Student Teaching begins in a month

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

  1. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

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    Seems to be the supervisor was in the wrong to go directly to the principal about her concerns. Yikes! If bros is supposed to submit weekly journals about his experiences and he mentioned being in the room to "witness" testing, he likely did nothing wrong (depending on how he phrased it). The supervisor, though, should have talked privately to the CT to see if there was a reason bros didn't participate in testing...not bother the principal.
     
  2. bros

    bros Phenom

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    All I did was mention in my journal entry about how the morning teachers had me sit to the side during the benchmark testing.

    In the morning class, the gen ed teacher runs math centers, the one day a week that I am there for them. Four days a week I am not there for math centers.

    I really would like to design a formative assessment, but would I be able to implement it in the short time I have left?

    What would it consist of for kindergarten? Not like I can give them a written test. The assessing i've done during my lessons is going over to students while they are working on whatever activity they are assigned and asking them a few questions to gauge understanding.

    This was my first chance at student teaching.

    I repeated my pre-professional field experience, which was once a week, mostly observation, with a few lessons taught near the end of it.

    I am trying my hardest at this experience and I think I am making the best out of this situation.

    Yeah, I know I should be prepared to teach the early grades. It sucks that my college only had half a course on how to teach the early grades though. Part of a course on developing literacy focused on K-2, the rest of it focused on literacy in 3-5.

    Every other class focused on 3-5th grade.

    I definitely understand how to teach Kindergarten, but I know that teaching Kindergarten would be rather difficult for me because of my issues with things like dexterity.

    That is what I meant.

    My disabilities are not visible, unless someone is watching carefully. Like I will usually move my head more frequently than others left to right to watch the class to manage behavior. As long as I don't write, they won't know I have a disability, unless they decide to make fun of my somewhat high pitched voice, which doesn't interfere with speaking.

    Yes.

    I plan lessons that engage students while having differentiation.

    I know that there are parallels between early and upper elementary, obviously the essentials of teaching are the same no matter what you teach.

    I may need to work on some skills for upper level math, I know I am able to teach some fourth grade math (Although that is a bit of an... exaggeration, I suppose. I only taught three math lessons to that fourth grade class last fall, which was more than required in math, but I wanted to because I am uncomfortable with math)

    So far in Math, I haven't really encountered anything that I haven't been able to do on a smart board either through a presentation on the smart board or using a student to help write something. In Kindergarten, I haven't done many lessons that require the writing of numbers, except for those that have the students come up to the smart board and trace the numbers.

    Yeah, I found it a bit odd when she did it. She didn't tell me until after she had talked to the principal about it, either.

    I phrased it as (roughly) "...Today, during their first LAL benchmark assessment, I was told by <Gen ed teacher> and <CT> to sit to the side, away from the students, and not circulate around the room like they and the paraprofessional were doing while the assessment was being conducted. I did so and observed them giving the assessment, which was a good learning experience because..."
     
  3. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    You 'definitely know how to teach kindergarten', because of your very limited teaching time during your placement? I wish you could see how misguided your thoughts are on this, bros.
     
  4. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    If you "definitely understand how to teach Kindergarten", why aren't you able to come up with a suitable assessment? Assessing students is an ENORMOUS part of a teacher's job.




    I thought you failed your first attempt at student teaching?
     
  5. gr3teacher

    gr3teacher Phenom

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    He had previously failed a field experience, and was failing this placement at the halfway point.

    A formative assessment doesn't have to take a long time. You could do one tomorrow if you wanted to. Come up with an open-ended task on whatever you're working on right now. Just giving them one open-ended question, a handful of manipulatives, and about 15 minutes would give you a ton of info about your kids.

    This isn't a real great example, but my kids are working on long division with remainders. I'm going to give them about 20 minutes tomorrow on the following task: "You read a word problem and decide to solve 226 ÷ 6. You then realize that, because of the remainder, you need to add one to your answer. What word problem could you have solved? Write a problem and show your math." That one question will give me information on whether or not they can determine an appropriate time to use division, whether they can interpret the remainder in a problem solving situation, and if they can actually solve the problem 226 ÷ 6 = 37R4, and probably won't be take more than 15 minutes, PLUS will help me figure out math groups for the week for our remediation/intervention time.
     
  6. dgpiaffeteach

    dgpiaffeteach Aficionado

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    How do you plan to sub if you can't write? My subs need to be able to write on my board.
     
