Student Teaching begins in a month

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

  1. chemteach55

    chemteach55 Connoisseur

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    Oct 17, 2013

    Kids are "germbags"--be sure to get a flu shot if you can and zinc tablets do work!
     
  2. bros

    bros Phenom

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    Never gotten the flu before. Now that i've had the day, it feels like post nasal drip/sinusitis. Fever of 100.8.
     
  3. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    You've also never been a teacher before, at least not for very long. Get a flu shot.
     
  4. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Oct 18, 2013

    If and when you get the flu, you'll know it. It's nothing like a cold. Your entire body aches. You can go a few days without being to hold down any food at all. You get the chills. It's an ugly little bug.

    And KNOW that a standard part of your first few years of teaching is being exposed to a huge variety of kids, and the germs they happen to be carrying. Expect to be sick more in the next 3 years than ever before.
     
  5. bros

    bros Phenom

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    Oct 18, 2013

    I've been sick a lot in my life. I have a feeling I won't get sick more in the next three years than ever before. One time I had bronchitis for three months.

    Also, today I am feeling better. Throat still feels sore/difficult to swallow, but sinuses feel better and temperature is down to 98.6.
     
  6. bella84

    bella84 Aficionado

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    I was sick a lot before becoming a teacher, too. Nothing compares to how sick you'll get those first few years of working at a school. Better to be safe than sorry. Take vitamins daily and get that flu shot.
     
  7. bros

    bros Phenom

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    Oct 18, 2013

    So what you are saying if that I will probably get a bunch of short, small illnesses rather than one long yearly illness?

    Although knowing my body, it'll turn one short, small illness into an upper respiratory infection.
     
  8. bella84

    bella84 Aficionado

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    Oct 18, 2013

    Yes. And, yes. You might be sick with something that lingers for months straight with dips of short, more severe illnesses spiking in between. Kids carry respiratory bugs, but they carry plenty of stomach bugs, too. Wash and sanitize your hands frequently. I finally bought six small bottles of hand sanitizer and stashed one in every purse, lunch box, and bag I own. I keep four large bottles out in various places around my classroom. I also finally got smart and started taking vitamin C daily. Don't take chances when it comes to germy kids... Especially those little ones.

    I've also heard that even if you've been teaching for years but then switch schools, you are likely to go through a sick phase again as part of acclimating your body to the new school. For me, my first few years of teaching and changing schools all happened during the same time frame. I ended up getting a ride to school for parent-teacher conferences because I was too sick to drive myself, spending the start of spring break in the ER, and spending the remainder of that week on my couch. Again, don't take chances with kid germs. Be proactive and take precautionary measures. :2cents:
     
  9. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    No, bros...we're saying you are opening yourself up to germ central. Be forewarned. Be guided accordingly.
     
  10. bros

    bros Phenom

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    Oct 18, 2013

    Yeah, i've been washing my hands quite frequently.

    Also, seems like my illness wasn't just a one day thing. Now that it is night, it seems like it is trying to become bronchitis - moderately decreased lung capacity, along with wet coughing with a slight chest rattle.

    Going to the doctor tomorrow. Hopefully I get prescribed something easy like azithromycin, rather than Biaxin, which is a tough pill to swallow.

    Today, the principal told me that I don't have to come to all three days of conferences next week, and I should just go to the first day of conferences and spend one hour with the morning cooperative teacher and one hour with the afternoon cooperative teacher.
     
  11. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    Oct 18, 2013

    Handwashing is a good start. You've got to do more to protect yourself, though, especially if you're prone to illness. I've seen many otherwise healthy teachers get knocked onto their butts the first year because they just aren't prepared for all the germs that appear in their classroom day in and day out.
     
  12. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Oct 18, 2013

    I've known doctors to say that the best vaccine in the world would be gamma globulin from pediatricians and K-2 teachers, because they get exposed to more and buggier bugs than anyone else. And it takes the first couple of years (and a number of bouts of being memorably sick) to get the immune system to pay heed and do what needs to be done.

    bros, be VERY proactive about protecting your health.
     
