student teacher pro/con

Discussion in 'General Education' started by love2teach, Oct 31, 2008.

  1. love2teach

    love2teach Enthusiast

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    Oct 31, 2008

    I am thinking about having a ST this year...what are the pros and cons?!
    Is it wort the time?!
     
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  3. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Oct 31, 2008

    I'm in a Catholic school, so the opportunity rarely comes up. But I did it once.

    To be honest, I'm such a control freak that it's hard turning over my class to someone else.

    That said, I think he learned a lot, because I bit my tongue (A LOT!) and let him take over.
     
  4. Ms. I

    Ms. I Maven

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    Oct 31, 2008

    In my opinion, every teacher should have the experience of having an ST because no matter how many yrs a teacher may have been teaching, they can learn from the someone who's brand new to the field, plus, it's nice for the veteran teacher to have that type of attitude & not act like they know it all.

    It will take some extra work on your part. Maybe waking up earlier or staying later or using your lunch break to discuss things w/ you ST, but don't take on this responsibility unless you're 100% sure & have the desire to make the best of it & genuinely care & want to help this person succeed because I've personally had 4 CTs in the past & I'd say that only 1 of them was truly astronomical!

    Pros:

    - May learn something new (yes, even from someone new)
    - Chance to help pass your expertise to someone coming up in the field.
    - Have a helper for a few mos (although that's not only what it's about)
    - Maybe gain a nice teacher friend! :)

    Cons:

    - Takes extra time on your part to show this person things & genuinely help them to succeed
    - If you have a lousy ST, they might be more trouble than not or may be a little lazy, but usually STs are good because they need you MORE than you need them
     
  5. Luv2Learn

    Luv2Learn Companion

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    Oct 31, 2008

    Well, I have to say as an education major, I would hope that my CT would also be enthusiastic and look at this as a learning experience.

    While I could totally understand Alice's point, I would definitely love to have someone experienced as she is, hoping that goodness will rub off.

    I do think that right from the beginning it is important for communication to be open between the CT and ST. It is the CT's class after all, and the ST should be respectful of that. I think both can learn from each other if they work together. The goal, of course, is to help the students so that they can move forward in their own lives.

    Kris
     
  6. Ima Teacher

    Ima Teacher Maven

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    Oct 31, 2008

    I had a student teacher last year. It was hard for me to let someone take over my classroom because I'm one of those control freak people who likes my classroom just so. My student teacher did fine, with just the usual "newbie" issues. She'd also gone to high school with me, so that was nice to already know her as well.

    I do, however, think I preferred having an intern teacher. The interns have their own classroom, and I'm in more of a mentor role . . . and I did find that I learned a lot from watching her work with her students in her classroom.
     
  7. ELA 11 12

    ELA 11 12 Companion

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    Oct 31, 2008

    I had one, but will not take another one for a couple more years.

    I took one after 9 years of teaching because of my experience with cooperating teachers (one was awesome, the other was the opposite) and because I attended a lack-luster teacher training program. The ST I mentored was from my alma mater and I wanted to give that person an awesome experience.

    To clarify, I took that ST for personal rather than professional reasons, and as a result, I helped the teacher but not the students.

    That being said, it will be sometime before I take another ST. I will do it, but I want to make sure that I have all my ducks in a row.

    The students suffered because the ST was weak--and not as a direct result of the teacher training program. The largest part of the weakness came from the ST. He had great classroom management but no drive to understand and teach the content "on purpose".

    Even after conferencing with his supervisor and me, he had no idea what he needed to teach, why it was important, and what should be taught next. I think the buzz word is "scaffolding". For example, he honestly felt that he could read a section of novel the night before and teach it the next day, even after scrambling in class AND after I shared (later directed) that he needed to read at least twice in advance and again before the lesson.

    Because he could not understand my concerns, suggestions or direction, our students developed no skills. I still question if I was fair to the students. They liked him, so there was no emotional harm done.

