Student Teaching begins in a month

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

  1. gr3teacher

    gr3teacher Phenom

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    Bros, just to clarify... it should be a rare lesson that doesn't include some type of assessment. Exit tickets, informal assessments, checklists... everything you do is an assessment opportunity, and most of it would be considered a formative assessment. That's an interview question I can almost guarantee you'll get at some point.
     
  2. orangetea

    orangetea Connoisseur

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    Have you thought of teaching high school? This would require getting a masters in a content area, but it might be a better fit.
     
  3. gr3teacher

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    I could definitely see this. I know bros is considered HQ in history.

    The reason I'd say high school might be a better fit is because a lot of your weaknesses would be masked. There wouldn't be as much impromptu writing on the board, you'd never have to worry about showing a student how to form letters, math would be a total non-issue (granted, you'd have to teach charts and graphs some, but you wouldn't have to WRITE any of them), etc.

    The only concern I'd have is that the classroom management issues could be exacerbated with teenagers.
     
  4. gr3teacher

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    Well... shouldn't say only, since classroom management is such a huge thing... but you get the idea.
     
  5. RadiantBerg

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    Additionally his problems with anxiety and social interactions won't be any better at the HS level. Sure it may lessen some of the issues with writing etc, but I could imagine it creating a whole new host of issues. I think bros even mentioned in an earlier post that he thought HSers would eat him alive.
     
  6. bros

    bros Phenom

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    Most of the paras that I have met have been paras for decades, but that is not representative of the entire district, obviously.

    The sub pool is made of retired teachers and people who want to get jobs in the district. The LTSes are usually people who have subbed for the district for a while, or good subs.

    "He had a difficult time engaging students and would only occasionally activate prior knowledge. He had to be coached on how to use his voice as an effective teaching tool. He had some difficulty for nonverbal communication techniques. He rarely strayed from the lesson plan. He seldom moves from the front of the classroom when instructing, but circulates the room during small group/independent work.

    While much growth has been demonstrated throughout the semester, there has not been enough growth to recommend him for student teaching at this time. We do believe that with further experience in the field, he will be successful as an educator."

    I know. I'm just coming across so... oddly here aren't I? I know what the forms of assessment are and what examples of them are.

    Let's say i'm teaching fourth grade social studies. Here in NJ, a big part of the year is focused on the Lenape Indians. Could have the students do a think-pair-share, graphic organizers, exit slips, a discussion (which is my normal method of formative assessment), or just observing how the students do in their independent practice.

    I know technology fails. That's why i'd have a backup and a backup for that backup.

    Yeah. All of my lessons include formative assessment. I'm just used to referring to it as closure.

    My old sped teacher recommended that if elementary doesn't work out for me, I should teach HS.

    I wouldn't have to get a masters. I would only have to pass the social studies Praxis II to get licensed, as I have taken 36 credits of history in a coherent sequence.

    That is also my concern with classroom management in a high school setting.

    Perhaps singular, rather than only?

    Yeah, they probably would. At least middle schoolers would. If I don't get a job in the immediate future (i.e. before the end of this school year), i'll probably take the praxis II in social studies just to expand what I can apply for in terms of jobs.

    My anxiety is definitely less than it was three years ago.
     
  7. gr3teacher

    gr3teacher Phenom

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    Let's take a more positive spin. It seems like a lot of us here are focusing on the negatives. Pretend we were an interview panel. Tell us some specific things that have gone great during your student teaching that would make us say, "yeah, this is the guy we need."
     
  8. bros

    bros Phenom

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    During my student teaching I have learned to develop creative lessons that are engaging for all learners while incorporating differentiation almost seamlessly in each and every lesson plan. My student teaching experience introduced me to useful sites for educational videos such as BrainPOP. I have taken 6 hours of online professional development in topics ranging from HIB, cyberbulling, recognizing child abuse & neglect, drugs, and youth suicide. Through my student teaching, I have gained advanced knowledge with the proper integration of a smart board and other technology in my lessons.
     
  9. gr3teacher

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    What are some (specific) examples of differentiation you've used? How do you know it worked? Can you tell about a specific math lesson you taught that you know went really well?
     
  10. bros

    bros Phenom

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    An example of differentiation I used was when the students were working on writing and identifying numbers, I gave one of the students, who is on an IEP, an extra worksheet to do with the para, to reinforce numbers that they had difficulty identifying. The student also traced numbers on a card, which helped to reinforce the identification kinesthetically. The student improved throughout my tenure as a student teacher, gaining confidence in their abilities.

    One math lesson that went very well was one on the identification of teen numbers - it was their first formal introduction to numbers beyond 10. They had touched upon them before when going over the date, but had never had formal instruction on teen numbers. I used a song, which was played on the smart board, along with a counting book, to help with the identification of teen numbers. I had the students search for examples of teen numbers that they saw around the room and I would ask students if a certain number was a teen number or not. I know this lesson was effective because the next day when I taught a lesson on how a teen number is 10 and some more, almost every single student got the concept right off the bat.
     
