Tips on student teaching

Discussion in 'General Education' started by Jioconde, Aug 19, 2019.

  1. Jioconde

    Jioconde New Member

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    Aug 19, 2019

    Hello everyone!

    I will be starting my Bachelor's of Education program in September 2019. I do have some experience being as a tutor and teaching assistant. I also have some experience teaching business English and general English online one-to-one with adults. I plan to reflect on these experiences to understand what went well & what I could improve on. The reason why I would like to do this is because I really want to be successful and prepared for my teaching practicum. I understand that there is no such thing as being a perfect teacher, however I believe that there is always room for improvement and that every day is an opportunity to learn.

    I've been reading articles on tips for student teaching, browsing Pinterest to see material that I could use in my future classroom, looking at vlogs on student teaching, and volunteering in different high school and middle school classrooms to learn about different classroom management techniques. I also have met up with a student who has previously done the same Bachelor's of Education program that I plan on doing in September.

    What else can I do to better prepare for my teaching practicum? What kind of advice would you give a teacher candidate who really wants to be successful in his or her practicum?

    I would like to express my gratitude and appreciation to all of you for reading this post. I am opened to all your suggestions. I wish you all the best in your future endeavours and I look forward to hearing your opinion.
     
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  3. Obadiah

    Obadiah Groupie

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    Aug 20, 2019

    It sounds as if you are off to a fantastic start! For me, the two most important aspects of my student internship were observation and talking with the teachers. What I learned from these two aspects followed me throughout my career. I'd also recommend, as time allows, reading scientific journals on education. I remember they seemed a bit daunting at first, it takes awhile to adjust to the style and flow of journal articles, but they helped me coordinate the current research with the actual classroom procedures.

    I think the number one problem facing education today is the cultural shift among children. Kids in 2019 are not the same kids when I was growing up in the 60's. And kids have changed since I began teaching. TV, and now computerized entertainment and pursuits, are increasingly replacing reading, writing, and arithmetic. Increasingly, these 3 fundamentals of life experience are also becoming relegated to the school classroom and avoided outside of the classroom. Instead of the school classroom teaching and enriching what should be a normal part of daily life, the "3 r's" have transformed into a drill for a test or a means to obtain a pizza or other prize. When I was 11, walking to the library to obtain a book on how to train my collie, Lassie, or a book to develop my budding career as a magician (which I never became), or to find a book to sit on the swing and read to Lassie (her favorite book was about Timmy and Lassie), this was a regular event in my childhood. Today, that same library, although much larger, is vacant in the children's section and almost vacant in the adult section. When I was a kid, playing outside was a normal, everyday experience. Today, kids are inside twiddling their thumbs on cell phones and game consoles. Indoor activities, when I was a kid--playing chess with my brother and pretending to be Bobby Fischer, observing through my microscope, creating with my wood burning kit, writing to my pen pal, writing stories, playing the piano, and yes, I suppose even back then I watched a bit too much TV. But we didn't have hours of social media, texting, and video gaming. Math--it was part of everyday life. We counted money in our piggy banks (do kids still have them today?), counted out change with the cashier at the grocery store (they didn't just slap the money in your hand back then), figuring out the state tax, measuring to build a fort in the back yard, etc., etc. A calculator was mostly a toy to use to make funny noises on the radio (which digital calculators would do back then). Oh, yeah, we listened to tons of music on the radio and on records, and a variety of music, not just rock, and even rock and roll had some melody and snappy rhythm to it. Wow, I got off on a rant--sorry. But I do feel that the current cultural shift among young people (and parents by the way) is damaging to kids' brains, and the current cultural shift seems to be spiraling downward, deeper and deeper in an abyss that might become impossible to escape from, perhaps another 20-50 years from now.
     
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  4. Loomistrout

    Loomistrout Devotee

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    Aug 20, 2019

    Classroom teaching can be described as Mark Twain put it: “Teaching is trying to hold 35 corks underwater at the same time.”

    What most student teachers never see or experience is being in the classroom on the first day(s). This is the critical time when a teacher establishes a “work” environment or a “kick back and do your thing” environment. Often they show up several weeks into the semester after the teacher has already taught, reviewed and practiced (or not) their management plan. This can lead to a sort of false sense of security as an ST may not see a lot of management “techniques” since many have self-eliminated. On the other hand, a ST may be scared to death due to observing a bunch of malcontents without realizing these same students behave perfectly for the teacher down the hall. If you are able to observe several teachers at school start up you will begin to see common attributes or process of what certain teachers do to elicit a lot of cooperation and time on task while other teachers struggle.
     
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  5. Jioconde

    Jioconde New Member

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    Aug 25, 2019

    Thank-you Obadiah and Loomistrout for your wonderful suggestions. I truly do appreciate them. I will definitely see if I can start reading some scientific journals on education and observe how some teachers start up on the first days of school. :)
     
  6. zmp2018

    zmp2018 Rookie

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    Aug 26, 2019

    I had the benefit of student-teaching at the start of the 18-19 school year. What I found beneficial was watching my mentor closely during those first few weeks--how he interacted with the kids, gained their attention, corrected any behaviors, etc. When I was slowly implemented in the classroom, I was able to quickly establish that I was just as much of a teacher as he was. The kids did try to pull stuff because they just saw me more of an "assistant" at first, but using the techniques that my mentor had implemented weeks prior showed the kids that I meant business, and they liked the consistency, too.

    Of course, you are going to have your own way of doing things, and that's great, but there were certain things my mentor did that I would not necessarily do, but I did them the way he did them because it made the kids comfortable knowing not EVERYTHING was going to change.

    Also, learn to make friends with the other teachers, especially the ones near you. I'm not saying you have to be "buddy buddy" with everyone, but try to blend in with the rest of them. Many will tell you to avoid the faculty lounge or the lunchroom, but my mentor's room was actually the "lunchroom" with the other teachers on his team. They never used the faculty lounge, so they met up in his room each day. I felt that those interactions each day that were not school-related helped me get to know them better, and they in turn got to know me better. Your mentor might give you advice on how to approach the other teachers, so use his or her advice to the best of your ability.

    When you get up to do your first lesson, don't expect to knock it out of the park. I remember my first mini-lesson, and I still cringe when I think about it. I SUCKED! And you know what, that's OKAY! You will get a feel for the classroom and your teaching style. Don't look at your mentor all the time while you are teaching. I often would overanalyze his facial expressions or body language whenever I was teaching, and it hindered me in a sense because I felt like I had to teach things a certain way, and it made it unnatural. Just let yourself ease into the profession--always strive to be great, but don't be hard on yourself when things don't go exactly as planned.

    Finally, be flexible, and be ready for things to happen on the fly. My mentor would sometimes tell me a few minutes before our next class that he wanted me to run the class. He knew I could do it even if I didn't believe I could. Use any and all opportunities you get!

    Most of all, have fun. It's a tough part of your college career, but you will learn so much once it's over.
     
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  7. Jioconde

    Jioconde New Member

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    Sep 20, 2019 at 3:49 PM

    Thank-you zmp2018 for your wonderful suggestion.I really appreciate it that you took some time to write a valuable comment. I will definitely try to apply your suggestions when I will do school visits. :)
     

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