Student Teaching begins in a month

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

  1. amakaye

    amakaye Enthusiast

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    I know Caesar said the math was just an example, but I wanted to jump in with something. You said HS geometry was pretty much impossible for you. We just finished our 3rd grade geometry unit, and I taught many concepts that I myself certainly didn't learn until MS or even HS (My vent on the uselessness of teaching 9-year-olds the types of triangles belongs elsewhere...). But I'm sure in 4th and 5th grade, they cover even more advanced topics. Just something else to consider...
     
  2. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Bros you have talked about not being able to do early elementary math such as regrouping without a calculator despite a test that may have said otherwise. While you may have taught a few math lessons in K during student teaching, you haven't planned and taught a unit in math...it's a lot different.
    You have written here that you would use clay and videos to teach handwriting. Even up to grade 3, you would need sometimes to actively demonstrate how to form letters. Teaching writing is much more than fine motor skills, however. You've said several times that writing is a strong suit for you. Would you be able to teach units of study in a variety of genres including personal narrative, poetry, opinion and informational? Would you be able to clearly communicate the nuances of language usage to young writers? How about conferring with students about their writing/editing writing?
    Other content areas of reading, social studies, science have been lightly touched upon in these many pages of your experience and advice from members.
    You WILL be asked during the interview process about how to best teach writing, what math instruction would look like in your room, what approaches you would use for reading, how to work with colleagues, how would you communicate with parents (see the interview threads in job seekers for more)....those answers can't be only based on what your college professors have taught, but what you have actually done, experienced, observed in action, and tried out. How are you going to make that happen so that a school will be confident in hiring you?
     
  3. Linguist92021

    Linguist92021 Phenom

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    In continuance with what Czacza said: planning a unit is so much different than planning a few lessons here and there. Even if you plan 5-6 lessons in a unit, if you're not responsible for planning it out from the beginning to the end, you won't understand the entire point.

    I have always been praised on my lessons. Although I think I still need to be more creative and try different approaches, I know I'm pretty good (especially for a new teacher). But doing BTSA right now I'm once again reminded of the complexity of it and its purpose: teaching is not just planning and implementing great lessons. It's teaching the students a skill / concept that is measurable, and you must measure it. Having to do pre - assessment, formative and summative assessments, and keeping in mind students' progress is the most important thing. And like I said, if you're only responsible for stand alone lessons, you won't get it.

    Bros, I get that you are limited by what your CTs allow you to do. But if it was me, I would plan an entire unit and ask them to allow me to teach it. If not, then at least I'd ask them to take a look at it the unit plan and give me feedback.
     
  4. bros

    bros Phenom

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    It's the geometric equations and picturing 3D shapes in my head that are difficult, not the different types of triangles.

    As far as I know, i'd have no issue teaching a variety of genres. When I was in the fourth grade gen ed room, I taught a few LAL lessons on a variety of things, like character traits, fact & opinion, and a few other things.

    I can clearly communicate the nuances of language usage.

    Math instruction in my classroom would be multisensory - I would use a lot of manipulatives in my lessons along with audiovisual/smart board components.

    I would communicate with parents not only when something negative happens, but I would try to send something positive home at least every week or so - my afternoon CT does this, if the class has a particularly good day, she'll send home a "happy note" to the parents/guardians, telling them what a great job the entire class did today.

    There's no time for me teach a unit with only 17 days of student teaching left (Wednesday is a half day and December 13th is a half day). I know how to plan a unit that is grade appropriate, i've done it in a class as mentioned previously. It was a 5th grade social studies lesson on Slavery with things about weaved in, and it was a cross-curricular unit.
     
  5. gr3teacher

    gr3teacher Phenom

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    Having a book knowledge of how to do something is different from doing it. After all, eunuchs in a harem know how it's done too.

    You are probably right that it's too late for you to plan and implement a unit plan with this group. Whatever the reason for that, you certainly can't go back and fix it.

    What you could do is plan a unit specifically for these kids (probably the afternoon crew, since you seem overall more comfortable in that room) and give it to your CT for feedback. Maybe your CT could even implement it for you after you've gone and give you feedback. Heck, she might even let you come in and do it as a "guest teacher." It probably wouldn't be the worst idea in the world for you to be proactive and ASK if your experience could be extended until... was January 21 the day you said it could theoretically be extended for? You really want to be able to discuss a specific unit you have taught, implemented, adjusted, assessed, readjusted, etc... or if that isn't possible, you want to talk about a unit you created for a specific group.

