Student teaching so far...

Discussion in 'Student & Preservice Teachers' started by Teacherella, Sep 7, 2007.

  1. Teacherella

    Teacherella Habitué

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    How is everyone's student teaching experience so far? How long have you been student teaching? What grade?

    I just finished my first week in 1st grade. It was definitely overwhelming, but I'm excited and I'm learning so much. It also helps that I have a great CT and team teachers/staff!
     
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  3. Teacher2Be2007

    Teacher2Be2007 Companion

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    I am TIRED, overwhelmed, TIRED. Did I mention, I'm tired! I've been student teaching 4 weeks now (technically 5, I started the week before with my teacher to set up her room and attend district trainings, etc.)... I'm teaching 4th grade. Next week I take over 2 more subjects and the following week it's all me, all the time!

    My experience has been great. I honestly never realized how much work it would be and it's insane! My teacher is awesome and the kids (most of them) are great. Since I've been in there since day 1 they are pretty good about treating me as well as they treat the teacher.

    She's going to start leaving the room for longer periods of time so that will be the true test as to how I'm really doing! My classroom management is definitely improving. I have my first university observation next week and I'm a tad nervous.
     
  4. mom2sands

    mom2sands Comrade

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    Sep 8, 2007

    ST Week 1 - 3rd grade

    I had a good week. We are a semi-inclusion class. Two of our students are pulled for reading and writing and a speicalist comes in for math. We have another student who was previously inclusion, but was at the school last year. He was late the first morning, left early the second day, and didn't come at all on Thursday or Friday :(
    so we're not sure what's going on. We have a fourth student who was previously seeing the OT. His main issue is handwriting. So far this week has been very rewarding and insightful. Most of it was spent observing and assisting students when needed. I hope that everyone else's expereinces are going well.
     
  5. MissWull

    MissWull Cohort

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    I love that I can come to this board and have people to relate to! I just finished my first week of 6th grade. It is VERY overwhelming...I wish it was a traditional year school because then I would have been as brand new as everyone else. But it's year round so this is their 2nd month...and my master teacher has such high expectations that she throws so much at the students...so for me to catch up is insane. It's just crazy coming into something that she has so well planned out (mostly in her head) and here I am trying to sort things out as organized as possible in my mind and on paper...that's my first hurdle.

    I've been observing the students behaviors, my MT's management skills and teaching strategies. Next week I take over the mornings (greetings, announcements, checking homework, morning work)...and the spelling/language arts. Just with that alone, and my 2 classes on top of that plus work is driving me nuts. And this is only the beginning...!

    Like I said, I'm glad I have you guys here to talk with. Sometimes I think my MT is so oblivious to me being there--it's a lonely awkward feeling! Good news though, I met another fellow student teacher there and she sure did make me feel a whole lot better about the process! whew!
     
  6. FutureTeacher07

    FutureTeacher07 New Member

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    Hello, I'm student teaching fourth grade and i feel really overwhelmed. i start taking over two subjects this coming week and i'll be taking over by october. is anyone else terrified?
     
  7. roamer

    roamer Companion

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    I just started in kindergarten on Wednesday so I've only been with them for three days. These kids are a hoot!

    I take over group time on Monday and we'll add more subjects as we go along. Friday was a wild day for the teacher so I had the kids by myself quite a bit more than either of us would have liked on my third day. I spent a year as an aide in kindergarten so I'm not a complete rookie. Actually, the teacher I worked with in kindergarten was my CT's CT. Pretty cool!

    I think it's going well. I know I need to work on classroom management and the "teacher look." I worry too much about what the adults in the building will think of me. I don't want to seem mean, so I come off as too soft.

    I appreciate being able to do student teaching, but I really can't wait to have my own classroom. I just don't feel comfortable being a guest in someone else's class.
     
  8. Pisces_Fish

    Pisces_Fish Fanatic

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    Sep 9, 2007

    I finished my ST in May, and I can tell you your feelings are normal. I picked up one subject each week until I was teaching all day for 5 weeks. With every new subject I was still soooo nervous! It DOES get easier (you'll be amazed at your progress) but it never became easy for me. Initially, I had every minute detail planned, since it helped me focus and feel "ready." But by the end I could teach with less and less plans and still feel ok.