  11. hbcaligirl1985

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    I'm pretty sure the gift question was sarcastic, bros.

    And if you think you'll be ready to teach after subbing, I have to shake my head at that. Subs don't do the jobs that teachers do on a daily basis. You won't be grading papers, or doing assessments or forming bonds with those kids.
     
  12. chemteach55

    chemteach55 Connoisseur

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    You are very textbook sounding in this answer--practice being more conversational in your answers. Give specific examples. Honestly, if I were a principal, I would start planning the rest of my afternoon with an answer like this and try to get you out of my office as quick as possible. You need to be able to have normal intelligent conversations with peers without having to plan them.
     
  13. gr3teacher

    gr3teacher Phenom

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    Great!

    Now, I'd glad to hear some positive stuff, because it seems like we focus on the negative... but I'm also glad that you're able to give specifics. There is a method to my madness there... when you go for interviews, those are questions you are going to get (differentiation, specific math lesson, probably specific language arts lesson, too). You're also going to be asked about your classroom management... make sure you are able to give specifics. Whenever you get questions, whether they are from us, a teacher, an administrator, whoever... always try to talk about specific experience. Part of the problem I see is that you try to give "by-the-book" answers. Administrators will see through that in a heartbeat. Giving a by-the-book answer, and then describing a time where you did it though, is another story. Try to get yourself in the habit of telling specifics. "During student teaching I told a student..." "During student teaching I taught this lesson..." "During my time running the classroom I..."
     
  14. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Laying it out there bros...have you considered that your home district and college have invested so much time, resources and money (as well as avoidance of ADA lawsuits ) that they just may pass you on ST regardless of how you perform... It seems to this adjunct college instructor, CT, mentor, coach, hiring committee member and veteran teacher that you simply aren't qualified for this job and would do a dis- service to the students you would teach. Truthfully, bros, there's nothing more most of us would like than to see you succeed, but the writing seems to be on the wall. We've all seen more dynamic, energized, qualified candidates fail....you have a mountain to climb and it just doesn't seem that your teacher climbing bag has enough supplies in it to do the job.
     
  15. gr3teacher

    gr3teacher Phenom

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    Haha... great minds, and all that jazz.
     
  16. chemteach55

    chemteach55 Connoisseur

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    Also instead of practicing with your therapist practice having spur of the moment conversations with peers--start with your afternoon CT since you seem to like and respect her. Practice talking to even complete strangers in the line at the grocery store. You need to work on becoming more social and not worrying about getting a job at this point. Do you interact at all with other students that are in your classes? Maybe trying to take more classes would be a good idea but instead of only worrying about the book parts, work on the social part because that is just as important especially in a classroom.
     
  17. bros

    bros Phenom

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    No, but subbing will help hone my classroom management skills and perhaps help me get a LTS position, which will help me hone my skills further.

    I'm working on being more conversational with my therapist.

    When I have an interview, we're going to roleplay a lot before the interview.

    The home district doesn't care about the resources they put into me K-12.

    That is a theory I have about the college - otherwise why would they give me the same supervisor again - she supervises no other students.

    When I had the meeting last winter after failing the pre-professional field experience, they presented me with a few options, including dropping out of college and dropping out of the education program. Everyone involved said that those two were off the table at the start of the meeting, even my supervisor from last fall agreed.

    We'll see what my final score is for student teaching. If I get exactly a 47, i'll know for sure.

    The people who have invested the most money in me is the state of new jersey - DVR has spent around 30-40 thousand dollars on my education and related expenses. They don't spend their money lightly - they want to make sure that a client of DVR can do a job before they will pay for a degree to attain that job. At this point, they think i'll be able to teach. My professors think I will be able to teach.

    I talk to my afternoon CT on occasion. Usually about the weeks lessons or how the students are doing that day, but sometimes we'll engage in informal conversation i.e. how was your weekend and other such pleasantries.

    I will sometimes chime in if the people in my capstone are having a discussion, but it is a bit nerve wracking when you are pretty much the only guy in the class. Fall 2011-Fall 2012 I had a lot of the same classes with a few people. We talked frequently. They graduated last spring because they passed their field experiences in the fall.

    I'm only worrying about getting a job because my dad is pressuring me because he thinks the economy is perfect and everyone can get a job because he thinks the world is just like it was when he graduated college in the 70s, when he got hired for a job completely unrelated to his communications/history degree within a week of graduating.
     
  18. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    I'm part of that 'state of nj', bros. and I'm not confident in how prepared you are.

