Student Teaching

Discussion in 'Art Teachers' started by FearMediocrity, Sep 22, 2012.

  1. FearMediocrity

    FearMediocrity New Member

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    Sep 22, 2012

    I've been having a difficult time making a decision about my student teaching. Specifically, I need to decide if I want to teach at the middle or high school level.

    The school that I’ve been assigned to is nationally recognized for their art department. Never have I seen such talented work completed by students within the high school and middle school age group. I'd easily say that some of the high school student's work is comparable to senior college art student's work.

    Ideally, I'd teach at the high school simply because my college degree is aimed at secondary education. Therefore, student teaching at the high school level would be really beneficial at a school of this quality. The only thing that is holding be back is the student’s talent. I’m almost intimidated, and I don't know if my skill would enable me to teach them much. On the other hand, the middle school teacher admitted that her level of instruction is similar to a "normal" high school. At the middle school level, I’d be more comfortable teaching, but it’s not really the age group I’d like to teach in the future. Plus, most of the kids in the middle school are taking art simply because it’s a requirement. I intend on my teaching to be rigorous, and not necessarily suitable for that sort of group.

    This leads me to a huge question. Should I teach middle or high school? If I teach high school I’d face a challenge, and experience a great secondary art education program. On the other hand, if I teach middle school I’d experience a “normal” high school art program, with a less intimidating program.
     
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  3. teacherintexas

    teacherintexas Maven

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    Sep 22, 2012

    Go for the high school. Its reputation may help you during your job search.

    Your cooperating teacher can help you become a better teacher. That's what student teaching is about.
     
  4. ograwk

    ograwk Rookie

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    Sep 27, 2012

    Ditto what teacherintexas said. What an incredible opportunity to work with a teacher who teaches that caliber of students. You can always simplify things if needed once you get your own assignment.
     
  5. Linguist92021

    Linguist92021 Phenom

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    Sep 27, 2012

    As far as getting experience with students, from the behavior point of view, I'd say go with middle school. They can be tougher to handle they can be still very immature. Once you survive / able to handle student teaching in middle school, you can definitely handle high school, but the opposite my be a little difficult.

    If you already have experience having your own classroom, or this is not a concern, then I agree with the others.
     
  6. ArtsyTeacher

    ArtsyTeacher Rookie

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    Sep 30, 2012

    Go with the high school! I think you'll be really happy you did :)
     
  7. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Sep 30, 2012

    If your goal is to teach HS, that's where you should ST. Don't underestimate your skill...we all have much to learn from each other.:)
     
  8. teachart

    teachart Comrade

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    Oct 9, 2012

    Go with the high school if that is what you want to teach.

    My cohort has been visiting different high school art teachers each week and one question we always ask is how do you handle student's who are more talented than you? Each teacher expresses that it will ALWAYS happen no matter where you are teaching and to do your best to inspire and direct their creativity and learn from them as well! I assume you will be heavily involved in AP and Scholastics (if the school is Nationally recognized.) This will be vital to getting hired at a school that either has an existing program (and will want someone with experience running them) or a new program where you will need to establish Scholastics (and possibly AP) yourself.
     
  9. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Jan 5, 2013

    Tony, are you using some kind of translation software to post?
     
  10. mcf5157

    mcf5157 Rookie

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    Jan 9, 2014

    That is great they make high quality work -- maybe you can help these students see their work in new light. Process > Product. What is art for? What does it do? How does it affect us? Where does it come from?
     
  11. RadiantBerg

    RadiantBerg Cohort

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    Jan 9, 2014

    I'd say middle school. You will most likely NOT be able to teach as rigorously as you'd like in your first job anyway.
     
  12. gr3teacher

    gr3teacher Phenom

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    Jan 11, 2014

    By now it's far too late, but let me give you some advice in regards to the talent thing, in case you (or somebody in a similar boat) see this. I was a music major as an undergrad, and the only reason I didn't become a music teacher is because I wanted to teach elementary, and being able to sing treble clef really is a requirement for an elementary music teacher.

    With that said, I think that any music or art (or PE, for that matter) teacher will have to teach kids that are more talented than they are. Heck, I think most teachers PERIOD occasionally have to handle kiddos that are more naturally gifted than they are. The thing to remember is that you have a college degree. You have world-class training and education. No, you might not have the same level of skill as your top students, but you still absolutely can still teach them, give them appropriate critiques, help them move forward.

    Think about it like this... in the NFL, Bill Belichick is considered one of the best coaches in history. As a player, he was a pretty good player at a Division III school. In other words, not even remotely close to even considering becoming an NFL player. He's gone on to become a great coach anyway though, because he knows the game so well. It's often said that the best coaches tend to be mediocre players. The best players are instinctive. Mediocre players have to think about every little thing. I think it's similar with art and music teachers. Leonardo di Vinci probably wouldn't have been a very good high school art teacher, just because so much of what he did was instinctual, he just "knew" what to do. A less skilled artist has to think about technique, think about proper colors, has to think about the theories behind things.

    Long story short, don't confuse skill with knowledge. You might not have the skill of your top students, but you absolutely have the knowledge to help them improve.
     

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