    I always had the most trouble with Math. It just made me so nervous. So, my CT and I decided I would start teaching that alone last (I started in March I think) and kept teaching it until the last day. My confidence in Math improved, but I still dreaded it. I guess I'm trying to say start with your "comfort zones" first, then move on. Good luck :)
     
  9. mom2sands

    mom2sands Comrade

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    It's so great to hear others' experiences. Tomorrow, I begin the morning routine and the DOL (daily oral language exercises). I will also be working with reading groups. She thinks there will be four groups. We have 21 students (2 leave for reading).

    I have huge fears, especially when it comes to taking over for the entire day! Will I really be capable of doing this??? I am having anxiety over what's to come. My CT is great. I know she'll help me in any way she can. It's my university supervisor that I'm more concerned about at this point, probably because I don't know her well enough.

    Hope everyone has a great week! I appreciate the input and support of others! We can all be each others' cheerleaders through this daunting process! I'm glad to know that I'm not the only one who's scared to death!!!:eek:
     
  10. Teacher2Be2007

    Teacher2Be2007 Companion

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    [QUOTE=Pisces_Fish;481118]I finished my ST in May, and I can tell you your feelings are normal. I picked up one subject each week until I was teaching all day for 5 weeks. With every new subject I was still soooo nervous! It DOES get easier (you'll be amazed at your progress) but it never became easy for me. Initially, I had every minute detail planned, since it helped me focus and feel "ready." But by the end I could teach with less and less plans and still feel ok.

    That is really good to know, writing out everything word for word for every subject is already getting tiring!

    I always had the most trouble with Math. It just made me so nervous. So, my CT and I decided I would start teaching that alone last (I started in March I think) and kept teaching it until the last day. My confidence in Math improved, but I still dreaded it. I guess I'm trying to say start with your "comfort zones" first, then move on. Good luck :)[/QUOTE]

    This is totally me too and I start teaching Math tomorrow! :eek: It is by far my weakest subject!


    BTW, where in RI do you live? I lived there for 12 years (went to college and grad school there, got married there)... I still consider it "home"...
     
  11. roamer

    roamer Companion

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    Sep 10, 2007

    Well, I took over group time in kindergarten this morning. Things went well except for them being chatty. They were chatty for the classroom teacher too, though, so at least it wasn't just me.

    Tomorrow I'm doing group time and math. Should be fun.
     
  12. Teacherella

    Teacherella Habitué

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    Is anyone else so exhausted from being on their feet the whole day? We don't have lunch until 12pm so that's our first break (special right after lunch too). My feet are killing me!!!

    I'm also VERY overwhelmed and wondering how I'm going to take over the class in a few weeks. I'm slowly taking over some things now, but I'm just worried with the time it will take to write a detailed lesson plan for every subject, every day! I know I won't have 1-2 page lesson plans for each subject daily when I'm a teacher, but it's supposedly required as a student teacher in my program. Ugh.
     
  13. Pisces_Fish

    Pisces_Fish Fanatic

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    [/quote] BTW, where in RI do you live? I lived there for 12 years (went to college and grad school there, got married there)... I still consider it "home"...[/QUOTE]

    I live in Pawtucket, but I grew up in Cranston. I'll be moving to North Carolina in a few months (more jobs!) Where did you go to school? I'm guessing RIC. :rolleyes: That's where I went.
     
  14. Pisces_Fish

    Pisces_Fish Fanatic

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    I think it's silly that ST teachers have to hand in full plans...it's not "real life." I was lucky, my program only required us to have full lesson plans for our formal observations, which only meant 6 plans. I had plans for all my lessons, but mostly just bullets and/or notes.
     
  15. mom2sands

    mom2sands Comrade

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    Tomorrow another ST and I will be trading classrooms for about 1 1/2hours just to experience another teacher. This will be a 4th grade classroom. I'll probably observe a 2nd and Kindergarten also. Our supervisor suggested we do this during this week before our more intense period of teaching begins.

    I'm requried to create more formal, lengthier lesson plans for when I'm observed. I know in the real world, lesson plans don't consist of 2-3 pages. I'm also using the teacher's plans for some guidance and tweaking and adjusting them to meet my needs and course requirements.

