Student Teaching

Discussion in 'Elementary Education Archives' started by Mrs. Terisa, Jun 12, 2006.

  1. Mrs. Terisa

    Mrs. Terisa New Member

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    Jun 12, 2006

    I'm starting my student teaching in the Fall and I'm nervous as can be. Does anyone have any advice they could share with me?
     
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  3. Beth2004

    Beth2004 Maven

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    Jun 12, 2006

    I was really nervous too when I was getting ready to start my student teaching. The best advice I can give you is to get invovled right away. Most of your first week (or so) will be spent observing, but don't just sit and watch. Walk around the room, check out what the students are doing, offer assistance where needed, and just be a presence in the room. Not only will your cooperating teacher appreciate that, but I think that shows the students that you are also a teacher, not only a college student that is there to learn from their teacher. Also, I realize that all student teaching programs are run differently so I don't know how yours works, but I was in the same classroom 5 days a week for 16 weeks so I was able to slowly take over teaching one subject at a time until I was eventually teaching everything for about the last 2 months I was there. I was really happy with the way it worked out. I would recommend that to anyone if the program they're in would allow them to do it that way. It allows you to pace yourself and gain the responsibility of teaching everything without overwhelming you. That's pretty much all I can think of right now, but I'm sure others will post some great advice for you!
    Don't stress too much about it. My student teaching was a great time for me. I love it! Good luck!!
     
  4. lnewbigging

    lnewbigging Companion

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    Jun 13, 2006

    I agree with Beth, get involved from the get go, it shows your CT that you are taking initiative and are enthusiastic. Also know your district standards well, that way you will know where the kids are at and where they should be. Be friendly with staff and parents, be a presence in the school, this can lead to employment :D . Don't overwhelm yourself with taking on too much, pace yourself and do only as much as you can at a time. Realize that this is a time to take chances and make mistakes because you are learning. Most of all SLEEP as much as possible, I was sick throughout my first practicum because I did not take as good care of myself as I should have. I hope this helps. :)
     
  5. Ms. I

    Ms. I Maven

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    Jun 13, 2006

    My advice: Be professional & let your co-op teacher (CT) know on day 1 that you're going to put 110% into this experience. That's one of the things I always told my CTs on day 1 of meeting them.

    Hopefully, whoever you'll be working with will be professional as well & be genuinely interested in your learning. It's hard to have a genuinely good CT. I've had a total of 4 (I earned 2 credentials) & only 1 was really good out of all of them. But do well so at the end, you'll feel confident when you ask them to write you a letter of recommendation. Good luck!
     
  6. WITeach

    WITeach Cohort

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    Jun 13, 2006

    I loved my student teaching! I hope you have a great experience. :)

    One suggestion I would give to you, is to save everything you do! You may need to pull some of your best lessons to put in a portfolio that you will use for future interviews. I took a lot of pictures of my kids to use in my portfolio, as well. (Make sure you have permission to do this, of course!)

    Also, use a lesson plan book to keep track of activities you do with the kids. I wrote down lessons that I liked that my CT did as well as all lessons I did. I was fortunate to get a permanent position in the same grade I did my student teaching, so I had a lot of resources to pull from.

    Make the most of it that you can. See if you can volunteer for other activities in the school (after school programs, etc.) :)
     
  7. astewart

    astewart Rookie

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    Jun 14, 2006

    Congrats! It will be a fun and exciting time. I just finished student teaching first grade in March, and here are some things to keep in mind:
    *Get teacher copies of any textbooks the kids use in class, in advance if you can. Look through the topics to get familiar with what you'll be teaching.
    *Provide your CT with all your contact info, dates your university supervisor will be visiting (if you know them), and what your schedule is after school (if you work on certain days, etc) at the beginning of the experience.
    *Write down all the stuff you do with the kids! If you don't want to get a whole lesson book, you can make up a spreadsheet and print out a page for each week. Maybe print out a copy for your CT, and use it when you sit down to plan for the upcoming week.
    *Get permission to take pictures of the kids, and take LOTS! I wish I had more of the kids in action. Also, take pictures of bulletin boards you, your CT, and other teachers make... Good for when you get a job!
    *Establish the pace at which you'll take over the class. It will make you feel more comfortable knowing that your second week you'll only be teaching math, etc.
    *Get to know the kids! They really value you as a teacher, not just a visitor, when you get to know them and let them know you.

    Good luck! You will do great!
     
  8. Malcolm

    Malcolm Enthusiast

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    Jun 14, 2006

    Get copies of all the useful lesson plans, worksheets, etc. you can from every teacher you can. You can get away with it as a student teacher. But you may not be able to as a regular teacher.

    Get to know as many of the teachers and staff as you can, and try to make a favorable impression on them if you want to work in the school or district. They may be able to make a favorable impact come hiring time. It is very useful to get to know the principal's secretary.

    Pay close attention to how your cooperating teacher, master teacher, or whatever they call them where you are teaches. You are there to learn.

    Always be on site early, never late. Never call in with the excuse you cannot be there because you have to finish an assignment for one of your classes.

    Always dress and act professionally, whether the teachers at the site wear suits or jeans. Besides learning, you are essentially on an extended job interview. Even if you don't go to work in the same school or district, the quality of recommendations from the school will count.

    And of course, relax and have fun, if you dare...
     
  9. MissV

    MissV Companion

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    Jun 15, 2006

    Oh man, the one thing I WISH I HAD DONE when I student taught was take pictures of the classroooms...like all of the walls. I especially wish that I had taken pictures of the calendar areas and the various bulletin boards. I'm trying to set up my classroom for this year (3rd grade) and I'm trying so hard to remember what was on my cooperating teacher's walls from 2 years ago, and I'm drawing a blank!