  7. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    That's even worse. I didn't even know that it was possible to fail a field experience unless you just don't show up for your hours.
     
  8. RadiantBerg

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    This is really adorable. You have 3 weeks left I believe. You should be doing formative assessment EVERY DAY bros!

    The "oh, I would like to do that, but I only have a short time left" line is starting to drive me bonkers.

    Moral of this story:
    It seems like you went all out to find a school that has the appropriate technology, but what is missing is really from within.
     
  9. bros

    bros Phenom

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    I misspoke.

    I understand how to teach kindergarten, which I did not before the semester.

    No, I failed my first attempt at pre-professional field experience, which is going into a classroom once a week and observing for the first six weeks, then teaching one lesson a day for 6-7 weeks. and observing the last week.

    After my supervisor came in after the mid assessments were submitted, it was discovered that I was not failing the experience - My CTs gave me a 47 and my supervisor gave me a 53 - a 47 is required to pass. The two scores are added up and divided by two to come up with the final score for a student teacher.

    My lesson tomorrow is assessing them. It's to reinforce number recognition and the concept of more/less. They come up to the smart board and try to guess what number I am thinking of, I tell them if it is more or less than that number, then they move a chip accordingly on the number line on the smart board. I know some of the students who might have difficulty with the lesson, but I think most will be able to accomplish the task with a bit of prompting.

    I can use the smart board. At least in this district, teachers leave information in the sub folders on how to get on the computer. If the information isn't left, I know the information to log onto the generic student account.

    See my above response. Hopefully this doesn't sound terse. I just mean it as my response to your prior statement may shed some light.

    I do formative assessment in all of my lessons, usually in the closure. I thought the posters were referring to a big assessment for a unit. My apologies.
     
  10. RadiantBerg

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    He will be the sub who needs lots of technology available, of course.

    Ha ha...yeah....or cell phone use in the classroom.
     
  11. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    You not knowing the answers to these questions yourself is concerning, bros.
     
  12. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    If you're planning on subbing only in that district, then it sounds like you will be fine. In my district, we never leave passwords for subs because to do so would be a violation of our acceptable use policy. We are specifically instructed to avoid any plans that require the use of technology other than a TV/DVD player when it comes to sub plans. You wouldn't be able to sub in a district like mine.
     
  13. bros

    bros Phenom

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    Or the people who get kicked out of student teaching for wearing inappropriate clothing.

    We got told quite a few stories like that at our orientation meeting.
     
  14. gr3teacher

    gr3teacher Phenom

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    That sounds like a good anticipatory activity, but you aren't planning on giving all... 20? of the kids a chance to do that, are you? Unless you do it one at a time while the kids are doing something independently, it's hard to imagine them not scattering like a flock of birds after the fourth kid has gone up.
     
  15. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    But you did fail your first field experience, the one with Hurricane Sandy and all that, right?

    What have you learned since then that has made you more successful and more prepared to run your own classroom (either as a regular teacher or as a sub)?
     
  16. dgpiaffeteach

    dgpiaffeteach Aficionado

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    Not in my district! I have a basic projector.

    I NEVER leave log in information, bros. I'm responsible for all activity under my name.
     
  17. HistoryVA

    HistoryVA Devotee

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    It's very... lucky for you that every single potential issue that is brought up is already considered and solved by your apparently perfect-for-you district! I lock my laptop up when subs come. I've never been in a single school that allows subs online, but thankfully your district now only lets subs on but will always have every bit of tech that you will need to sub. I hope your district is a large one because it doesn't sound like you'll ever be able to teach anywhere else.
     
  18. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    The advice has been shared before in this very long thread that a class full of kids watching one kid on the SB is fodder for disaster in terms of management which is already a struggle for the OP. This is something you should have learned by now, bros, since you now understand how to teach kindergarten....(the same idea would apply to upper grades:2cents:)
     
  19. RadiantBerg

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    New Jersey districts are inherently EXTREMELY small compared to other states.
     
  20. bros

    bros Phenom

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    The students may also know the information for a generic student account, or if a smart board is available, I can hook up the wires to my laptop and use that for instruction. I always bring extra cables with me in my laptop case.

    I just realized that you meant a formative assessment as in what is done at the end of a lesson. Sorry. Was a bit groggy.

