP/Honors classes in high school and thats how most of my teachers were and thats how I succeeded because thats how 99% of college classes are.

    At any rate, my other teacher started off great. She was very helpful, very friendly, and easy going at first. This previous week, however, it all went downhill. I needed a lesson plan done for this past friday and while I got it done and got excellent reviews from my evaluator, I got the entire lesson into my master teacher the day before. I understand this wasnt cool, and I understand her reason to be upset. At the same time, Im at the school site from 8am - 12pm, then I go home, do homework/assignments for my classes, then head to class from 6pm-10pm from mon-wed. She gave me a week to do it, but with classes, falling ill, and dealing with family obligations, I just got behind. Im not trying to make excuses, just give an explanation. ANYWAY, all turned out well, and the lesson went well.

    So...my dilemma is that my master teacher has been very quick and rude with me ever since. I even wrote her an apology letter, and took full responsibility, etc, EVEN after she told me to my face that she thought I wasnt "taking this seriously" and that I needed to "learn a little professionalism," etc. That really pissed me off personally because why would I be going through all of this if I wasnt taking "this" seriously? I mean she had a right to be upset, but I feel as though now its just personal. She has been nothing but rude to me for the past week, and while she is still helpful as far as arranging for me to visit other teachers, make copies, and the like, everytime I ask her questions about my lessons or what I should do in certain situations, she just says, "Do whatever you want, its your lesson."

    Either way you have it, its getting to a point where I feel uncomfortable and am dreading going to the class. Her style of teaching is very different from mine, which is fine, but it seems like if I deviate from that style she doesnt appreciate it too much, yet she tells me to "do what I want." When Im in her class I feel like Ill make a horrible teacher, but in the other class Im happy I do what I do. I dont know what to do...I think if this continues another week or two, Ill have to talk to her or my university supervisor. Ive always had nothing but pleasant experiences at work with bosses, managers, etc so this is all just very foreign to me.

    Any thoughts...any of you run into something similar?

    Thanks.
     
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  3. Malcolm

    Malcolm Enthusiast

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    Feb 5, 2007

    I was lucky enough to get a great master teacher. Our styles fit well and I have actually been teaching like it was my classroom since the second week of observation. But some of my cohort members have had problems with their placements. Some master teachers just aren't very flexible or forgiving.

    My first comment is that IMHO you really did blow it professionally. During student teaching your first obligation is the class you are teaching. If something has to slide, it had better be your class work or your family life.

    My second comment is that your teacher may have sensed something of an attitude when you explained.

    My third comment is that if your master teacher is looking for a particular style, it is your job to emulate that style. You are a student teacher, not the teacher of record. If you don't like her style, you can drop it when you have your own classroom.

    My suggestion is to sit down somewhere quiet with your teacher and find out what you need to do to make things right. If that doesn't work, you might ask for a different placement. Sometimes there isn't much that can be done about a bad match. One of my cohort members did just that.

    FWIW the uncomfortable situation may be the one you learn the most in. It might be just the thing for you if you have been used to getting along well with your supervisors in the past.
     
  4. Youngteacher226

    Youngteacher226 Enthusiast

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    Feb 5, 2007

    I have to say that you must dread coming into work everyday in this person's classroom! It's funny how "master teachers" forget how stressful and difficult it is to be a student teacher. I know student teaching was one of the worst periods in my life only because I had to take a leave from my job to do it and the teachers weren't the type that I wanted to run to work with them everyday so I wouldn't go back and re-live that time if someone paid me. Anyway, it's easy for me to say to just count down the days and toughen up but that's coming from an outsider. What I would suggest is to speak to her face to face. See if there is anything you are not doing that she would like you to do. Ask her if she would like to give you suggestions on how to be a better teacher (they like when you seem like you NEED their suggestions). And try to model her teaching style as much as you can - but- don't give up who you are as a teacher. When I ST, I used some ideas from the teacher I was with but I also brought in my own teaching style and it worked for me. If she's telling you "it's your lesson" than make it your own. Some people just have personality clashes and that's okay. But come in everyday and show that you are professional and show that you take this thing seriously. And even if she has something against you, she won't have a thing to say because you are doing your job.
    Good luck and remember that this is only temporary. You will look back and have empathy for other ST's like I do. And you'll have alot of advice to give.
     
