Student Teaching....any advice?

Discussion in 'Secondary Education' started by sjo102784, Aug 5, 2009.

  1. sjo102784

    sjo102784 New Member

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    Aug 5, 2009

    Hello everyone! I have the pleasure of student teaching this fall! I begin in a few weeks and can't wait. I just joined the forums, any new teacher tips would be appreciated! I am teaching Freshman U.S. History and potentially an elective Psychology class.

    My endorsement is in Secondary Social Science. Thank you in advance for any advice or encouragement offered...I'm very excited to begin my teaching career!!!
     
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  3. ku_alum

    ku_alum Aficionado

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    Aug 5, 2009

    Be a sponge.

    Respect your coop teacher even if you think he/she is "doing it wrong."

    Dress professionally.

    Prepare to be exhausted after the initial excitement wears off.

    Wear comfortable shoes.

    Smile.

    Expect to stay beyond the school day for meetings, etc.

    Go to student games, plays, performances.

    Find the line of being firm but friendly.

    Know that you are being watched by EVERYone.

    Network, network, network.

    NEVER be late.

    Some students may resent you taking over for their favorite teacher, don't play into their attitude, just keep rolling.

    Enjoy the students, they are a hoot, but remain the adult.

    Don't get caught up in the negative vibes some teachers seem to spill from every pore.

    Hold your students to high expectations.

    Use technology. Use technology. Use technology.

    Don't be afraid to back up and start over, the students will forgive you.

    Show off the good work of your students.

    Be a sponge (I already said that, didn't I?)
     
  4. Socteach4rmTX

    Socteach4rmTX Rookie

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    Aug 6, 2009

    Wow!!! That's gr8!! Congratulations!!! I student taught this past spring! Now I am preparing for my first teaching Job. It was a very rewarding experience. All the things from above are things that I say are excellent tips. I will add be ready for the unexpected!

    Be creative! Always plan with your mentor teacher, but don't be afraid to be different, those kids want something new and fresh and SOME mentor teachers want to bring in new ideas. Remember though, You are a guest in that school! Act as such.
     
  5. Budaka

    Budaka Cohort

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    Aug 6, 2009

    Remember that student teaching is not representative of your entire future teaching career. Some people have wonderful student teaching experiences and others not so much. It is a lot of work but it is also is different when you have your own classroom-both in good and bad ways.
     
  6. 4capulina

    4capulina Rookie

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    Aug 14, 2009

    Good posts... I just finished student teaching this past spring for 11th grade US hist & 12th U.S. Government. The most important thing about teaching is being able to relate to the students. I was a Young Life leader for nearly 7 years for middle school and high school students.... That experience as a leader/counselor helped me tremendously. Do you have previous experience working with youth? If you do, you will do well.... Just do everything that KU Alum said and you will have a good experience whether you have a gr8 master teacher or a poor one.
     
  7. krysmorgsu

    krysmorgsu Cohort

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    Aug 14, 2009

    KU Alum had some great suggestions. I just completed my first year of teaching, and I student taught the year before. As someone pointed out, it can be great but it can also be hard. Be prepared to sacrifice your social life for it! Try not to, but realize that you may feel overwhelmed and that this is preparation for your career - and is therefore more important than going out with friends every night. Remember: you ARE a guest. Another teacher from my school had to be moved (twice) and I think had to repeat student teaching because he kept turning situations into huge, unmanageable dramas. He burnt a lot of bridges in the process, too. Also, take Airborne! You will get sick now (and your first year) with every blessed cold the students get...take airborne (it's a lifesaver), get plenty of rest, try to stay healthy. Contact your mentor asap and try to meet with him/her prior to your first day. Ask for copies of everything -- curriculum, old lesson plans, notes. Some will help you now, others will help you your first year (timesaver!). Borrow copies of the textbook now, rather than when school starts, to familiarize yourself with it. Be open to everything! Don't be afraid to ask questions - that's what your co-op teacher is for...but also be willing to listen to advice from other teachers there, too. Frequent this board - check out the student teacher and new teacher forums - you'll find great advice and ideas on this site! Finally, and most importantly, remember to BREATHE! There will probably be times you feel like crying, or pulling your hair out, or just giving up. You WILL make it through - no one expects you to be perfect, they expect you to make mistakes and need help - that's what student teaching is all about. Good luck!
     
  8. kstar03

    kstar03 Companion

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    Aug 15, 2009

    I agree with this post! My student teaching was a nightmare but my first year of teaching was so smooth and enjoyable. Don't let the hard days (and there will be some of those) bring you down. Instead, cherish the good days and think of them often.

    One last tip... something I didn't do and I think it would have made the difference: Do some teambuilders with your students the first week you take over. My students saw me as a glorifed sub and hated to see their teacher leave them for 16 weeks. I think if I shared more of myself and got to know them better, it would have been a different experience.

    Best of luck!!!!
     