  13. bros

    bros Phenom

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    Next time I start to feel even slightly under the weather i'll take my nebulizer immediately to ensure that my breathing passages stay as open as possible.
     
  14. Mrs.Giggles

    Mrs.Giggles Companion

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    Oct 18, 2013

    If you can, I would highly recommend attending all three days of conferences. As a recent graduate in May 2013 and first-year teacher who will be conducting conferences this coming week, I cannot begin to tell you how beneficial it was for me to sit in all conferences. My CT even allowed me to lead out a few of those conferences with her beside me. Every child is different and therefore every conference is different. It was also interesting to me how my CT approached each parent slightly differently. I know that the small break will be nice, but in the end, I'm sure you'll be grateful if you attend all three days.

    Plus, this a great way to show the P that you are more than willing to go above and beyond what he asks of you. Even if you are not hired at that school, Ps are definitely looking at their STs. The P of the school where I student taught at told me that she'd be more than happy to be a reference for me. Soak up this experience like a sponge. Never again will you have someone holding your hand 100 percent of the time.
     
  15. bros

    bros Phenom

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    Oct 19, 2013

    I told the P and both of my CTs that I am more than willing to come to all of the days of conferences, but they said that I should only come to one day.

    The principal told me that I am only to observe the conferences, not to speak unless the parent or teacher ask me to contribute.
     
  16. teacherintexas

    teacherintexas Maven

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    Oct 19, 2013

    If you don't have to be in the room for conferences, ask you CTs what you could do for them while they are having conferences. You could make copies and find activities on the internet for them. I would not just stay home.
     
  17. geoteacher

    geoteacher Habitué

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    Oct 19, 2013

    I am confused, and I think that maybe I missed something in reading this thread. Is this your final teaching assignment before you graduate, or is it one of the earlier assignments where you do more observation than teaching? The reason I ask is that my student teacher is told to do everything that I do and attend everything that I attend. The university supervisor basically said that our schedules should be the same.
     
  18. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    Oct 19, 2013

    This is how it is for our student teachers as well. While they may not sit in on all conferences (we do ask the parents to give their permission), they are expected to be in the building.
     
  19. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Oct 19, 2013

    This is how STs experience their placements in my district as well. I'm in NJ, as is bros, but different districts must have different comfort levels with how involved to get STs.
     
  20. bros

    bros Phenom

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    My morning teacher usually has the classroom aide do her own copies and runs out the door when her day ends at 1 and doesn't read her email.

    The afternoon teacher will usually ask me to do copies for the week every Monday.

    This is my student teaching. My final assignment. Next week, I am supposed to be taking over full time from the morning cooperating teacher (for the 40 minutes she teaches in the morning) and take over full time for the afternoon CT, who I am with from 1-3.

    Our schedules are supposed to be the same or similar but I don't know what is up with this.

    That makes sense. Like I attended Back to School night and my CTs had me send home a letter (after getting principal approval, of course) explaining that I would be in the classroom until Winter Break in a student teaching capacity.

    I think the principal is trying to go easy on me, as she knows I have difficulties with arranging transportation due to my inability to drive, but I told her I already had transportation for the conferences next week and she said not to worry, I don't need to come for more than the first day.

    Also, went to the doctor today. Got an anti-biotic and a bunch of nebulizer medicine. My prescription plan had to spend like $1000 on me today. Only $40 in co-pays. Yay.

    He didn't detect anything in my lungs yet, but he wants to make sure it doesn't get into the lungs.
     
  21. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Oct 19, 2013

    So you'll be teaching 2 hours 40 minutes for the rest of your placement? Better than nothing, but it seems rather short and not a true picture of what a full time teacher does. All my student teachers taught about twice that each day when they took over.
     