    You should not be interacting with your CTs 'on occasion'...your communications should be ongoing, consistent, daily interactions..before students arrive, before and after instruction, during preps....most of us have that sort of interaction with our paras, never mind someone in whom we are expected to trust ALL of our students.
    You are not ready
     
  19. chemteach55

    chemteach55 Connoisseur

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    Bros--In elementary education you will most often be one of very few guys in the school. You need to get used to being friends with females. Practicing conversational skills with your therapist is fine but you really need to try to get experience with informal and even formal conversations that are real life and not role playing. Is there something you are interested in (like a hobby) that you can get involved with to become more social. You have the book part of education down pat, you need to get the personality part down pat also. Start here--engage in informal "conversations" on this board. Drop the formal language and talk to people. Do not be afraid--if they do not like what you say, then so what. Do you have Facebook? If so, get to know people through FB first and it will probably make you more comfortable talking to them in real life. You need to come out of your shell and quit using your disabilities as an excuse to not experience life. I understand, I suffer from severe depression and anxiety but most people who know me in real life would never believe it because I forced myself to be around others in the past and come out of my shell and now I love to be the center of attention. Find friends, get a hobby--take small steps and it will not be long until you are leaping into the center of what is going on around you instead of sitting against the wall.
     
  20. RadiantBerg

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    I am also part of said state, and I can't say the investment was particularly wise on the part of DVR.

    The professors really don't matter much if the people in the classroom aren't really giving you the full reins. And in all honesty, I remember many of my professors being out of touch with reality. Everyone will tell you they think you can teach because, as czacza mentioned, they don't want the trouble of a lawsuit. In all honesty, they are just going to pass you along since they are probably pretty comfortable in assuming you won't get a teaching position. Make it someone else's problem.

    Also, the student teaching score is utterly and completely useless, no matter what it is. I don't know anyone who failed student teaching, and to even have to be worried about that score is a BIG problem.
     
  21. bros

    bros Phenom

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    My morning CT usually arrives a minute or two before the students do, so not much time for interaction there. We will talk during preps, but it is more her talking at me, then going somewhere. We'll usually chat before I do my math lesson, to remind her what today's lesson is on.

    With the afternoon CT, the communication is consistent and daily. We talk every day, just usually about the classroom/students/instruction.

    I have a few hobbies. I enjoy bowling. I go bowling sometimes when my dad and brother like to go. In HS, I was in the bowling club, which was fun.

    I have facebook. I do not really chat to people on there that much.

    I've never had friends so it is difficult for me to find friends, I guess? Or it might be a trust thing.

    I know I am very socially withdrawn.

    $10,000 of DVR's investment was OT for me. $5,000 was spent on 15 sessions of driving instruction from the Kessler Institute. $2,000 was spent each semester I was in CC, 4*2 = $8,000. $500 per CC semester on books, 5*4 = $2,000. $2,500 a semester for four semesters at my current university, 25*4 = $10,000, $400 a semester was allotted for books, 4*4 = $1,600.

    So roughly $38,600.

    Student teaching score vaguely matters, if you get a high enough score, you get something to put on your resume.

    I know 35 people in my capstone class have already been forced out of their placements because they didn't pass the praxis II, so they'll be retaking student teaching in the spring or whenever they pass the praxis II.
     
  22. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    It doesn't matter about the other 35 in your capstone class, bros. you need to be focused on what possibilities are attainable for you.
     
  23. RadiantBerg

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    :yeahthat:

    And congrats for your good score on the Praxis, but that is only a small part of the picture. It is much easier for someone to study up for that test than to fix some of the issues you face.
     
  24. bros

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    I didn't need to study. I haven't needed to study for a test since elementary school. I went into the Praxis II elementary ed content knowledge test blind and got a 171.
     
  25. chemteach55

    chemteach55 Connoisseur

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    Good here is a starting point--inquire about joining a bowling league. See if your dad will join with you but do not allow him to be a crutch. Start by talking to someone you know about anything and work your way to talking to those that you do not know. You do not need to trust a person to begin a conservation with them. Trust comes much later. Start with a small step.
     
  26. smalltowngal

    smalltowngal Multitudinous

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    But passing a teaching test is such a very small part of the picture. Student teaching is a major part and that's what you seem to be struggling with. No one is going to look at the score, but what they will look at is what your CTs and supervisor have to say about how you performed in the classroom.
     
  27. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    I agree. I think that Dad should probably stay home, though. Bros needs to learn how to do this on his own, and I think that Dad will be a crutch for bros, whether he wants to be that or not.
     
  28. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    Bingo.
     
  29. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    And how you sell yourself
    And your experience
    And passion
    And how you seem to fit
    And be a team player
    And reach and teach kids with expertise.

    Book smarts are good, bros...but not enough.
     
