Student teacher in my room

Discussion in 'Elementary Education' started by Curiouscat, Nov 6, 2011.

  1. Curiouscat

    Curiouscat Comrade

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    Nov 6, 2011

    I am absolutely thrilled to be hosting a student teacher this January!! I have known this person for a few years and feel confident this will be a great learning experience for both of us.

    I would appreciate any advice as to how to make this a good experience. Having never done this I am sure there are things I have never thought about. Thanks!
     
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  3. waterfall

    waterfall Virtuoso

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    Nov 6, 2011

    Being a 2nd year teacher I've never had a ST, but I have been a ST myself recently. :) I would say the number one thing is to have that balance between letting the ST have control and try out their own strategies and also be willing to help them out when they need it. My CT was GREAT at letting me take full control- we were supposed to send lesson plans ahead of time to have them approved, but she told me right from day 1 that I would never learn if she sat there and redid my lesson plan every time- she wanted me to just try out what I had and I'd learn through experience what needed to be changed. What a great experience! On the other hand, sometimes she was supposed to fill out feedback forms for me and she really refused to say anything negative. She kept saying that I needed to figure out for myself what I wanted to improve on. We had a really good relationship (we still talk all the time even though I now teach in another state) and I think she didn't want to damage that. Although I really appreciate her letting me do everything on my own, constructive critisism can be really helpful too! I think you have to find the balance between letting them get out there and giving them feedback when appropriate.

    The other thing I would say would be to let them observe at first. I didn't have this problem with my gen ed CT (the one I was talking about above) but I did with my special ed CT and several others before that. They would get offended when I came in the first day and simply observed without "jumping in there." They thought I was too shy, didn't know what to do, wasn't interested, etc. The truth is my university required several assignments from these observation days, and I would not have been able to complete them if I were working with the kids instead of actually observing. I also am an extremely reflective person and found it really helpful to see how the teacher did things for the first day or two before jumping in.
     
  4. INteacher

    INteacher Aficionado

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    Nov 6, 2011

    Here are a few things I have learned from hosting student teachers in the past

    * make sure you completely understand all the requirements of the student teacher and yourself - as waterfall posted, many times there are required observations of not only you, but other teachers in the building
    *communicate, communicate, communicate - and to do this well, I think you need to schedule daily meetings at the end of the day. The mtgs don't have to take long, but gives you and your ST the chance to speak daily about what's going on in the classroom
    *set up a schedule you both feel comfortable with - clearly define what you want your ST to do. Don't just expect your ST to know what to do.
    *give them a teacher space and if possible his/her own desk - your ST will need space
    *introduce your ST as a teacher to your students - don't make your ST work any harder to gain the respect of your students.
    *make sure you introduce your ST to everyone - P, VP, office staff, cafe staff, other teachers.
    *allow them to make mistakes - but help understand why it was a mistake and that we all have planned the greatest lessons that flopped. Teach your ST that great teachers learn from mistakes and revise those great leasson to make them work
    *most important - teach your ST that teaching is awesome, fun and the most rewarding career :)

    Good Luck
     
  5. PinkCupcake

    PinkCupcake Cohort

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    Nov 6, 2011

    Communication is key! My mentor teacher and I had a mini meeting at the end of the day and they were beneficial to both of us. I think it's importat a ST is introduced to other staff at the school; it's just another way of making them feel welcomed in my opinion.
     
  6. christine89

    christine89 Companion

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    Nov 6, 2011

    One thing that I found really helpful with one of my cooperating teachers is that I had a few days of observation first (she was also very informative about her routines, strategies, etc.) and then she kind of worked out a schedule of things I would take over doing, basically adding something every 1 or 2 days until I was taking over everything and she would tell me specifically which things I would take over and then went over it with me to make sure I was comfortable with it. I had a second cooperating teacher who did not do this (older grade level). So for that experience, it was kinda like "Well, which subject would you like to start with?" For me, I liked being informed of how basic methods worked. Though a lot of info was overwhelming at times, I would rather be overly informed than not informed enough.
    Also, don't be afraid to give feedback or make suggestions. Those kinds of things helped shape the teacher I am today!
    Have fun!
     
  7. bondo

    bondo Cohort

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    Nov 7, 2011

    Great advice by everyone. I'd only reiterate letting the student fail. We as teachers fail, and its important for the student to learn how to pick themselves up, analyze what went wrong, and move forward.
     
  8. Peachyness

    Peachyness Virtuoso

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    Nov 7, 2011

    We had to do two student teaching assignments. My first one went horribly. What made it hard was that she was unwilling to let me teach and try out things my way. She was VERY controlling. Even my university supervisor told me later on that she felt very uncomfortable in that classroom and could feel tension (I actually never really felt tension, but I did feel more like a guest or a sub and had to do everything my master teacher wanted to do). On my last day at the school, my master teacher told me that I should repeat student teaching 1 before going onto student teaching 2!! She even said that I should sub for a long time before ever getting my own classroom. !!!! :(

    My second one went way better because she let me do what I wanted to do and try things out while supporting me and giving me constructive criticisms so that I can improve.
     
  9. DizneeTeachR

    DizneeTeachR Virtuoso

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    Nov 7, 2011

    I would say be clear of expectations. I know I went into a ST classroom & was introed along with the Para... which I think I should have been introduced a little differently, so the students saw me more as the "teacher" when it was my turn.

    This teacher knew that I'd been subbing for awhile and would just let me "run" the class and would disappear for awhile.

    If your ST would like a copy of something you have... it is beneficial. I know my mentor let me copy anything I wanted...so I went through and just grabbed a bunch of stuff!!! It was GREAT!!!
     
  10. amakaye

    amakaye Enthusiast

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    Nov 7, 2011

    I spent a whole afternoon in the workroom copying things from my CT's files--many of which I still use!

    After giving your ST time for observation, find things they can take over right away. Even if it's something small like giving the spelling test or correcting bell work, getting them involved in leading an activity right away helps them get comfortable in front of your class and helps the students see them as a teacher in the room.

    And I agree with disappearing from time to time once they are taking over and are confident with the class. My CT would take work to the library across the hall and set up camp there while I was teaching my full days.
     
  11. Loomistrout

    Loomistrout Devotee

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    Nov 10, 2011

    Data collection instruments can be very beneficial. They turn subjective judgments into objective while producing graphics for discussion and review.

    Examples:

    1) Proximity - seating chart which observer uses to track teacher movement during lesson.
    2) Wait Time - tally sheet which observer uses to tally agreed upon wait time (10 seconds or?) between asking a question and calling on student for response.
    3) Who Gets Called On - similar to Wait Time except seating chart is used to tally who gets called on during a lesson
    4) Engagement Rate - seating chart which observer uses to tally four agreed upon behaviors - Ex- socializing; playing with objects; waiting; on task - every two minutes during 30 minute observation for the entire class. From the data the observee can, in graphic form, see exactly what each student was doing during the lesson or any other time chosen to be observed.

    When using the instruments ST observes cooperating teacher first and records data. Then roles are reversed.
     

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