  22. swansong1

    swansong1 Virtuoso

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    I'm also surprised that you ST experience will not be complete.

    I'm thinking that you need more, not less, experience teaching so you can learn how to work with your disabilities.

    Do you feel that you are gathering enough experience to teach in your own room next year?
     
  23. bros

    bros Phenom

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    Yep. And Tuesdays & Fridays, I will only teach for 2 hours a day, as the afternoon class has a special in the afternoon on those days.

    My adviser said I just have to roll with the punches, as nothing can be done now.

    I do not feel I am getting nearly enough experience to teach in my own room at all. I'm pretty much being handed lessons by the morning teacher and left to my own devices, except when the CT or the gen ed teacher interrupt my lesson to add something that they wanted in the lesson, but never told me they wanted in the lesson. In the afternoon, the CT knows that the morning CT isn't exactly the best, so she is trying to help me do the best I can in her class.
     
  24. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Oct 19, 2013

    It's incredibly unprofessional for either CT to share their judgement of the other with you.:2cents:
    Its not unusual for a CT to suggest and share materials, resources, books and lesson ideas with the idea that the ST would use them as inspiration. When one of my STs floundered or gave incorrect information, I have jumped in, respectfully but necessarily to clarify. Remember the CT is ultimately responsible for the students you are teaching. Knowing your standards and running through your plans with your CT ahead of time could minimize these situations.
    Make the most of your teaching time, bros. have clear goals and expectations, teach the required standards and check for student understanding....and in those hours you are not teaching, yes, observe other teachers, help your CTs prepare lessons, research and gather materials for your teaching, make yourself indispensable.
     
  25. Linguist92021

    Linguist92021 Phenom

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    Oct 19, 2013

    I think the best ST experience is when you eventually do EVERYTHING: plan and implement lessons on your own, without the CT in the classroom. Make decisions, contact parents, go to every single meeting, every function, do everything a teacher does. It's overwhelming and exhausting but it does prepare you to see and practice what a teacher does.
    Obviously your CT should look at your plans, suggest corrections if needed, and maybe even let you fall a little to figure things out on your own, but not fall hard enough where the students or you suffer.

    I never understood those placements where the ST shows up sometimes in the morning, teaches a couple of classes and then leaves. Not enough to see the real picture.

    If I were you I would do more of what I'm expected to do. If I'm supposed to be there for 2 hours 40 minutes, I would stay the whole day and observe. Also observe other teachers. Every one does things differently, it's good to see different ideas, routines and how they handle issues. If I'm given the choice to go to a meeting or PD, I would still go to every single one.

    You might not get hired by the same school, but Ps talk. Also you will get a better letter of recommendation. Most importantly, you will be a better teacher. I did my ST exactly 3 years ago. I still remember the mistakes I've made, the lessons I've learned and I still hear my CTs voice telling me what to do and how to do it. I still hear his voice telling me: "you can't let a 13 year old get you upset". or when he told the students (it was a rough class): "I don't care if you don't take this essay seriously, if you don't want to take the time to give your best; if you're done, you will sit there for the rest of the 2 days and be bored. But you will not disrupt this classroom" -> I still use this time to time and it works :)
     
  26. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Linguist...CTs MUST. Be in the room with students and not leave the ST alone in the class in my district. If I was at a workshop or out sick while hosting a ST, the district would get a sub...the ST would still run the class, but wouldn't be alone.
     
  27. swansong1

    swansong1 Virtuoso

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    So, Bros, what are you doing with the rest of your day? If you are sitting around, can you go observe the other classrooms in the school?
     
  28. teacherintexas

    teacherintexas Maven

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    The next time she is trying to "go easy on you", ask her or yourself if she would change her expectations for a paid teacher. My guess is she wouldn't make exceptions. No principal would hire a st she had to go easy on. At least I know none of mine would have.

    The point I was trying to make is that you need to go above and beyond.