    I know it probably doesn't seem like a big deal, but it really is. My college gave each ST two placements... one in a low-income district, one in a high-income district... at least one with inclusion, and a mix of upper elementary and lower elementary. Each placement had a requirement of a complete unit that I had planned and implemented from start to finish. Neither unit I did was particularly long... each was a two week unit... but planning and implementing a unit is a very different beast from planning and implementing specific lessons.
     
  6. LouiseB

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    Having any field based experience means nothing at an interview. With field based experiences, it is a "once in a while" experience and is usually out of context/scope of the regular classroom. Please do not consider that teaching experience!

    Just to clarify that field based experience is time spent in classrooms during undergrad classes, not considered anything like student teaching.
     
  7. RadiantBerg

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    See, it shouldn't be would be in interviews----it should be "my math instruction during my student teaching WAS multisensory, for example.....

    I know you keep explaining that you CT doesn't let you do stuff, but I am going to be blunt and say that I think it is most likely your fault that she is not letting you do stuff.
     
  8. bros

    bros Phenom

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    I was using 'would be' as a response to the post. In an interview, I would obviously take more... ownership of my statements.

    How would it be my fault? My morning CT asks me frequently what I should be doing at whatever point in the student teaching, I tell her, she goes "okay" and doesn't do it. The only thing she followed was the calendar my supervisor had to write out for her saying when I do what (take over half the lessons, all the math lessons, when we start having me only teach a few lessons near the end)
     
  9. MissScrimmage

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    Nov 24, 2013

    17 days is lots of time to get a unit started. I'm starting a new science unit this week and an author study next week - both will continue until December 20th and then the science will be completed in the first couple of weeks in January. It's nice to have a place to 'pick back up' when we return after Christmas holidays.

    FYI - the units I planned in university for professors are laughable now. There are some good ideas in them, but they are pretty idealistic. I had to really tweak them to actually use them in my classroom.
     
  10. gr3teacher

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    I'll agree with that last point. My master's project was writing a unit plan. I look at it now and seriously wonder how in the world I thought I would possibly accomplish all that in a real classroom in four weeks!
     
  11. Linguist92021

    Linguist92021 Phenom

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    Nov 24, 2013

    Before I student taught I had to teach I think 3 lessons. 1 in our university class, which was pretty much a disaster, almost all of us. The lesson was good theoretically but went over the allotted time 3 times.
    The 2nd lesson for was a 5th Language Arts class. The lesson theoretically was great, had all the required components, all the critical thinking, guided / independent practice, modeling, assessment, etc etc. I learned then that what I think will fit in a lesson will need to be cut in half. Then when I'm teaching it, it still needs to be cut in half, because I overplan. Which means I can't just leave a lesson half finished, I have to think quickly what to speed up, what to leave out to still finish everything and have some kind of closure.
    Up ntil then I would write these 'beautiful' lessons in my college classes, got great grades for them, but implementing them was a different thing.
    You could teach a unit in 2 weeks.
     
  12. RadiantBerg

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    Nov 24, 2013

    If you inspired confidence in her, and gave her a clear plan for how you wanted to teach, things would be different...rest assured.
     
  13. kevo2005

    kevo2005 Companion

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    Nov 24, 2013

    What about curriculum and development.
    Adapting curriculum and modifying it for SWD.

    Also, your focus seems to be on unit planning for a class. There is a big research push right now for individual instruction. So how would you plan a unit for a specific child. That is part of our teacher portfolio. They have to plan a unit then they have to adapt the unit specifically for one child.
     
  14. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Killing me.:D the thread needed a little levity.
     
  15. bros

    bros Phenom

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    Nov 24, 2013

    I believe in Science, we'll be starting a unit to last the marking period in the afternoon class after Thanksgiving. In Math (morning class), we're currently a bit through the current chapter (I teach every lesson, the gen ed does centers on fridays, and my CT does the remediation center and has me at the other centers).

    The unit plan I planned for that class was something like 15 lessons, I believe it was to be over a four-six week period.

    So I made a resume. How does it look for how bare it is? here it is

    Before student teaching, I taught like 16-18 lessons in my two field experiences.

    At first, I had some issues with timing, which I have since resolved.

    SWD?

    Students with Disabilities?

    I am knowledgeable on how to differentiate and I build it into my lessons.
     
  16. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Your resume is not compelling.

    Your ST experience should highlight what you did, you don't need teachers names...just bullet innovative, creative, research based and current thinking kinds of lessons, activities and resources/philosophies that you actively utilized and can speak to in a clear, passionate, experienced way.
     
