Student Teaching begins in a month

Discussion in 'Student & Preservice Teachers' started by bros, Aug 5, 2013.

  1. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Nov 14, 2013

    Maybe I'm not remembering clearly but youdidnt sit In on conferences, did you, bros? Regardless, this isn't about conferences or security plans or whatever, you seemto again be disregarding the advice and insight being given. You on one hand tell us how you are unable to have ever held a job yet you give textbook answers of how everything should and will be if you are able to secure a job in this very competitive climate.
     
  2. LouiseB

    LouiseB Cohort

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    Again, you are in a controlled environment so you are doing dismissal, etc with another teacher, not by yourself. If you really are doing elementary ed and sped is on "the side", then why aren't you teaching all morning and all afternoon? It seems that you aren't getting any the benefit of a full environment. I understand that you say you can't control that but it will be a major detriment when trying to get a job.
     
  3. yellowdaisies

    yellowdaisies Fanatic

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    Nov 14, 2013

    I don't know how I missed this - are you not teaching Language Arts? You mentioned teaching an ELA lesson before, but this most recent post makes it sound like you are teaching math (but not centers), social studies, and science.
     
  4. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    Nov 14, 2013

    One of the first things I learned as a teacher was that things rarely go according to plan. You can have a Plan A and a Plan B, but you will almost certainly be in a situation requiring Plan Q.

    Students getting pulled without notice, fire drills, squirrely days and full moons, shifts in class dynamics due to student arguments and disagreements that happen outside the classroom, big tests in other classes, technology malfunctions, hot/cold/rainy days, kids who have had a crisis or bad night at home the night before, last-minute required paperwork, angry and/or demanding parents, angry and/or demanding admins, and random days where kids forget everything they already know....Plus all the things that can affect me as the teacher, like feeling under the weather, forgetting my breakfast/lunch, bad mood, my key not working in my door, the copy machine breaking down, my printer jamming, the internet going down, etc....All these things can impact how my classes go, whether I am an effective teacher, and whether my students learn. Even the best teacher has bad days, as does even the best student. And the truth is that none of us here is the "best" teacher (although I'm sure that we all try our best) and none of us has only the "best" students (although I'm sure that most of our students give their best effort most of the time). We are human, we make mistakes, and we sometimes have to deal with challenges that aren't our fault. It happens. And in the teaching world, where we work with lots of kids, it happens a lot.

    Bros, you come across as very inflexible and stuck to your Plan A. When these sorts of situations arise, how will you adapt? It's not going to work to talk about what should happen according to the school's policies and procedures. You need to think about what could (and likely will at some point) happen and how you are going to react. Can you address some of the situations mentioned in this post and others and show us that you understand the phenomenon of Murphy's Law and that you will be able to work within that phenomenon? I don't expect you to have all the right answers, but I do hope that your answers aren't "cop-outs" that just explain why you won't have to deal with a given scenario.
     
  5. yellowdaisies

    yellowdaisies Fanatic

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    I agree with Caesar. I'm in my second year of teaching. The thing that came as the greatest shock to my system was the crazy, demanding, hectic nature of this job. I sort of got a glimpse of it in student teaching, but it's nothing compared to having my own class because it ALL falls on me. That is a very different place to be in than under the supervision of a CT. Kids throw up, kids get injured, tattling happens, kids start fighting/whining/singing/humming/crying/laughing/walking around/falling out of their chairs, the phone rings, the internet goes out, the door stop won't work and the door keeps closing, the speaker starts making a loud buzzing noise, the teacher next door needs to run to the restroom, the phone rings again, oh gosh I can't forget to send that paper home to Billy's parents, the loudspeaker comes on and announces we need to send a paper home, where did I put that paper anyway...?....
    That's basically a day in the life. I love it and I thrive in it, but BOY is it unpredictable and exhausting.
     
  6. kcjo13

    kcjo13 Phenom

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    Nov 14, 2013

    Bros, I've been thinking about this whole situation and something just occurred to me.