  5. MissFrizzle

    MissFrizzle Virtuoso

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    Feb 5, 2007

    Personally, I think you tried your best to make amends... Now, just keep it professional and try to do things the way the master teacher wants from now on. You may not like it, but it will make going to work a more pleasant experience until you are out and have a classroom of your own.


    Note to self- one day when you have a ST in your room, you will have a lot of empathy.

    Good luck... this will soon pass. Dont' let it keep ya down.
     
  6. LambdaChi96

    LambdaChi96 Rookie

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    Feb 5, 2007

    Malcolm: Thanks for the advice. I agree with almost everything, however; I dont think I necessarily "blew" it professionally to the point where it warrants her treating me like crap. Now I understand Im the rookie and rookies get h dumped on, etc, but it shouldnt be personal. And letting my classwork "slide" is not really an option. Im not paying for my schooling, therefore I can let it slide and get a poor grade and repeat. I just dont have that option. I have 3 quarters to finish...thats it. And I have let my personal life slide completely. I didnt lag on the lesson plan because I was out with friends or just hanging out with family. I had a grand parent in the hospital and had to drive 3 hours north. Cant exactly let that stuff slide to work on lesson plans. Also, I never had an attitude when I explained anything to her. I have done nothing but kiss ass every day. I used to work retail so I know how it is. Third, I get what you mean about teaching style. I agree, its my job to emulate as much as I can until I have my own class. Its just hard when she tells me to "do whatever I want." But I agree and get what you mean.

    Youngteacher and MissFrizzle: Yes, some master teachers do forget that it is hard to adjust to being a full time student, to being a full time student AND a student teacher...so essentially its like having a 30-hour per week job plus being a full time student. I have never done that before. I was fortunate enough to have parents that supported me whenever/however I needed and didnt have to worry about school and work at the same time.

    This week has started off pretty well. She told me to turn in my notes/lesson for this thursday by tuesday and this time I emailed them to her last night and brought them to her this morning. Hope thats professional enough. She was a little nicer to me today and pretty helpful. Maybe she was just having a bad week and I hit a wrong nerve or something. Im a forgiving person so Im over it. I just hope I dont have to deal with mood swings every week.

    And yes, when I have a student teacher, I will do my absolute best to be understanding of their situations. I really wish I was an intern or on a slower track because this quick adjustment can be tough. But, I guess this is what will help me out later and make me stronger. Its gotta get worse before it gets better.

    Thanks for the advice all.
     
  7. Malcolm

    Malcolm Enthusiast

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    Feb 5, 2007

    I didn't mean let it slide to the point of failing out of the program. But it might be advisable to settle for a B and keep things good in the classroom instead of shooting for an A and risking your classroom performance.

    Like I said, some master teachers are not very flexible or forgiving. Yours certainly sounds like one of these.

    I think if you feel like you having been kissing a** you probably have developed an attitude whether you think so or not. I sure would...

    What is important at this point is that you need to do something. Either patch it up with your master teacher or ask for a different placement.
     
  8. DarthAlan

    DarthAlan Rookie

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    Feb 6, 2007

    Student teaching is hard. I was at my school site from 5:30am to 9pm 5 day/week during the 5 months I student taught. What happened to me was my master teachers said that I would get more respect if they were not in the classroom at all. So, I started the year as the teacher, and my master teachers were did not even have to come to work. This allowed me to make all my own lesson plans, and teach my way. It also meant a lot more work, because I could not use their lessons.