  9. roco07

    roco07 Rookie

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    Aug 16, 2009

    I had a phenomenal supervising teacher (He was chosen Teacher of the Year by the local paper last year). Remember that he/she has been working with the kids already and that there are certain things that they need to keep going because they will have to retake the classroom when you leave. Also, something that was really helpful when I had my observation time was to go observe other teachers. I spent the first day or two observing him in the classes I would be teaching. Then a day observing other Social Studies classes and a day observing different disciplines (one math, one art, one English, one Marketing). That way you can see how the students are throughout the day with other teachers and how teachers other than your supervising teacher run their rooms. Also, one of the suggestions I didn't get to do, which would be fun maybe at the end of student teaching is to shadow a student for a day. Follow them from bell to bell, eating lunch with them, changing classes, the works.

    Good luck!!
     
  10. Liza Marie

    Liza Marie New Member

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    Aug 18, 2009

    Hey
    I was 2 years ago a student. I did my pratical at the best school in town. The advice that i can give you, is to do as much as you can. The more you do, the more you learn. Don’t sit around and wait till something happens. While doing your practice you make your mark in the ‘Teaching –World’. So go out there and kick some butt!!!!
    Till later
     
  11. dovian

    dovian Comrade

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    Aug 18, 2009

    Ask what you can do; don't wait around to be told what to do. Your mentor might not let you grade essays right away, but even grading a multiple choice quiz is work that he/she doesn't have to do.

    If the teacher suggests you walk around the classroom, do it.

    You have HS kids. Remember how you felt like you were "grown up" when you were 14 and treat the kids accordingly. Nothing's more painful for you and the kids and your mentor who's watching than talking down to them or treating them like kids.

    Don't overshare. When you are close to their age there is a temptation to tell them all about your life and/or to be gossipy. The kids are not your friends. Always remember that you are the adult. Don't talk bad about kids to other kids or about teachers to other kids. Don't be their facebook friend.

    Similarly, although you are only working with one teacher (or maybe 2 sometimes) remember that everyone will notice your behavior. It's a professional environment. Don't get caught up in the drama and gossip that can happen in a school building. Be on time and dress professionally. Leave your home life at home.

    Don't be afraid to try new things. Even if you have all of your mentor's lesson plans, it can be much better to really think through the process of creating a new activity. I had an ST last year who used a lot of my stuff, but I could tell she didn't spend much time really thinking about it beforehand - the kids would ask questions she couldn't answer, and she'd look to me to fill in. Better to write your own stuff and know what you want the outcomes to be.

    Technology is good. Sitting in the back of the room typing away on a laptop while your mentor is teaching is not, particularly if your mentor is older. It can be seen as not paying attention, since we don't know if you're taking notes or doing work for a class or looking up funny pictures of cake on the internet :) Better to take notes by hand and copy them over later, or on your prep.

    When you start giving your own assignments, check with your mentor about your grading, as he/she will have to answer for it when you're gone. Make sure you check in if a student is doing poorly to see if it's typical or if there's a problem. Don't give too many assignments. The first quarter my ST taught she had about 40 because she felt like she had to collect EVERYTHING. Don't make that mistake. It'll just raise your stress level and it can hurt the kids' grades. If you have something that reoccurs every week (current events? Do they still do that?) consider keeping a tally separate from your gradebook and entering it as one big grade near the end of the MP.

    Use a computerized gradebook, if possible. It'll save your sanity.

    Be flexible. Inevitably you will have a great, technology-using, student oriented lesson and your observer is coming and the school wireless dies, rendering all computers in the building nothing more than word processors, and then there's a fire drill or a surprise assembly that cuts your lesson time in half. Have a backup plan or two. Ask your mentor what they do when things go all to heck.

    Above all, be polite, respectful, neatly-dressed, on time and well-prepared. Preparation is key. If you can be ultra-prepared the rest is much easier.
     
  12. backtoclass

    backtoclass Rookie

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    Aug 18, 2009

    I always found it helpful to overplan activities. You'd be surprised how quickly things can go when you kids are actively participating.

    It's always better to run out of time (due to the bell) than to run out of material in your lesson before class is over.
     
  13. EpsilonBeta

    EpsilonBeta Rookie

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    Aug 18, 2009

    I just student taught in the spring and mine was one of the rougher situations. After the first few days I was teaching 75% of the classes and after 2 weeks 100% so there was very little transition time. I had to do everything and it was a bit overwhelming at times because I was learning new technology, writing all the lessons, all the tests, we were under federal observation and prepping them for standardized tests.

    The best thing you can do is network with your whole department and don't be afraid to ask for help from any one of them! Even if I wasn't teaching all the classes so quick it still would have been a tough time to be teaching and my entire department helped hold me up and keep me going. Even if it was just the occasional "You're doing great don't worry".

    Also remember that your entire time student teaching is an interview! Don't burn bridges and if you do something wrong, admit to it and say you are still learning and open to advice. Student teaching is a great in for a future job especially if your district is in one of the areas flooded by unemployed teachers right now.
     
  14. coolhandluke

    coolhandluke Rookie

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    Aug 19, 2009

    Technology

    Computerized is the only way to go. Paper is now the backup. Get a handy little zip drive as well.
     

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