    That thing you are missing-emotion. You are a robot. You know, it's ok to say

    "I DON'T KNOW WHAT THE HELL I'M DOING!!"

    It makes you real! Genuine! It's OK to say-"I have no idea what I'll do if a parent barges into my room. I would probably freak out-but I'm going to try to practice."

    Or-"I'm ****** that my placement won't let me teach all day! I'm making sure I'm present for morning centers, and soaking up what I can."

    Or-"Guess what! One of my students had a breakthrough today! He finally wrote the letter 'a'. I can relate to him because it's hard for me to write too, but together we're working on it. Then he wanted to give me a hug, but I wasn't ready for that so we fist bumped instead."

    Or-"I have been working hard on using [xyz] to help me write better. It hasn't been going well, but I'm going to try something else tomorrow. What do you think of this?"

    Be a human!! Be dynamic!! Be humble!! You do not have to have all the answers. It's ok to stumble-you're aiming for growth.

    Do you realize in all 60+ pages here I don't recall ONE TIME you mentioning a student? Other than yourself? It's all about you, your problems, your plans, your disabilities, you you you.

    It's not about YOU!!
     
  7. LouiseB

    LouiseB Cohort

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    I second everything kc job has to say.
     
  8. ZebraStripes

    ZebraStripes Rookie

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    Nov 14, 2013

    How frustrating it must be to have all those unnessesary extra factors in this experience.

    I'm glad you're moving forward and making progress. Best of luck to you!
     
  9. bros

    bros Phenom

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    Nov 14, 2013

    If it were in public, I would probably say something like "This isn't exactly an appropriate place to discuss your child's progress. Could you come in on <Insert Day Here> and i'd be glad to talk about it then?"

    The secretaries don't do that here unless the teacher tells them that <insert parent here> is going to be coming in for a conference. Although there is a day coming up where parents are invited to come in and observe their child's classroom (It's being done I think in December, as by then, the kids will be used to school and won't be as likely to cry if they see their parents come into their class, then leave after a bit)

    The security at the school is that after 8:30, you have to be buzzed in by either the secretary, the principal, or the nurse. From there, you can only go through the door into the main office, where someone will see you before you enter the hallway into the school, be it the principal or a secretary. If there is an angry parent who just wants to yell to get their frustration out, i'd probably see if the P could come and help talk to the parent, if they are a parent who has a history of being an angry one.

    When parents bring kids to conferences, only their children are in the room. Other parents have to wait out in the hall for the conference for their child to start.

    Yes, but I know that in this district, the... climate in the schools are pretty much the same. Warm and inviting.

    I sat in for one hour of conferences with my morning CT (The amount of time she held conferences that day) and one hour ~20 minutes of conferences with my afternoon CT (almost all of the conferences she held that day, as she arrived late due to being at one of the other schools for a conference for her child)

    I reply to statements based on my knowledge. I have gained knowledge through the ways everyone does - textbooks along with listening to teachers in the teacher's lounge (when they aren't being... rude, that is)

    I suppose my answers sound textbook because I have no other point of reference?

    Because for my program, it is required that I be in an inclusion, resource room, or self contained classroom under the guidance of a certified & tenured teacher who is certified in the area I am pursuing (Teacher of Students with Disabilities K-5) when doing student teaching.

    I cannot teach the whole morning because the general education teacher is untenured, and therefore, the principal can drop in at any time to observe her. She teaches every subject except Math. The only subjects taught before I leave for lunch are Writing, LAL, and Math.

    In the afternoon, the only subjects are social studies & science, along with Centers.

    I am also very... displeased with how my placement is not what it should be - I should be with one teacher for the whole day taking over all aspects of their classroom by 2-3 weeks ago.

    I am not teaching LAL as in the morning class, that is what the general education teacher teaches. In the afternoon class, they have science, social studies, and centers in the afternoon, with specials twice a week.