    Steal EVERYTHING that comes out of their mouths and all of their behavior/discipline plans. Write EVERYTHING down; you will want it when you are out of school. Even write down the little silly games you play or center activities or supplies in the math tubs!

    BIGGEST THING OF ALL: (You will probably have to get permission to do this.) Usually student teachers don't start until like the 2nd or 3rd week of school has already gone by. I would suggest getting special permission to watch your cooperating teacher on the very first day of school!
    (It's something I always wished I had seen!) That way you can see how management procedures are created, and the types of things one should do on the first day!
     
  10. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

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    Jun 16, 2006

    We start our student teaching experience on the first day of school...which I appreciate because it helps establish the fact that you ARE more than just a college student. If you don't start until later then I would certainly take MissV's advice posted above!

    I spent a good six months terrified of beginning student teaching. Since each state, much less school, handles student teaching differently it is difficult to give a great deal of specific advice. What everyone has said so far, however, I completely agree with.

    Just let your teacher know you are EXCITED and genuinely INTERESTED in the experience and LEARNING as much as you can. Ask questions, seek help when needed, and just do your best EVERY day.

    The first day was very awkward for me but it got much better. Of course, on our first day of school a tornado ripped through the county but specifically the road our school was on...it was literally right outside the door and SUPER SCARY!!! So I can say it definitely got better after the first day! :)
     
  11. teacherfan

    teacherfan Cohort

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    Jun 16, 2006

    Communicate with your master teacher. Find out what she or he expects you to do, ask lots of questions. My master teacher did not tell me much, she wanted me to figure stuff out on my own. As a consequence, I very often did not do things when she wanted or how she wanted. I was too intimidated to say anything and I really wish I had. I spent a lot of time frustrated.
     
  12. kawikasgirl

    kawikasgirl Rookie

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    Jun 16, 2006

    Hi Mrs. Terisa - I hope you don't mind one more piece of advice. On your first day in the class, make a diagram/seating chart with the student's names and learn them by the next morning. I made notations of things that distinguished them (i.e., glasses, buzz haircut) to help me and also wrote anything I could gather about what they liked. This really helped "break the ice" with the students and made a positive impression with my master teachers too! Good luck to you, student teaching is a scary, frustrating, but exhilarating and satisfying journey - you'll do fine!
     
  13. teacherbecky

    teacherbecky Rookie

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    Jun 28, 2006

    Just take a deep breath. In my expierence with student teaching you spend the first few weeks just observing. Then you slowing start taking over lesson planning and presenting. Then you will eventually take it all over. You won't be just thrown into it all at once. Make sure to take notes and ask lots of questions during that observation time. My cooperating teacher was great to me and helped me out a lot. I just pray that yours is as great to you. If you ever get stressed out just take deep breaths and be pacient.
     
  14. historyteacher

    historyteacher Companion

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    Jun 28, 2006

    ....and if something doesn't go they way you thought don't stress out. Just regroup and take a calming breath.

    I love to have student teachers in my room. I know they are there to learn from me, but I always end up learning from them.
     
  15. enseigner

    enseigner Rookie

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    Jun 28, 2006


    Hi Mrs. Terisa,

    I'll be student teaching this fall too!

    I know what you're feeling, I've been there and will probably have some butterflies in my stomach as the first day of student teaching approaches. I took a summer job this week and as I walked towards the classroom I felt my body go weak and I began to think "turn around and run, NOW, QUICK!!" :p

    Of course, I didn't, but I believe those feelings are natural ... and actually, it would be a little unusual for a new teacher not to have at least some anxiety! Good luck in your program, you've chosen a wonderful profession!
     
  16. mrsnoble116

    mrsnoble116 Companion

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    Jun 29, 2006

    every one has offered so many good things. One thing I wish I had done was observe other classes, not just your grade level. Your cooperating teacher should have an idea of someone else who has really good management, or really good teaching ideas. Make time to observe other teachers and bring a notebook to write down all the ideas.
     
  17. AZKinderTchr

    AZKinderTchr Comrade

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    Jun 29, 2006

    If possible, beginning before the year starts is great. Ask your CT if you can help her/him set up the classroom. You will get some great insight into all the work it takes to get ready, have ideas for your own room, and you'll actually have time to talk to your CT and develop a rapport with them. They will see how excited you are and will begin to get a feel for how quickly they can utilize you in the room.
     
  18. Tinsley81

    Tinsley81 Rookie

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    Jun 29, 2006

    Everyone has had AMAZING advice! Follow all of it!! I wish I had all of these ideas when I went into student teaching.

    Just wanted to add-one thing that I did not do at the end of student teaching, which I regretted--Ask for a mock interview with the principal or assistant principal. Even if there are no openings at that school, it will help with feeling out the format of interviews and what to expect.

    Have fun! It will be great!
    T
     
  19. mcangel

    mcangel Rookie

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    Jun 30, 2006

    Thanks SO much for posting all of your helpful advice! I will be student teaching this fall too and I am so excited...and anxious...and nervous...and happy. Your tips helped me realize that my feelings normal and gave me a lot of hints to apply to my experience. It's nice to know that you all understand and have time to post these comments. Gosh, I can't wait to get started :)
     
  20. MissBanger

    MissBanger Rookie

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    Jun 30, 2006

    I just finished student teaching in April (3rd grade). I had an AMAZING experience! I had so much fun. One advice I can offer you, and I don't know if someone else has said this (so many posts, it would take me forever to read through all of them, ha!) is to write a letter to the parents the first week you are in the classroom. Tell them how excited you are to be student teaching in their childs class and give them a brief biography of yourself (college, age, married, not married, kids of your own..etc).

    I had several parents tell me how much they appreciated the letter home. It also opens up doors for buildling relationships with parents (which is key! even in student teaching).
     

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