    Speaking of Rhode Island, my bil and his wife live in Middletown. He is military and employed at the War College. They'll be retiring and moving sometime later this year. We were there last summer--one of the hottest they've had--it was actually cooler in VA!
     
  16. Teacher2Be2007

    Teacher2Be2007 Companion

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    BTW, where in RI do you live? I lived there for 12 years (went to college and grad school there, got married there)... I still consider it "home"...[/QUOTE]

    I live in Pawtucket, but I grew up in Cranston. I'll be moving to North Carolina in a few months (more jobs!) Where did you go to school? I'm guessing RIC. :rolleyes: That's where I went.[/QUOTE]

    I lived in the bucket for a while! :) I also lived in Cranston and Riverside. I actually went to J&W. :)

    One of my closest friends works at RIC in the alum office.
     
  17. Teacher2Be2007

    Teacher2Be2007 Companion

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    I have to have full lesson plans too, but at this point I feel more comfortable writing them all out so I have a "script" to go off of should I need to (which I do, I'm always so nervous!)...

    I had my first observation today by my university supervisor, I think I did well overall, she seemed happy. My mentor teacher already did my midterm but she hasn't reviewed it with me yet.
     
  18. Teacherella

    Teacherella Habitué

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    I just found out that we don't have to write the long lesson plans when we take over the classroom. We need to have the formal ones for when my supervisor comes in to observe, but that's about it. :)
     
  19. Teacher2Be2007

    Teacher2Be2007 Companion

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    Same here, I just don't feel comfortable NOT writing them out yet.

    I just got hired to teach 2nd grade (I'm student teaching 4th right now)... so I'll be on my own for real in a couple more weeks! :eek:

    Tomorrow I'm taking over 4th grade completely!
     
  20. mom2sands

    mom2sands Comrade

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    Congrats on being hired! Do you prefer 2nd over 4th? When do you begin? I'm excited for you!
     
  21. Teacher2Be2007

    Teacher2Be2007 Companion

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    I have no clue if I'll prefer 2nd over 4th. My mentor teacher says that 2nd grade is good to start with though. I've only done 20ish hours of observation in a 2nd grade class so this will be verrrrrrry interesting! :D I'm supposed to start on the 1st but I have to wait from my letter from the district and all that jazz. As far as I know, none of my references have been contacted yet and he said he would start on Friday, so I'm guessing tomorrow. One of my references is my mentor teacher so as soon as she's contacted I'll at least know that! :)
     
  22. cutNglue

    cutNglue Magnifico

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    Sep 16, 2007

    This is from a different perspective. We had a student intern visit last Friday for the first time. Groan. We could have definately made a better impression.

    First, she noticed that I (aide) had on too low cut of a top. I lost 50 lbs and bought new clothes and had no idea that this shirt showed too much when I bent over. It was fine when I was standing. Embarrassing.

    Our schedules are so messed up everybody is still trying to figure it out. We've been in school a few weeks already but don't have the bulk of our language arts program up and running yet (guided reading/word study rotations). This is because EVERY teacher in the school building including the intervention team has to use the same assessment kit (literally) and then wait until everyone is done to start because the books we use are also involved with the assessment.

    Then there was an impromptu reading specialist meeting to discuss assessments during prep. I had to skip lunch because I didn't have any help getting stuff graded, newsletter done and homegoing folders prepared. The meeting ran late so she didn't have time to run to the store to get the gum she forgot and promised the students they would get after their first spelling test. So she left a little too late and didn't tell me what the backup plan was. She was late getting back and I wasn't able to leave the kids unsupervised to go across the hall for my pullout time. That teacher complained and the Principal walked into the room and got really upset. Right before she showed up, so did my replacement the teacher arranged that I had no idea about. I had to admit she went to the store to buy gum (not the best reason to leave). I was flustered. I wasn't handling a transition activity as well as I normally would have. Then the Principal took the teacher in the hall when she got back. She was mad a little because I didn't leave immediately after the replacement showed up. I had to let her know that I had started an activity (short one) and it would have taken longer to walk her through it than to finish it. I walked over to the other room completely unprepared because I didn't have those 5 minutes before class that I normally take. After school was over I let the Principal know that while the whole situation didn't make me happy either, I was a little disgusted that the teacher complained because she did the EXACT same thing to me the day before. I didn't figure out that her practicum student was sitting with students without a lesson until I saw the students squirm and asked. She isn't allowed to teach yet without a lesson given to her. Sigh.