    I taught a LAL lesson on Monday because my afternoon CT let me teach her class a LAL lesson, as my supervisor wanted me to teach a LAL lesson (I told my morning CT about it multiple times that the supervisor wanted me to teach LAL, she kept saying she'd talk to the gen ed teacher to arrange something, she never did, so my afternoon CT stepped in and offered to let me teach the LAL lesson to please my supervisor)

    Students getting pulled without notice, I presume you mean to go home? I have the student get their things, then either have them do independent practice or put something on the Smart Board like a song or video related to the lesson.

    Random days where students forget what they know? I could load up the previous day's lesson if it had a smart board component, otherwise, I could try to reteach the material or have some supplementary resources to help in reinforcing the lesson.

    If the internet went down, I could check my phone, see if I have a signal, if I do, I could use it to access the internet by plugging it into the computer. Wouldn't use it extensively, but if I absolutely needed to download a resource, I would.

    Days where kids are squirrely? I'd try to adjust the lessons, maybe add some kinesthetic components, or just have them get up and stretch a bit to get some of the excess energy out.

    Technology malfunctions? That's why I carry so much technology with me - a tablet and a laptop, along with two flash drives (one is a backup of the other) and various cables in case something doesn't work (like a monitor needs a new video cable). I'll also probably get a projector after I graduate just to make sure I have something in case the in class projector breaks down, then I can at least project what I was going to teach.

    I tend to compartmentalize. On here, I emote less than I do in the school. I emote less at school than I do at home or in therapy. A more apt way to phrase it may be I am much more animated at home and in therapy (in a bad way, I am very fidgety and hyper. I control my anxieties and mild sensory issues when at school)

    I believe i've mentioned a few students - the one who lost his mother back in September, along with the student with the hearing aid who got his FM system last month. I tend to err on the side of caution when posting information about the students as confidentiality is paramount in teaching.
     
  10. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    Nov 15, 2013

    So true. Sometimes, there are weeks when you need Plan Q almost every day.

    My principal is big on the "f-word"--flexibility. Without it, not much happens effectively.
     
  11. dgpiaffeteach

    dgpiaffeteach Aficionado

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    Kc hit the nail on the head.

    Bros, you need to apply what you're learning. The job market is competitive. Giving textbook answers when interviewing will not be what most interviewers want to hear.
     
  12. kc_in_va

    kc_in_va Rookie

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    I think it's hard to know what you'll experience until you're actually doing it...right, experienced teachers? I've been following this thread for a while, and sometimes it seems like posters are dinging bros on things he can't possibly know yet. If something goes wrong in class, he'll need to be flexible and handle it...but as many of you have said, he can't predict what's going to happen. So how can he say yet how he's going to handle it?

    There is a lot of valuable advice in this thread. (I've been reading because, as a career switcher, I'm getting a limited student teaching opportunity and I want to make the most of it and learn what I might need to focus on when I begin teaching f/t.) I think from his responses, bros is listening and thinking about what the veterans have to say. He may not know how to deal with issues raised "in the real world," because he hasn't had a chance to apply the advice given, but you guys are giving him things to consider.

    I don't think any student teacher (no matter how long or involved their assignment) is fully prepared for what might happen in the classroom when they take over their own class. I think that trying to develop flexibility, planning and management skills, and a sense of humor are important and can be worked on during student teaching and outside of class. I'll have less of a student teaching experience than bros, but I know (from other career switchers) that it's possible to learn and adapt, and I hope hard work and passion for teaching kids will pull me through the tough first years.

    Bros, I think you can do it too! People are focusing on your answers here and how they can seem inflexible, but there's that matter of tone being hard to read on the Internet sometimes. I know you also deal with difficulty in expressing your emotions, and that must be even harder online. Hang in there and don't get discouraged. Take the great advice given here and apply what you can now...and save the rest for that tough first year. :)
     
  13. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

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    Nov 15, 2013

    We are responding not just to this thread's content.
     
  14. kc_in_va

    kc_in_va Rookie

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    Nov 15, 2013

    I'm sorry, I don't understand what that means. I don't have much time to read many of the threads here, so if you are saying that the posts on this thread are referring to other conversations, I probably haven't seen them.
     
  15. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Nov 15, 2013

    What do you mean by this?
     