    I am struggling to put the experience in written words. Again, it will be a while before I am ready to take an ST because in doing so I can not complete my obligations to both the class and the ST at the same time. The district's students are my focus and the reason the district hired me.

    After this long reply:

    Ask yourself if you are doing to help out, or if you are ready to take on two levels of teaching simultaneously.
     
  8. the_guy

    the_guy Rookie

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    Nov 1, 2008

    I had two different master teachers earlier this year (I was the ST). I have since received my credential and I now teach kindergarten. My two different MT, one in fourth and one in K, were amazing. They sacrificed their time and patience on my behalf and I consider my time in their classes MUCH more valuable and helpful than all my undergrad and cred. program classes put together.

    That being said, I had fellow credential student friends who had the exact opposite experience. The ST have no say as to what master teacher they get placed with or the grade. Some of them saw their time as a ST as little more than slave labor. They ended up doing prep work or grading papers along with planning and teaching while the MT basically phoned it in for 8 - 10 weeks.

    In my humblest opinion I would suggest not to take a student teacher unless you are ready and able to treat them with the care and consideration you would give to one of your child students. Please remember that you are probably the first authentic representation of who a teacher is and what they do, that most ST will encounter. Some of my friends were truly turned off to teaching because their MT basically threw them to the wolves.
     
  9. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Nov 1, 2008

    It's a reallly delicate balance.

    In a more recent experience, I had six days of classes in September before going out for surgery. During that time, the sub who would be covering my classes sat in on them. (He has more than enough math credits, but no prior teaching experience.) After the first 2 days, I gradually started sitting in the back of the room and letting him teach.

    It was hard. Not that he did anything wrong, but sometimes his lack of experience showed through. Kids got away with things they wouldn't have if I had been there. He didn't have "THE LOOK" down pat to quell the chatting. He didn't know what background the kids had, so he sometimes got stuck on whether or not something should have been prior knowledge. His explanations weren't always the best way to get kids (particularly my slower class) to understand a new concept.

    It's a tough balance. Of course you want the teacher to succeed. But you also have a big responsibility to your kids.

    Of course, my example isn't typical. For one thing, I was only going to be out for a month, and then I was getting my classes back. So there were very few "mistakes" that I couldn't fix on my return. Furthermore, he wasn't a student teacher, he was getting paid to sub for my classes.

    As it turned out, he did a nice job with the kids. The school has kept him on, at least for the time being. He has my 3 SAT prep classes, and is working as a small group tutor with the freshmen math failures. (In the meantime, I've been assigned to mentor another new teacher, the 22 year old who is subbing for our Precalc/Calculus teacher. So I'm with her 1-2 periods per day.)
     
  10. kidsandpups

    kidsandpups Companion

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    Nov 1, 2008

    I have never had a student teacher but my advice would be to only take a ST if you really want one. I was stuck with someone who didn't really want to take a ST but was talked into it because my college was having trouble finding placements for all of us. She made it clear that she didn't really want me there and was doing her best to tolerate the circumstances. She was not helpful at all and I don't think I learned anything from her. On the other hand, I was placed with a CT in another ST placement (we had to do 2) who really loved having student teachers (I think he'd had 10 at that point.) I really learned A LOT from him because we worked together really well. Don't take a student teacher because you feel like your principal or someone wants you to. Do it because you want to help a newbie learn.
     
  11. Sagette

    Sagette Companion

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    Nov 1, 2008

    I want to chime in here as I had three ST experiences, 2 were great, one was so-so. I would also know going in that the ST will have requirements from her college that will need to be done during the experience. Try to be open and accommodating to the requirements that your ST will have from their college supervisor. I lost points because my one CT wouldn't let me put up visuals :(

    Be a Mentor! As a cooperating teacher, you will need to explain clearly what you want taught and give examples of things that the ST can do. Let them know they can also bring in their own ideas, that will be cleared by you, but don't just hand them big thick curriculum binders and expect them to figure out by themselves what skills they need to teach. Also, show them where everything is in the school, including any technology (ELMO, Smart Board, Overhead).