    Then I looked up at the clock and I was 10 minutes late for my 2nd recess duty (new this year). I exclaimed and left. The whole day looked unprofessional and unprepared. All I could think was, "Thank God it's Friday!" We didn't even really have time to sit and talk with the intern to make her feel welcomed.

    Hopefully we will make a better impression when she comes back. All of this reminds me that what you see in the beginning (even for a seasoned teacher), what you see in the middle and even what you see at the end of the year is completely different.
     
  23. mom2sands

    mom2sands Comrade

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    I can only assume that the ST will take into consideration that all the kinks haven't been worked out yet. My plans are ready for this week with some exceptions in math and social studies, but I feel like my science and reading plans are "good to go." I'm still somewhat nervous and hopefully I'll overcome that. My CS also says that she's nervous. I feel that she's also a little reluctant to give up control, especially when some kinks haven't yet been worked out.

    We had a teacher complain about the length of another teacher's skirt the other day, probaby because it was above the knee and she wouldn't wear something that short. There's quite an age difference between the two also. I also have to be cognizant of leaning over with some tops, depending on the fabric they're made of.
     
  24. cutNglue

    cutNglue Magnifico

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    Mom2Sands...

    I wouldn't have felt so bad if hadn't been her first day. We also didn't have any time to talk to her other than invite her to play a Sparkle game or tell her something briefly about what we were doing. I've never had the shirt issue before and yes I was embarrassed but at least it was brought to my attention before I wore it again. I just liked the color and it was fairly cheap.

    Speaking of kinks, we have so many of them. My husband is overseas so I'm a bit stressed out and short on time more than usual. She tore a ligament in her ankle and is coaching volleyball in her sparetime (single mom). My schedule went from 7-3 to 7:45 to 3:45. This makes a difference when I'm used to be off as soon as the kids are and have time to talk to her before she is off too or before she goes to practice. I'm used to being her Aide all day. Now I'm gone half the afternoon and spend half of that in transition. So I'm needing to set up for centers for her as well as the other class plus finish all the prep and other duties that we are used to me performing. We haven't had much time to talk and coordinate new changes. The lack of guided reading means she'll ask me for more literacy centers (my thing) and I'm having to make it up at the top of my head which makes me feel unprepared. We moved from 2 jam packed rooms to 1 room that is definately overflowing (last minute) and we don't have time to even organize or figure out where we put the school supplies the kids brought. We added a totally new schedule for Thursdays now where the whole day is shifted and the kids go to afterschool program at 2pm so teachers can have workshop day. It was set up at the last minute. Aides are supposed to have that time to catch up on prep but we have been spending it helping the school prep instead. Our classroom has a new modification that requires extra equipment and I'm the one running it yet I'm not there half the day. Oy! Classroom management was primarily my department last year and now the teacher is trying to add that skill to her list of other duties she is likely overwhelmed with in this chaos. We lost an Aide last year (thanks to the Superintendent) and now we have a student that should have a 1 on 1 yet we don't have enough Aides to cover all the duties. Let's just say, kinks is an understatement. It'll pan itself out. Last year we started off with no secretary and stuff was PILED up. Then when we got thinks on the right track, the Principal went on a trip and got seriously injured. That put her on medical leave for a few months with us fending for ourselves. She was out for therapy half the time the rest of the year. We had someone over us but that person was RARELY in the building. If we can handle that, then this will be okay too. Last year we didn't even KNOW we were getting an intern and we ended up getting 3 of them. They just showed up in our class and we thought they were specialists observing at first. That's how bad communication was from the outside offices. Two looked similar so I didn't know they were two people the first two weeks. I figured it out first. We had to ask. Yikes. We dropped 1 intern and kept the two.
     
  25. cutNglue

    cutNglue Magnifico

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    hahah...I had a lot to vent about.
     
  26. mom2sands

    mom2sands Comrade

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    Sep 19, 2007

    I had my first observation on Tuesday and it went very well. I had no idea she was coming. She had previously asked myself and another student teacher when would be a good time for her to visit, but came on a totally different day. I was finishing up a science lesson when she arrived. Then my students had art, so she returned after that for my social studies lesson. I'm glad it's over with and now I know to expect her whenever. She gave me several compliments including that she could tell that I had been in a classroom before.
     