  16. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

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    Nov 15, 2013

    Sorry...I wasn't clear and didn't have time to elaborate earlier.

    I was responding to the following and meant that when we are giving bros advice, we are doing so with knowledge about bros and his experiences that are not found within this thread. So if it seems we are a bit harsh, it's because we've followed his journey for a while...we know about a lot of his struggles and we care so we want to give honest feedback. :)

     
  17. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    No one is wanting to seem inflexible or closed minded...I think the goal is a reality check. Bros, you know more than anyone here what your limitations are...but the professionals here know more than you do about the demands, curve balls and challenges of education jobs. You seem to be fluffing off the advice which leads some to question how you think you will be competitive as a candidate or if hired, how you will fulfill your obligations to your students. What has been posted here doesn't quite engender confidence in your preparation or abilities to meet the standards, obligations and demands that most education positions require. No one is looking for perfection...but there seem to be gaps in what districts are looking for and you might want to address those gaps now...or face the disappointment and heartache later.:sorry:
     
  18. bros

    bros Phenom

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    I'm not disregarding the advice. I'm trying to restate it while providing a response.

    Today in school, the kids had a good day. One kid in the afternoon had a bit more behavior issues than normal - but he's been acting a bit off all week, he says he's been going to bed at 9 PM and waking up early to get to the before school program at 7 AM, and he says he stays in the after care program "late", the program goes until 7 PM, I believe.

    Today I observed the kids in gym. The gym teacher is my 7th grade health teacher. My CT told me it would be a good idea to see them in an unstructured environment and the gym teacher invited me to watch them, so I did. It was interesting.

    Today the gen ed teacher for the morning class gave me a paper that was put in her mailbox this afternoon - I need to complete a mandatory online training program for the district about cyberbulling, HIB, identifying child abuse/neglect, alcohol and drug abuse, and suicide prevention/awareness.
     
  19. hbcaligirl1985

    hbcaligirl1985 Cohort

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    "It ws interesting." That's all you have to say? What was interesting about it? What did you see? What did you observe? How did they behave?
     
  20. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    :yeahthat:
    these are required NJ trainings each year. You might as well take them now."it will at least give you another training to add to your resume.
     
  21. bros

    bros Phenom

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    The students were able to get excess energy out. All except one listened to the teacher - a student who doesn't have the best home life. He likes to avoid work, apparently when the substitute was there yesterday in the morning, he went to the bathroom four times.

    The gym teacher and I had to work together to get him to sit appropriately during gym when he was out during the game.

    The student also had a bit of a meltdown after gym, where he cut a hole in his shirt with scissors, and when he was talked to about it, he slammed his hands on the table and flung his papers and scissors to the floor.

    In gym, the students were well behaved. A bit chaotic, but an orderly chaos. Certain students who are a bit shy in the classroom were much more upbeat when in Gym. One little boy wasn't. I can count the times i've seen him smile on two hands. My CT was concerned early in the year, according to his parents, he is great at home, smiles, laughs, plays around all the time. He's a shy guy.

    The students are as well behaved in gym as they are for my CT, which is a very good sign.

    Yeah. I'm taking the HIB one now.
     
  22. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Good information. Our state is a leader in HIB legislation and training. We do ours online at the beginning of each school year...we take both the HIB and suicide awareness annually.
     
  23. LouiseB

    LouiseB Cohort

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    So what did you do about the meltdown?
     
  24. RadiantBerg

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    I get the impression that bros didn't handle it, but rather watched someone else handle it, which is why most of us are concerned.
     
  25. LouiseB

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    That's what I was thinking. I'm also curious how bros kept that student sitting appropriately.

    By the way, what is HIB?
     
  26. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Harassment, intimidation and bullying
     
  27. bros

    bros Phenom

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    It was easy - it was all things I have learned so far in school, or common sense.

    My cooperating teacher and I were floating around the room helping various tables, I saw the meltdown from across the room, then my CT had the student sit outside in the hallway, and asked me to keep an eye on the student, then she had him come back in and apologize to the class.