    They're usually sitting on the carpet right in front of me, so it is easy to manage their behavior, and I will probably ask them questions like what I mean by the number being too big, or something like that. I'll also be doing number stories with them.

    Yes, the first field experience that I had where I was required to teach lessons, I failed. It was the one last fall that was affected by Sandy.

    Since then, I have become more confident in a classroom, I have been able to develop more creative and engaging lessons, I have become a bit more confident in my classroom management abilities (but not as much as I should be at this point), I know that overplanning for a lesson is better than planning just enough - because the concept might just click in five minutes rather than 15, making the lesson that much shorter, so the more planned, the better. Know what tasks you can clip from a lesson if time is an issue.

    If you have a basic projector, I could probably hook up my laptop to it. Unless it is mounted to the ceiling, then I won't touch it. But if there are cables connected to a computer that are connected to the projector, I would see if there is a second input available on the cable and try to hook my laptop in.

    Subs are allowed online with very limited access, obviously. Subs have limited computer access. I know when I was in K-12 and they were introducing the online attendance, they had a paper attendance form for subs, but I haven't seen one in my field experiences in this district when a sub has been in for one of my teachers. So they have to have something. I've seen subs this year get on the computers. Sometimes another teacher logs them on, or the subs just log on.

    That's why now when I have one kid up at the smart board, it is either something quick, or I ask the other students a question or two while the student is up at the smart board. Keep in mind, we are in a very small space in front of the smart board, so it isn't like they are all sitting at their tables and one student is being called up at a time to come to the smart board.

    We have a lot of school districts here. I think mine has ~3000 students.
     
  21. HistoryVA

    HistoryVA Devotee

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    :eek: Wait, did you miss a 0? 3,000 students? My SCHOOL has 3,000 students. If your district is that small, what are your chances of getting a job?
     
  22. gr3teacher

    gr3teacher Phenom

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    3000 students... assuming that means about 1500 elementary kids... figuring there are about 15 kids per classroom or SPED position, makes 100 total jobs. Even assuming very high turnover... like 25% annually, that still leaves only about 25 openings per year. And that's likely a very, very high estimate.

    Long story short... don't put all your eggs in one basket.
     
  23. gr3teacher

    gr3teacher Phenom

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    No, he meant 3,000. Most of the country has local districts, not county districts. Virginia and Maryland are just weird.
     
  24. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    I didn't specifically mean at the end of a lesson.
     
  25. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

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    Formative assessments are not only end-of-lesson assessments. I would learn about formative assessments, bro. We were not taught much about them in college...yet they're very important to effective teaching.
     
  26. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    I don't know of any district in my area of NJ with 25% turnover. We've hired 4 or less teachers DISTRICTWIDE in the last several years. (my district is about half the size of what bros quoted)

    And even in districts that have several openings, the competition is deep. Many, many resumes for every one opening...many of those candidates have experience in the grade levels/ content area they are looking for, excellent recommendations, and are able to market themselves well.
     
  27. yellowdaisies

    yellowdaisies Fanatic

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    We have local districts in California, but 3,000 would be EXTREMELY small here! I could only see that happening in a rural area. Districts often have 20,000+ here. But I know CA is a lot more densely populated than other states. I also know that it's nearly impossible to get a job in some of those districts with 20,000, so I can only imagine trying in such a TINY district....:eek:

    At my school, if you brought your own laptop (mine would not be there - it is issued to ME, and I have it at home when I have a sub), you actually could use the projector (the hookups are right on the desk), but you wouldn't be able to access the internet. Tech won't give subs the login information.
     
  28. swansong1

    swansong1 Virtuoso

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    Bros...do you have any other interests or talents, besides education, that you can turn into a possible job?
     
  29. gr3teacher

    gr3teacher Phenom

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    I know all that (I tried to find a job in Western New York... might as well have decided to try out for the Buffalo Bills), but I was being highly optimistic just to prove the point.

    I know when I was applying for jobs in Western New York back in 2010, in tiny, podunk districts where the pay is crap, there were some openings with over 600 applicants. I found out my "dream job" had close to 800 people apply. The one district I got an interview with had 100 people come in for round 1 of interviewing. Yuck.

    And then I was offered, all on the same day, a job in West Virginia, Maryland, and two in Virginia. Two of which I was offered without ever personally meeting the principal or AP. Go figure.
     