    I would ask that teacher if she could plan to be out of the room before that period starts, so you don't even have to see her. You will also be the teacher, and not just some puny student teacher.

    Your choice of programs is OK, but you would be better off at National. Going through SM only give you a partial experience of teaching. You just sit around most of the time and watch the teacher from what I'm told.

    Try to take more initiative. Stay in the classroom after your 12pm end time to prep during lunch and after school with your master teachers. You should really be spending about 9-10 hours a day at school, then go to your classes. You'll have to end your personal life for a while, but hey you'll be making the big bucks soon, right?

    I agree with other posts about letting grades slip. I got a 4.0 in my credential program and master's program, and my employer didn't even care when I went to my interview. Instead, what got me the job was asking the principals at the school site during student teaching to personally call the other school and say that he would be a fool not to hire me, and that they can't keep me due to student population size. So, what you do in your job (student teaching) is way more important that your GPA.
     
  9. Malcolm

    Malcolm Enthusiast

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    Feb 6, 2007

    Just heard from four members of last year's cohort tonight. Many members of that cohort had problems with their placements, too.

    Uh, student teaching in a CSU credential program is definitely not a matter of sitting around and watching. And your experience at National can vary as much at any other institution. It all depends on your placement.
     
  10. Research_Parent

    Research_Parent Cohort

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    Feb 7, 2007

    FWIW...you're a short timer..there are only so many weeks and so many hours in student teaching... you can endure this, hang in there...

    If she keeps telling you to "do what you want", try a different angle... Come up with several alternative ideas on presenting the material and ask her opinion on which idea she likes better, then develop that idea into the full lesson.

    IMO...If all you do is lecture to the class, you'll never be as good as you can be...but then I am a tactile learner and REQUIRE hands-on to learn, so I almost always incorporate some exercise, experiment, game, etc into my lessons.

    I mean its not like you don't have time to wrap up a class with a quick game of 20 questions (well, maybe you only get to 10).
     
  11. Neeners

    Neeners New Member

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    I just think you need to suck it up and do your best. Remember you are there to learn from her, but her job is mostly to guide you when you need it - it is support. She will be grading you, and you want an A to get a job, so do what she tells you. Also, lecture is NOT the way to go! Even though it was the best way you learned, and the way most colleges do it, every student is not the way you were, and all of them are not going to college. Listening to lectures limits the skills you are teaching them as well. You need to teach them to think on their own, and lecturing to them is not the way to do it. Besides, how can you stand to just talk at them all day long? That would be so boring for me as a teacher, so I can't imagine what it is like for a kid. Lecturing has its place, but limit it to how often you do it, and how long you do it for each time.
     
  12. wvsasha

    wvsasha Companion

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    I was wondering if anyone was going to pick up on the "lecture and power point" style of teaching. You have to differentiate for the different students in your class. When you begin teaching you definitely won't be given the AP/Honors classes to teach until you put in several years and get experience under your belt. The vast majority of students aren't like what you are/were.

    If you haven't seen the movie Freedom Writers - I highly recommend it. Lots to learn/be reminded of for new and old teachers there.
     
  13. LambdaChi96

    LambdaChi96 Rookie

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    Feb 9, 2007

    Well, the week as passed and things have def gotten better. My evaluator came and gave me all excellent marks. I think my master teacher was just really stressed out. I figured this because I over heard some stuff about problems with unions and messing with the salary schedule and she seems to be the most active/vocal person about it so im assuming she is getting the most heat. Anyway, I also told her how my program at CSUSB works and that I didnt have a methodology class until THIS QUARTER. Now she understands why I cant finish a lesson plan in 15 minutes.

    Anyway, thanks for all the advice/comments. I was going to suck it up either way, but i just needed to vent. It was just weird because Ive never had problems @ "work" so it was all very foreign to me.