  27. ateacherntx

    ateacherntx New Member

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    student teaching

    Hello!

    I just finished my first half of my assignment! I did learn a lot, however, I do not think I learned as much as I needed to. I am having a hard time coming up with my own creative ideas and I am still relying on the internet and books. How is everyone else doing? As anyone feeling the same way. I am worried I am not creative enough to teach.
     
  28. roamer

    roamer Companion

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    I finish in kindergarten Friday, then go up to fifth grade. Everyone says it will be a huge adjustment and that I'll have problems with it. I doubt it...I actually prefer the older ones and have a fifth grader of my own (as well as a 16 year old and a 20 year old stepson). I think I'll feel more comfortable with the older ones.

    Anyway, ateacherntx, as far as the creativity goes, I'm not worried about it. Right now, I'm focusing on the curriculum the school uses and classroom management. Creativity will come later. I'm ok with using the internet and books. I want to get the basics down pat.

    That's not to say that I don't try to have fun. I've had a blast with these kids and they seem to like me as well. I just don't necessarily think this is the time to do my own thing. I still feel like I'm a guest in the classroom, even though I've done more of the teaching this year than the teacher has.

    Good luck with your second assignment.
     
  29. scmom

    scmom Enthusiast

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    Oct 16, 2007

    ateacherntx,

    Creativity is great but you don't have to be creative to be a great teacher. One of the best teachers I know was wonderful with the kids, had excellent classroom management and was extremely skilled at using the resources available - books, internet, other teachers, etc. We don't all have to reinvent the wheel. Especially when you are new, be happy if you have the basics down and worry about creativity later. We all have different brains and learning styles. A really creative teacher may not have the strengths you do.

    Sounds like you are thoughful and hard-working. Don't be so hard on yourself.
     
  30. MissWull

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    Oct 17, 2007

    ateacherntx: i started in 6th so i'll be making a major move in a couple of weeks as well. i know it will be a huge adjustment, but im just the oppositve of you...i like working with primary grades as opposed to upper grades...so it will be easier and more enjoyable for me even though it is a huge grade level jump.

    about the creativity thing...i think its fine to use the internet and books. maybe not always take everything from them, but i usually get a cute idea from there and it's kind of my jumping off point...just gotta get a jump start sometimes! :) good luck in 5th grade!!
     
  31. cutNglue

    cutNglue Magnifico

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    I have to share my cute creative idea I had today. I went to Walmart about a week or so ago and they had those long foam tubes for the pool (noodles) marked down to $0.50 each. I didn't know what I would use it for but I the star shaped ones were cute so I bought two. Last night I suddenly had a brain fart. We are learning about city, state and country so I figured why not make a US flag. I cut white paper the size of the bulletin board. I teach word study not Social Studies, but I made index card directions with their vocabulary words in them. They have to be able to read it and follow directions. They had so much fun they turned it into an all day project including learning about the flag, doing a reading comprehension worksheet on it, cutting out pictures we took of them and gluing them on red/white/blue paper and decorating the bulletin board themselves. We took a group picture at the end. It was fantastic! It was all because I saw a star noodle and cross applied it to another subject area. FUN!
     
  32. MissScrimmage

    MissScrimmage Aficionado

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    My ST is going really well! I have a fantastic cooperating teacher. She is willing to let me do pretty much what I want whenever I am ready. My class is so sweet - I'm in a grade 1 class this year. I am nervous about being evaluated soon. The pressure of everyone watching and critiquing. AAAHH!
     
  33. MissWull

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    Oct 28, 2007

    MissScrimmage- You'll get used to the evaluations! The first time is the hardest. :) Good luck.

    I just found out my second placement...2nd grade, woohoo!! Now will be my real test to know if that's what I want to teach!
     
  34. cutNglue

    cutNglue Magnifico

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    Oct 29, 2007

    I'm jumping in without reading previous posts. I'm bad.

    I laughed a little when I overheard some comments the intern's professor made last year. I laughed because she doesn't know those students from adam and she was making assumptions based on text book perfect theories that were wildly inaccurate. The professor viewed the intern as having all the wrong techniques because this student was behaving the way he was because he was too smart and bored. The student has a low IQ.
     

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