  30. RadiantBerg

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    He did not miss a 0. That is a pretty average size NJ district. Some are a bit larger, and there are some even smaller. It's a lot different than in other states.
     
  31. gr3teacher

    gr3teacher Phenom

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    I can't speak for New Jersey, but in New York, most districts west of the Hudson have 1000 kids or fewer. There are a few really big districts, but most are really tiny. All the districts I applied to were in the 400-900 kid range. My graduating class had 77 kids, and was the largest class in school history (and the most competitive... I was 6th with a 103.69 weighted average... the valedictorian had a 103.84 weighted average... sorry, off-topic)
     
  32. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    LOL on the Bills comment. I'm familiar with Western NY...dh is from Buffalo area...
    SUNY colleges continue to pump out thousands of teachers yearly, as do many colleges across the US. With those kinds of odds, one has to be a compelling candidate...and even then, it's tough as you learned in those tiny districts. Kudos on your success!
     
  33. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    Do all the classrooms in your district have a smartboard? Most classrooms in my district don't. I don't have a smartboard.

    If I did have a smartboard and I discovered that you had unhooked my computer to hook up your laptop, I would be livid. It would actually cause me to tell the office manager that I didn't ever want you back in my classroom. I'm responsible for the technology in my room, and I don't want anyone else messing around with it.

    Many of our classrooms have mounted LCD projectors. Like with the smartboard, if I discovered that you unhooked my computer to plug in your laptop, I would be really upset. Your technology needs don't trump my accountability.

    My district doesn't have "generic student accounts" or "sub accounts". Paper attendance is the only option, at least right now with our current system. Even if you could get onto the computer, you'd have no way of getting into the attendance because it's linked to my account and I would never leave the password.

    Again, all this is irrelevant if you're planning on only working in your current district. Are you only planning on working in that district? No possibility of working elsewhere?
     
  34. dgpiaffeteach

    dgpiaffeteach Aficionado

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    Agree with everything Caesar said. I would absolutely NOT want a sub messing with my technology. I am responsible for it.

    We do not have sub accounts or generic accounts. Only about half the classrooms have a smart board. Some have no projector at all. It just depends on what the teacher wants.

    This was true of my last school as well.
     
  35. bros

    bros Phenom

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    Yeah, it's about 1600 kids PreK-6. 54 kids in self contained, 25 kids are out of district.

    I know there are end-of-lesson assessments and end of chapter/unit assessments.

    My district usually has ~3-5 postings a summer, but I know like 6-8 teachers are going to be retiring at the end of the year, most of them are elementary.

    I wouldn't need internet access to teach. If I did, I could just hit a button on my phone in my pocket and use wifi.

    I don't know. I have a lot of knowledge of special ed and disability law.

    Yeah. I believe there are 531 districts in NJ. We have 21 counties.

    They have smartboards in all K-6 classrooms.

    I'd never leave a computer unconnected after unplugging it for my own purposes. That would be rude and unprofessional of anyone to do.

    I'm planning on looking for jobs in the district I live in as well as the surrounding districts, of which there are about 7-8 within a 20 minute drive.

    Honestly, to avoid any issues of this nature when subbing, I am considering purchasing a projector (as I will buy one for when I am teaching, for when something goes wrong with the technology in the classroom), probably something portable like this.

    I know they have smart boards in all K-6 rooms as of this year. They want to get smart boards in every classroom by 2020, or something like that.

    If I were subbing and needed to use technology, I would ask a teacher at the beginning of the day if they could get me on the computer.
     
  36. chemteach55

    chemteach55 Connoisseur

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    How many paras and subs in your district are certified teachers with several years of experience waiting for those jobs to open?
     
  37. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

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    And lots of other types...
     
  38. smalltowngal

    smalltowngal Multitudinous

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    bros~just out of curiosity, what made you fail your pre-professional field experience?
     
  39. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Yup.:rolleyes:

    Asking about assessing student learning is a typical interview question.
     
  40. swansong1

    swansong1 Virtuoso

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    Bros...I'm really old school...technology is a nice addition to my classroom and very useful...but it doesn't take the place of actual hands on teaching. I can't count the number of times that technology fails and I "resort" to "old fashioned" methods of teaching.

    If you can only teach using technology for instruction...you aren't teaching. Your technology is doing your teaching...and technology doesn't have a brain.
     

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