    Oh and someone said I should be on campus for 9-10 hours, I would love to except for the fact that I have class from 6-10pm. These classes require assignments to be completed, so between 2pm-5pm Im doing assignments for school and lesson plans for student teaching...so believe me, there is no personal life. 5pm-6pm is dedicated to lovely So-Cal traffic.

    Anyway, 14 more weeks.


    :)
     
  14. Malcolm

    Malcolm Enthusiast

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    Feb 9, 2007

    You can actually get somewhere in one hour at rush hour in SoCal now? Years ago I left Beverly Hills at 3:30 p.m. one day and didn't get to Hungtington Beach until 7:15 p.m.

    Glad things are going better now...
     
  15. LambdaChi96

    LambdaChi96 Rookie

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    haha yeah. Well its almost an hour from Riverside to San Bernardino between 445/5:00 - 6. Pretty ridiculous. My apartment lease is up in August so Im going to move WHEREVER i get hired.
     
  16. msb

    msb Rookie

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    Hi, I understand what you are going through. I'm glad things are better for you. I went through a semester of extreme stress during my student teaching. I had two master teachers as well. One had a similar teaching style as mine, and the other was just well, a jerk. I had to come up with my own lesson plans, so it took me FOREVER to plan my lessons. It was to teach me a lesson that I should be able to come up with my stuff on my own since no one will share their lesson plans at a school. Not the case now, we share quite a bit at my new school.

    Anyway, just as everyone else mentioned it will all be over soon, and please don't take offense to your master teacher. I think things happen; we can't all be perfect. I think I really beat myself up last year trying to please this person, and I truly realize now that I have my own class that my master teacher was a jerk. I used to dread coming to school because my master teacher would always grill me on what I did wrong. It was the kids that kept me going to school. They were great!

    Do the best you can and be professional. If you've done all you can to remedy the situation, then that's all you can do as a person. Really, trying to kill yourself for 9-10 hours on campus won't do you or your students any good. It just makes you cranky the next day! :)

    I think what really helped me was venting to my fellow student teachers, and talking to my teaching supervisors. They thought I was doing great, and they gave me feedback on what I needed to work on--not knit-pick on things that I was still working on as a newbie teacher. Don't be too hard on yourself! :)

    MSB
     
  17. msb

    msb Rookie

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    Lecture and PowerPoint doesn't work entirely with my kids. I have to break it up; ten minutes of lecture, guided practice with them on whiteboards, and then have them do independent work on their own. When I do have time, we use the whiteboards as team play in groups to review before a test. I have someone write up the points on the board, and I give bonus points for the kids. They get pretty competitive. It's a good informal assessment, and they love it. Of course, always go over the rules of the game before starting. :)
     
  18. lovethosekids

    lovethosekids Rookie

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    LambdaChi96,
    I am glad that things are better. However, I want to suggest to take things head on if this ever happens again. What I mean is, I work as a classroom aide for 5 years with 1 certain teacher. We attended professional developments together with other from our school. Well, this one time, we rode together. When I attend any professional development or college classes, I prefer to sit in front away from distractions, like those who are forced to be there and talk non-stop during it. Well, I chose to sit in front like normal and the teacher I came with sat in the back, with those who like to talk. I went back and asked her that I had saved a seat for her in the front, she told me that she was going to sit in the back. The day went fine, so I thought, until it was time to leave. I couldn't find my ride, I went hurridly looking around, until someone mentioned that my ride went to get their vehicle. I went outside to find my ride waiting by the door. Well, after 5 minutes of icy cold eminating from my friend, I asked what was wrong. I was blasted and berrated from this person I thought I knew, because I didn't sit with them. I knew that I had to get peace between us because I had 6 more months to work with this person for 4 hours a day; and I was considered the peon (even though I was attending college at night and half-way throught my Degree) I asked them point blank what they wanted me to do, as there wasn't room to sit with her from the beginning. Long and short we agreed to disagree.
    So my advice, is to sometimes get to the head of it, before it eats at you. Good luck with your future!
     