    I'm worried that you will be woefully unprepared for the interview process, and much less be prepared to actually do all the extra work a new teacher must do to have a successful first year.
     
  29. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    I completely agree with everything you've said here.

    bros, I'm really worried for you.
     
  30. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    There is no 'going easy' on contracted teachers in NJ. there have been major tenure reforms, new teacher evaluation systems put into place, rigorous common core standards that mst be followed, student growth objectives and percentiles...and much of that was new THIS YEAR. Teachers are juggling A LOT everywhere. Going easy is not an option.
     
  31. Linguist92021

    Linguist92021 Phenom

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    I forgot that in most districts that's the case. Where I did my ST I guess it wasn't (I know my CT would not have gone against district policy). I did learn a whole lot more that way.

    But if the CT cannot leave the ST alone, still, they could just sit in the back of the room, almost like not being there (almost), and not intervene, unless it's absolutely a must.
     
  32. bros

    bros Phenom

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    It's less judgement, more "How are they treating you over there? Are they letting you do anything? It doesn't sound like you are getting to do much teaching." (The classroom is across the hall)

    The CT is not allowed to leave me alone in the classroom with students for legal reasons.

    I am there for the entirety of the school day and I help with dismissal at the end of the day - the principal has me grab the little colored marker things off the floor of the multipurpose room which denote the buses.

    I would not feel comfortable working in the school upon graduation - I do not have the motor skills or dexterity necessary to teach Kindergarten.

    With the times of day I am not teaching, which is primarily in the morning, I watch what the gen ed teacher does, as my CT pretty much just sits around and occasionally chimes in.

    The way she phrased it was "I know you have transportation difficulties, you only need to come it for one day of conferences, you'll only be observing each teacher for one hour - that should be enough."

    I'm a bit concerned too. I informed my supervisor of it. She has not replied.

    She'll be coming in Monday to observe.

    Yeah. I dunno. I think the other student teacher from my college was also told to only come one day. I never see her around the school. Not even in the teacher's lounge when her CT eats lunch.
     
  33. bella84

    bella84 Aficionado

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    Bros, you want to teach sped, right? It doesn't sound like you're getting a very realistic sped student teaching experience. I agree with others that there is reason to be concerned with the little amount of teaching you're being allowed to do, but I'm even more concerned that it sounds like you're doing almost nothing sped-related. Co-teaching for 40 minutes is barely the tip of the big sped iceberg. Are they including you in IEP or other sped meetings? Are you working on any behavior plans? Are you learning how to handle parent referrals? Have you developed any data collection sheets for IEP goals, either academic or behavior? Have you worked with any paras/aides directly in which you are providing them with their duties?

    While regular ed and sped do have overlap in that both require lesson planning, instruction, grading, etc., there are so many other things that are unique to sped. If you're not being exposed to any of those things, I agree with the other poster who said that you will be woefully unprepared for the interview process. I realize that you already know quite a bit about the legal process for sped and that you have experienced many of those things as a student, but I think it is entirely different being on the case manager/teacher side of the table.

    Also, I have to chuckle a bit about the CT leaving the room while the ST teaches.... I left my ST alone multiple times for extended periods... No, it's not legal here either. It wasn't by choice. Sped is often so unpredictable... I was called out of the room to deal with behaviors so many times while I had a ST.... My other students were lucky in that their lesson could still go on with the ST while I dealt with the behaviors. Had my ST not been there, they would have not received instruction those days. I also found myself in tons of meetings, many of which I left the ST behind to teach, as her presence at the meeting was not necessary and classes would have otherwise been canceled or paras would have doubled-up on students. Even without a ST, I leave my students alone with a para more than I would like to admit. It's not best practice. It's not legal. But, I have no choice when there is a meeting on the calendar or a behavior arises, and I still want my students to get instruction those days. I realize this isn't the norm for all sped teachers, but the challenge is more common than any of us would like to admit.

    I am worried that your experience is preparing you very little for working under the unique pressures that a sped teacher works under.
     