    Also if you have support staff in the room who help you during lessons (passing out papers, assisting in behavior mgmt, etc) make sure that this role continues even when the ST is doing her lessons. If you need the help, it's a safe bet the ST will too.
     
  12. noreenk

    noreenk Cohort

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    Nov 1, 2008

    I've had two sets of student interns (not yet at their final student teaching semester, come in pairs, teach 6-8 lessons and do several observations beforehand).

    Pros: It forces me to improve my organization systems so that they're clear for others. I really have to know exactly how I'm planning on addressing students needs. They also bring a fresh approach and *sometimes* the latest teaching methods, things that may not work out 100% when they do it, but give me something new to try with my class. And you get to see how your kids treat/react to other teachers!

    Cons: Both times I've had to address lack of punctuality (or just not showing up at all with no notification) as well as lack of adherence to dress code. Their initial lessons weren't so good and required me to either step in at the end or reteach vocabulary/concepts later. This year's pair is particularly flaky and don't seem to "get" how to address students' different needs.

    I like the idea of helping these girls improve their craft and learn classroom mgmt strategies, but I do get frustrated by their lack of professionalism and motivation. But then I see a colleague's student teacher, who has everything that my interns have lacked. You have to be patient and willing to let go of a few things in your classroom because it has the potential to be a valuable experience for both the college students and your students.
     
  13. love2teach

    love2teach Enthusiast

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    Nov 1, 2008

    Thanks for all of the replies! My concers are those that you have all just posted!

    I think it would be great to have someone come in and be able to teach me a few new things (what is on the up and up now in education...I am sure ther are new buzz words and techniques since I finished college). I also kind of feel an obligation to "give back" since there were teachers who gave thier time, classroom and students to me...if it were not for them, I would never be a teacher!

    I am also very worried about getting someone who well, franky, STINKS! I dread the idea of making more work for myself or having to teach my students something over b/c the ST did not do it correctly. I know a few people who have had that happen...and felt trapped b/c they knew they had to let the ST teach these lessons, but in the end she/he was responsible for the students progress and report card grades.


    Uggg...I have to give it more thought and maybe talk to my principal next week...see what insight she has!
     
  14. KLP1220

    KLP1220 Rookie

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    Nov 1, 2008

    Since I am a student intern this year, I really didn't know how the process worked. I was terrified that my clinical teacher would not want me there and that I would be a burden. Luckily, this does not seem to be the case at all. My My clinical teacher has been such a huge help to me. Invaluable, actually. She was very welcoming, helpful and encouraging. I don't think that I will ever be able to thank her enough when the year is done. I think it can be really rewarding on both sides though. If you genuinely want to help someone into the field of teaching and are ready for the challenge. I know that it does take work though. My clinical teacher is practically one of my university teachers.....I think she deserves pretty good compensation for it but I don't know anything about that detail.

    Along with being mindful about her students she also has to be mindful about me. In the beginning, I did not know "how" to help in the classroom. This had to be shown and she had to think of me too.

    When I teach lessons, she must go over how it went with me and review all of the plans. She has forms to sign and has to schedule me in.

    She helps with planning by providing resources as well.....I know there is a lot more that my clinical teacher does but I can't think of everything now. I am sure there will be more when I am there daily.

    I know that for me, I was super motivated and excited to begin interning. I can also so that almost everyone that I know in my program is the same way. They all really want to do well, need a strong, veteran teacher to guide them and lots of support. I think if I was a teacher I would be concerned about getting a "bad" intern. In that case the teacher can go right to the supervisor and if they don't straighten up their placement is a privilege and they can be kicked right out.

    I know that there will not be an opportunity for me to have a student intern for many years down the road but since my experience student interning I want to have one in my classroom at some point. I feel like I must give back and allow for the same experience and kindness that I have been given....

    Good Luck with it!!!
     

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