    Repeated reminder
    During gym I reminded him how he is supposed to sit. He'd do it for a minute, then lie down, saying he was tired, then I asked him to sit up another time, and he got the idea. After that, his friends next to him were like "come on! you need to sit up in gym or the teacher won't be happy!"

    HIB is Harassment, Intimidation, and Bullying.
     
  28. Linguist92021

    Linguist92021 Phenom

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    "My cooperating teacher and I were floating around the room helping various tables, I saw the meltdown from across the room, then my CT had the student sit outside in the hallway, and asked me to keep an eye on the student, then she had him come back in and apologize to the class."

    That's not really handling it. Your CT handled it at first, then you kept and eye on the student and then your CT handled the situation again. Keeping an eye on a student is nothing compared to having them do something for you when they're having a meltdown.
     
  29. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

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    This is not his classroom...the CT can call the shots.
     
  30. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    When I've had STs in their 'take over' weeks, I'd let them handle behavior FIRST and then I'd jump in only if needed.
     
  31. Linguist92021

    Linguist92021 Phenom

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    I understand that. I was just replying to the fact that someone said he didn't really handle the situation, so he is really not getting the experience he needs to handle things on his own, 100 %. Then the OP explained that he did handle it. But in my opinion that's not handling it completely.
     
  32. orangetea

    orangetea Connoisseur

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    Where did the OP explain that he handled it? I'm not trying to be argumentative, I just didn't see it.
     
  33. Linguist92021

    Linguist92021 Phenom

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    I actually included the quote when I first responded.
     
  34. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

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    Same here. Unfortunately for whatever reason bros isn't getting a great, authentic experience.
     
  35. bros

    bros Phenom

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    I don't know why I am not getting an authentic experience. It could be because I had to be placed late, making it so they had to pick the only tenured special education teacher left (Which is what I believe the personnel director at the school district might've said).

    I know that my supervisor and my CTs are saying that they are seeing much improvement from the beginning of the semester.
     
  36. LouiseB

    LouiseB Cohort

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    It seems to many of us that you should be totally in control of the classroom where you have been placed. I understand that you couldn't control the placement but now it appears that you are not getting the in charge time. Your CTs shouldn't be doing much at all. You should be handling situations such as the meltdown. Many times the CT isn't even in the room. I believe that is what we mean by not getting the whole experience.
     
  37. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    I'm sure bros' experience will technically meet the requirements for his certification.
    Is there a possibility , bros, that your 'less than full' experience is a function of the difficulty of finding an adequate placement that met both the requirements for licensure PLUS meeting your specific personal requirements? Is it possible that your CTs don't feel comfortable with you fully taking over, for whatever reasons?
     
  38. bros

    bros Phenom

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    My experience does meet the requirements for my certification.

    I don't think it is a result of the difficulty of finding an adequate placement - as there is another student from my college who is placed at the school. However, they are with one teacher for the entire day and they were placed before the beginning of the school year. (Although from what I hear, they might not be doing as well when their supervisor visits. Although I might be mishearing, as there are two other student teachers in the building)

    I don't think my CTs would feel uncomfortable with me fully taking over, as in the morning class, I would be co-teaching with the general education teacher and I would have the paraprofessional in the room too. However, the morning CT has never had a student teacher before. The afternoon CT, on the other hand, has had a few student teachers and she is more than comfortable with me in her classroom and has stated that to me multiple times.

    However, I can't be left alone in the room with the students. It is required by my college and the district that someone employed by the district is watching me at all times (So if my afternoon CT has to go to the bathroom, she has to get the para from across the hall or the hall monitor to watch the class).
     
  39. LouiseB

    LouiseB Cohort

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    It just sounds like your CTs are continuing to "run" the classroom. I would think that if you were the doing everything, your CT would just sit there or rather allow you to feel like it is your classroom. I understand co-teaching but your situation with co- teaching sure sounds different than what I've heard. It may be that your state/district do things differently than my state/district.
     
  40. bros

    bros Phenom

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    I think the district does things differently
     

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