  34. geoteacher

    geoteacher Habitué

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    Oct 19, 2013

    I know that much of what is happening to you is beyond your control, but have you and your CT and your university supervisor worked out a plan that will eventually allow you to assume total control of the classroom? With my ST last year, he actually needed a plan in writing that I shared with his university. This year's ST did not need that, but I told her from the beginning that my philosophy was that she would learn best by doing. She was taking over classes using my plans within the first two weeks. I made it clear that, while her university required a minimum of one week with full control of the classroom, I usually have my STs design and teach an entire unit - closer to three weeks. This is the closest I can come to helping a ST understand what actual teaching is like. I am in the classroom to observe and give feedback, but, quite honestly, my current student teacher is doing great and is on the way to becoming a fantastic teacher.

    I guess one of my biggest concerns, after reading your posts, is that you will not have an accurate picture of what it is like to work with students every day for the entire day. I know that you must maintain a respectful dialogue with those you work with, but I do think it is time for you to start asking some more questions. Good luck!
     
  35. bros

    bros Phenom

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    I am not being involved in anything sped related. The parents of a student who is hearing impaired came in to observe, due to some issues that have been reported by the parents. When the member of the CST came into the room to discuss it with the gen ed teacher, they discussed it in hushed tones like five feet from me. When the parents came in to observe, the member of the CST sat with the parents in the back on the room - no introducing them to myself or the gen ed or special ed teacher in the room.

    I have not been made aware of who is on an IEP or anything, I am not told this information. I've had to guess who is on an IEP. I have identified at least six students in the class on IEPs, or who should have IEPs.

    I learned the other day that they submitted progress reports at the beginning of the month, when I was looking at the calendar taped on the gen ed teacher's computer, as I wanted to check when the school let out on half days.

    The morning class has a para in it. She'll run copies for the gen ed or special ed teacher.

    I just can't be left alone in the room without a person being paid by the district to be there, like a substitute, as I do not possess a sub cert.

    We wrote up a plan on my supervisor's first visit. I was supposed to take over half of the duties last week and I am supposed to take over entirely November 4th or so, as my university requires 6-8 weeks of total control of the classroom for student teachers.
     
  36. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Oct 19, 2013

    to which you should have answered that you are having a positive experience and that you are learning a lot.

    Your pm ct could easily confer with the am ct about how to best utilize you...don't offer anything that could be perceived negatively.
     
  37. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

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    Oct 19, 2013

    :unsure: I think some high school teacher prep programs for seniors have particiants do more than what you are. I hate that you're not getting a full, accurate experience.
     
  38. swansong1

    swansong1 Virtuoso

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    Bros, do you feel that you are capable of taking over the class? It seems to me that the people supervising you at the school aren't comfortable giving you additional duties.
     
  39. bros

    bros Phenom

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    In the morning class, I taught 2/4 math lessons last week. Going to teach 3/5 math lessons this week.

    In the afternoon, taught 2/6-8 lessons

    Yeah. In my junior year of HS, we taught a preschool class for 45 minutes a day in groups of 3-4. We wrote lesson plans and everything. Taught about ~30 lessons over the course of the school year.

    I think they are concerned about what I cannot do i.e. I cannot use a highlighter to write letters for students to trace, I cannot use scissors, etc.

    I don't think they doubt my competency, but they know that my student teaching is my first college-level experience with early elementary students, so I can understand some initial reticence, but I have been in my current placement for 5 weeks, or 25 days (23 days for the afternoon class)
     
  40. geoteacher

    geoteacher Habitué

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    Oct 19, 2013

    So at this point are you managing half of the duties of the classroom? The 6-8 weeks of fulltime teaching does make sense to me. I see a ST for only 9 weeks, but that is what I would expect if I had one for an entire semester. If you feel that you are deviating from the expected plan, just make sure that you ask questions sooner rather than later.
     

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