  17. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

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    Nov 24, 2013

    bros, search the boards for resume advice. Yours severely needs help.
     
  18. bros

    bros Phenom

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    Any tips as to how to phrase that? This is my first try at doing a resume.

    How would I phrase that I use a lot of technology and manipulatives in my lessons?

    Should I list that I have experience with the Everyday Math Curriculum from my student teaching?

    I know it needs help.

    Hm. I should probably put the PD courses I have completed for the SD I am student teaching in.

    Where would I put them, though?

    I should probably list what certifications I will hold after graduation, shouldn't I?
     
  19. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    Does your university not offer resume assistance?
     
  20. bros

    bros Phenom

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    They do, but only from 8-4 and in person at the campus.

    Which makes it impossible for me to partake in their services.

    Also, I just checked the sites of districts around me, and five teaching jobs are posted around me. One for an elementary teacher K-3, which I probably won't apply for me. One for a Long Term Sub Grade 5, one for Inclusion elementary, one K-3 school with a resource position and an inclusion position. One district has four para jobs posted, one I cannot do (requires lifting capabilities), the rest I might be able to do (Although one is only 1 hr 30 minutes a day, 5 days a week).
     
  21. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    You recently had a fall break from ST, bros. that would have been a good time to go to your college's career services office. What time to you finish classes this Wednesday? If its a half day maybe you could go then...or over the Christmas holiday season?
    Many districts want candidates to have certifications/license in hand. It takes A WHILE in NJ to get the paperwork processed...so you might be in better shape plying to para positions at first ( which you seem to be leaning towards it seems)
    Have you taken your Praxis exams yet?
     
  22. hbcaligirl1985

    hbcaligirl1985 Cohort

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    Nov 24, 2013

    "Writes clearly" is not a skill.
     
  23. sue35

    sue35 Habitué

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    Nov 24, 2013

    You need to look online at sample resumes. This is not good. Get rid of the "writes clearly and concisely"-everyone should be able to do that. Reword the part about knowing Special Ed law, or get rid of it and mention it in your cover letter. You know you need a cover letter right? Google examples.

    Get rid of how frequent your scholarship was given out-they don't care.

    Follow czacza's advice on what to put under student teaching. I would even consider putting your other placement before ST on there. You can mention technology use here.
     
  24. bros

    bros Phenom

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    My college closes early on Wednesday. An hour after dismissal, I believe (which is about how long it takes for me to get there).

    In October, we had someone from the certification office at the college say that if we are applying for a job and they ask for certification and we don't have it yet, they can provide the district with something showing that we graduated from a certified program and that we are just waiting to receive certification.

    I passed the Praxis II Elementary Ed: Content Knowledge in June 2012. Got a 171, with a 143 required to pass.
     
  25. RadiantBerg

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    You'll have plenty of time over winter break, but get going on your own research now.
     
  26. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Not enough in my district for teaching positions. Could work for para jobs.
     
  27. Linguist92021

    Linguist92021 Phenom

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    Where is this resume? Am I missing something?
     
  28. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Nonsense. "Impossible" means that you've decided that it's not up to you to make it happen. That's defeatist; I'm afraid it's also quite consistent.

    Have you phoned or emailed to explain your circumstances and to ask if it's possible to arrange an appointment out of hours? It's at least thinkable that there's some arrangement for people in your position, but you won't know till you ask.

    If the office staff says no, then you ask what alternatives the staff can recommend for you. These alternatives may involve work on your part; the correct response is to thank the office worker genuinely and then set about implementing them. You also actively seek other ways to access these services: maybe there's a day or half-day soon when the university's open but your school isn't, or maybe you go after your student teaching ends.

    But there's a huge gap in attitude (and in the extent to which your actions show you really want this) between "difficult right now" and "impossible".
     
  29. bros

    bros Phenom

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    here is an updated version of my resume. Thoughts? The second one seems a bit clunky. Needs rephrasing. Perhaps move experience...was gained to a bullet point below that field experience?

    Understandable, I found it odd when the certification person said it too. Makes more sense that they want a cert in hand when they hire you, rather than a paperwork issue that prevents you from getting your cert.

    I know one alternative is that I can talk to my DVR counselor - they can assist with resume creation and he said that if I pass student teaching, I need to get an appointment to get help with a resume, as mine will be rather... threadbare.

    My apologies for the use of such a finality. At this point in time, it would be very difficult for me to utilize the services offered to me by my University's Career Services office.
     