  30. gr3teacher

    gr3teacher Phenom

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    Could this be part of the reason your highest grade in four tries at College Algebra was a C+?
     
  31. kevo2005

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    I saw your post that you do not know how to do a majority of the skills necessary to be an effective special educator. However, please tell me you can write a measurable goal.
     
  32. gr3teacher

    gr3teacher Phenom

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    Also, I'll agree with the point on the Praxis scores... no interview you will be on will ask you your Praxis score. You'll be asked if you passed it. If you had gotten a 181 for the ROE, that would have been worth noting, but otherwise... nada.
     
  33. RadiantBerg

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    Not even close to my point.

    How did the observation with the principal go? (AKA-what is your excuse for not being observed by the principal?)
     
  34. AdamnJakesMommy

    AdamnJakesMommy Habitué

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    I teach math/science, which means I mainly teach math with some science here and there. Every Friday, there are quizzes on what we learned in math that week. The PRIMARY reason is for me to assess how well I taught the material during the week. In other words, as the week unfolded who did NOT get what I was teaching. The SECONDARY reason is for grading them.

    I also do homework every evening and the occasional in-class class-work assignment.

    All in all, kids get 3-6 math grades per week. I'm probably excessive though.

    I do tons of informal assessments as well. And honestly some of the homework/classwork ends up being informal because I review them, get an idea of where they are at, and then just file them without recording a grade in the grade book.

    My son was in Kindergarten last year and they had tons of homework and quizzes and benchmarks and yada yada yada. Certainly you can come up with some formal assessments on your own! And to be quite honest, if you aren't assessing them formally throughout the unit, how do you really know how they are doing? I am finding, especially in math, kids can walk me through problems (informal assessment is great) but 2 minutes later can't do it on the paper sitting in front of them (formal assessment not so great).
     
  35. AdamnJakesMommy

    AdamnJakesMommy Habitué

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    Hahaha so funny you should mention technology failure.

    I can't tell you HOW many times I have made power points for science, just for dang computer to freeze, shut down, reboot, freeze again. I have purchased my OWN old-fashioned projector (with the lightbulb and all) and will just work off that. I can't throw away precious instructional time because our internet is crappy and the computers are crappy.

    Not to mention, I LOVE this old fashioned projector. I do all of my modeling of my math on it with those vis-à-vis markers---quick, fast, and never have my back to the kids.

    Totally off-topic, sorry. Just wanted to say I love old-fashioned stuff. I use new stuff too, especially the interactive whiteboard and Ipad. I rarely use the document camera though.
     
  36. AdamnJakesMommy

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    Yes, I agree with cza cza. I don't understand how you can communicate so little with your CTs. Granted, my CT and I are not the best examples, we became TOO chummy--like hang out on the weekends on the boat with our kids kind of chummy---and we talked entirely TOO much about non-school related issues, but that was because we early on established a well-oiled machine together, and of course I pretty much set the tone as the history expert (he was geography and NC just switched from geography-focus to the history timeline in 6th grade).

    I digress. Whew.

    How can you possibly not have TONS to talk about with them?????
     
  37. hbcaligirl1985

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    I am absolutely concerned for your students if you somehow manage--by some divine miracle --to get a job. You are in no way, shape, or form prepared to be a teacher. I don't even know if being a para or a sub will ever prepare you. I would highly suggest perusing other career options.
     
  38. bros

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    Yeah

    Book smarts are only one piece of the puzzle.

    No. I tried tutoring for math. Nothing clicked. I would try extra work online. I took the class in a variety of formats. Nothing helped. I couldn't figure out most of the concepts, even when using a graphing calculator.

    Radians to degrees were difficult for me. I could combine terms sometimes.

    Grouping/Factoring was an area of issue for me.

    Multiplying/dividing expressions was rather difficult for me.

    Solving systems of equations were also difficult, more in that they took so long.

    And cos/sin/tan and logarithms.

    Let's say the student has difficulty with reading the time on an analog clock.

    Given pictures of a clock with the hands in any position, STUDENT will be able to say the correct time, accurate within 5 minutes, 90% of the time as measured by the Special Education Teacher.

    Yeah, a 181 would've been nice.

    Didn't have time to ask her last week. She was busy with meetings and observing the preschool classes last week.

    I'll sometimes assess them on the previous days material orally at the start of the lesson the day after.

    Overhead projectors are cool. Probably cheaper than a digital one :p

    My afternoon CT and I talk. My morning CT and I don't really talk.
     
  39. bros

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    So tonight there's a holiday sing-along thing for the kindergarteners.

    I heard some teachers saying they'll be stopping in for token appearances.

    I wasn't told I should or shouldn't go.

    I suppose I should stop in for like 20-30 minutes?
     
  40. orangetea

    orangetea Connoisseur

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    Definitely go!
     

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