  19. LambdaChi96

    LambdaChi96 Rookie

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    Update: Things are WAY better now. I actually enjoy going to the school site and while my resident teacher and I arent "BFF," we do have a nice professional relationship and she is beginning to help me. She has also learned to let me do my own thing a little bit and back off. I sat down and just told her that I could not get my lesson plans to her a week in advance like she wants because of my schedule, and that even if 99.9 percent of other teachers were able to do that, I am part of the .01 that cant. SO, we compromised and I get all my lessons into her 2 days in advance and sometimes even sooner because I dont have that constant pressure in the back of my head. I usually turn in Mon, Tue, and Wed's lessons plans to her on Friday or Saturday the week before.

    At any rate, the point is...there are people like me who need time to adjust to different systems but when I do...




    watch out! =)
     
  20. my58vw

    my58vw Rookie

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    Mar 10, 2007

    I am really glad things are getting better for you. I had a very simular situation and I should have bailed along time ago, but it ended when the teacher told me not to come back :mad: . It seems like certain master teachers have way to much to do and really do not listen or provide help - and probably should not have a student teacher in the first place.

    I am very much like you - lecture broken by hands on activities - direct instruction, and my master teacher was exact oposite - very very little lecture and lots of worksheets + coloring. I think it boils down to finding someone that you can meet in the middle.

    BTW the reason I ended up geting told to leave is when the master teacher was at some book conference for two days and when she came back a few things were out of order - mainly because I was not able to come back to the classroom to clean. She took it WAY out of perportion - kind of how your teacher did things - this is ST not Team Teaching.

    Glad things are better - my school is looking for a new placement for me now :)
     
  21. cutNglue

    cutNglue Magnifico

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    Mar 10, 2007

    Keep in mind that in some schools, master teachers aren't really "asked" as much as they are told or expected (and usually at the last minute) that they will have a student teacher. This isn't an excuse, but when people say they should decline if they can't or aren't willing, that's not always an option.
     
  22. Crystal73

    Crystal73 Rookie

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    Mar 19, 2007

    How is the program at CSUSB? I am considering applying their for my BA degree. I currently live in Corona, so living in So Cal I have to consider traffic! :)
     
  23. LambdaChi96

    LambdaChi96 Rookie

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    I hate to say it, but I personally DO NOT rec CSUSB. The classes you take first quarter DO NOT prepare you for student teaching. All the classes first quarter are psychological theory classes (which are interesting and cool) but dont help in the classroom. Before I started student teaching, it would have been nice to have METHODOLOGY classes and learn the "survival skills" and classroom management, etc etc. They paint this rosy picture of the classroom and you go in student teaching really naiive.

    I have heard really good things about Cal State Fullerton. I heard they really do a good job of preparing you for student teaching and that its just a more effective program. I do have a couple really good instructors at Cal State, but aside from that, a good portion of the program is a big waste of time. Do we really need to make a "collage" of our students and spend an hour or two making a cute little poster board as if we are in elementary school? I dont know. It just seems useless. Yeah it was fun, and nice to know that you can easily get straight A's in all your classes, but whats the point if it doesnt help you in the classroom?


    I would do my homework before picking a program. Check into private schools as well...Azusa, National, Chapman, etc. Ask former students. Anyway, you have my opinion on CSUSB's program. I KNOW for a fact I speak on behalf of a good majority of the people in my program. To add to that, CSUSB is VERY VERY VERY disorganized. They will lose your paper work constantly and give you the biggest runaround to get something simple done.
     
  24. Crystal73

    Crystal73 Rookie

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    Mar 20, 2007

    thats why im glad this board is here!! thank you for your reply. I really want to go to University of La Verne or Chapman. I like that the classes are at night, and they have small cohorts of 10-15 adults. I figure, i want the best education for my money, and the best prep for my Bachelors. Have you heard anything about those schools?
     

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