  30. gr3teacher

    gr3teacher Phenom

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    Lots of things are difficult, but you still need to do them.

    You need to have a section on there for certifications. For now, put the date that you will meet the requirements (Elementary Education K-6 February 2014, pending final graduation requirements), and take that off the second your certificate actually goes through.

    Also, the fact that you took 36 credits in history will not interest an employer in the slightest. They want to know about your education chops. How did you do there? You'll also want to include your major GPA... ie: Overall GPA 3.60, Major GPA 3.92. No, that probably won't actually be listed anywhere, you'll need to calculate it yourself. But that is the more important number.

    Your references should also be included in your résumé, particularly as a new teacher. This is a stylistic choice, but I'm a fan of using bullet points. Also, the student teaching part should be the bulk of your teaching experience. You need to drastically trim the pre-observation parts.
     
  31. sue35

    sue35 Habitué

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    Also you should be getting reference letters to give out. I got one from my student teaching supervisor, my cooperating teacher, and the vice principal of the school I student taught/aided at
     
  32. gr3teacher

    gr3teacher Phenom

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    As a corollary to this... have you been observed by administration at your school? If not, request one. Tomorrow. Trust me about this.
     
  33. LouiseB

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    This resume is about teaching/education only. Take the pre-observation out of there as it really is nothing about teaching experience in my opinion.
     
  34. gr3teacher

    gr3teacher Phenom

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    I think mentioning it is fine. It shows that you've had formal observation in a multitude of grade levels. My résumé had a line for observation under student teaching. I had a total of almost 400 hours in classrooms between grad school and undergrad, although most of that was outside of my requirements. Me and one of my pre-ST teachers hit it off well, and I spent an entire school year spending Fridays observing, volunteering, etc., in her room.
     
  35. LouiseB

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    If I was looking at your resume, I would be looking at the time you spent volunteering,etc. To me, and I'm basing it on the student who did field based experience with me, this pre-service really didn't show me much. But then again it was this particular student
     
  36. bros

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    The 36 credits of history makes me highly qualified in History/Social Studies.

    I think my major GPA is currently 3.71?

    My college has a GPA calculator on its site, but it only allows you to enter 6 courses.

    I should definitely ask for reference letters.

    No. The principal hasn't observed me more than poking her head in the class for a minute or so while i'm teaching a lesson. The master teacher/reading specialist/anti-bullying teacher/principals assistant has seen me managing the afternoon class.

    here is a revised resume
     
  37. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    If you are HQ in History/Social Studies, say that. Don't beat around the bush on a resume.

    It doesn't really matter that the principal hasn't seen you in class yet. You still should/need to ask, right now.

    I don't like the "skills" section of your resume.

    I think you should nix or severely trim down your field experience. It doesn't make you stand out at all, and it just fills up space on your resume that could be used for something else.
     
  38. RadiantBerg

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    Also, be ready to back up the "buzz". There is nothing they hate more than empty buzz words. For instance, you better have at least 4-5 specific lessons ready to describe that used multiple intelligences and differentiation, how they went, and what you would have changed in the lesson. NOT theoretical lessons, but lessons you have taught.

    Also, I agree with Caesar about the skills section. Perhaps replace that with an "objective".
     
  39. gr3teacher

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    If you're highly qualified in History/Social Studies, then show it with a certificate. Otherwise (and I mean this nicer than it sounds), nobody cares. You listing 36 credits in history would be like you listing a class you took in ballroom dancing. If you qualified for a history minor, then say history minor, but otherwise, nix the number of credits in history. That won't help you, and it won't make you stand out.

    The reason why I'd highly recommend asking for a principal observation is because... first and foremost, it shows initiative. Administrators talk. Other administrators might not hear that you didn't request an observation, but they will hear if you did. Since you're planning on applying in this district, you want this principal talking about your showing initiative. More importantly though, you're going to want an administrator from here as a reference, and they will be much more useful to you as a reference if they can talk about specific things you did. I'd recommend any student teacher ask for an observation, but in particular, I think you'd want an administrator to talk glowingly about how absolutely seamlessly you handled things, and how your class didn't look any different than a non-disabled teacher's class would have.
     
  40. gr3teacher

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    I'll also agree with the skills section. Saying you know Special Ed law seems silly. You're a SPED teacher. You have a SPED degree. I'd hope you have knowledge of SPED law. If you are going to include a skills section, that's where you should highlight skills that other candidates aren't likely to have. Advanced technology skills, specific professional development such as the Language! program, etc.
     

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