What do you think about putting a student teacher in a new teacher's classroom?

Discussion in 'General Education' started by Youngteacher226, Nov 11, 2007.

  1. Youngteacher226

    Youngteacher226 Enthusiast

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    Nov 11, 2007

    I'm a little stressed, needless to say. I am in my 2nd year of teaching and I have a student teacher. Not just a student teacher, but a teacher who's been "teaching" or subbing for 9 years and returning to school in her later years. Everything seemed okay for the first week but now I'm kinda looking at the calendar waiting for her last day! She is an older lady and is only student teaching to fulfil her requirement to get her certification. She's not used to primary kids and admits that she doesn't have the patience for younger students. She yells alot at my kids, criticizes them to me and in front of them and is just a negative person. I'm thinking part of her negativity is because it is early in the year and my 2nd graders are still acting like 1st graders! They may wiggle a little bit, talk to thier friends at inappropriate times, get up to get a tissue, etc. But they are only 6-7 years old for heaven's sake!!!! We all know it takes them time to mature, learn to follow directions etc. She doesn't get that and looks at that as if the kids are "running over me". She has even lectured the students and said "you all are running over Ms. X." I couldn't believe that she told my kids that!:mad:I think they came a long way since the first week of school. They have made great progress. She made me feel like I was 1 inch tall. Like I am not a good teacher. And I would consider myself a fairly strict teacher, and I expect my students to follow the classroom rules at all times. They do not talk back to me, disobey me or anything like that. I don't know where she's getting their "running over me".:confused:
    I was against having a student teacher, especially since we all know that beginning teachers need at least 2-3 years to really get their organization the way they want it, their classroom dynamics they way they want it and new teachers are always changing things around when they find a better way to do something. She does not understand that, I'm sure! I feel like she's criticizing me in her mind. I don't feel it is fair to have this burden during my 2nd year. What do you all think about this????? How am I going to deal with this lady until December??????:eek:
     
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  3. Miss Kirby

    Miss Kirby Fanatic

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    Whoa I can't imagine them giving me a student teacher!! Why did they give her to you? You didn't have any say in it?

    I interned once in a classroom with a third year teacher. The teacher was fantastic but I was only there one day a week for a semester.
     
  4. mrsjam525

    mrsjam525 Rookie

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    Nov 11, 2007

    did you principal force you to take on a student teacher? Explain to the principal that this not working out for you and is it possible for the student teacher to be changed to another classroom
    Good luck !!
     
  5. Youngteacher226

    Youngteacher226 Enthusiast

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    Actually, my principal never asked me if I wanted a student teacher. I found out through the school secretary. Sort of like, "Oh, you're getting a student teacher next week". I did track my AP down before she started and asked her why they chose my class. She sort of brushed me off like, "Oh, it will be great. You two can learn from each other"...yada yada yada. You know how the song goes. I mentioned to my AP that I didn't feel ready or able to "mentor" a student teacher and she basically told me I was and I could teach this lady alot about our reading and writing program (writing workshop, reading workshop etc.) :confused:I knew it would be a bad idea. I just feel like it is unfair to me and my kids. I don't like the feeling of having someone critique my teaching styles or behavior management. Especially since I feel like I was doing a good job until now. It's funny that I feel I had a good handle on my classroom and then this stranger comes in my room and tells my kids they are taking advantage of me because I am a nice teacher. She's actually told them, "Ms. X is nice to you all. She has given you alot of chances and you are not being nice to her." My kids were all looking at her with their eyes wide open, like "huh???"
     
  6. Youngteacher226

    Youngteacher226 Enthusiast

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    By the way, the student teacher needs to do a lower primary class to fulfil her requirements and my class was next on the list I guess. It could have something to do with her personality too. Maybe my principal matched her with me thinking I would be able to take her abrasive personality. I don't know.
     
  7. MissFroggy

    MissFroggy Aficionado

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    I think we were only allowed to be with people who were teaching for 5 years. I think this sounds like too much! I would have been incredibly stressed doing that my second year.
     
  8. Steph-ernie

    Steph-ernie Groupie

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    I'm in my 3rd year right now, and I don't feel like I would be at all ready to have a student teacher. I'm finally getting into the groove for myself, and getting things down to a routine that works for me. I think that also, if I had been placed with a second year teacher when I was student teaching, I would have felt a little cheated. No offense to you of course, but as you said, we all know that in your first and second years, you aren't an expert yet. I would have wanted to be placed with an expert. I would definitely talk to your principal. Bring specific examples of reasons it is not working. Spend a couple of days keeping a log and then take it to the principal. there must be a better placement for her.
     
  9. 2ndTimeArnd

    2ndTimeArnd Companion

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    Nov 12, 2007

    Very bad idea to put a student teacher in a new teacher's room ... I agree with all the other posters and I guess I would worry a bit about the judgment of both an AP and principal who could possibly think this is a good situation. Student teaching is supposed to be when you learn from a mentor or master teacher, and isn't just a place to hang out every day. It is still YOUR classroom, no matter how new you are, and she has no business upsetting the flow or criticizing you in front of the kids.

    Also, the relationship between the cooperating teacher and student teacher is very important - I myself had an awful student teaching experience, because I just never "meshed" with my CT and she didn't seem to have any desire at all to teach me anything. I think she agreed to take me because she could leave the classroom a lot and go do whatever it was she did (she used to leave for long lunches, knowing I'd be there to bring the class back from lunch). I truly learned nothing from this woman (even tho I had met her before I signed on for the placement) and as a result, was ill-prepared when I got my own classroom. So, it's not fair to you, and it's not fair to her, if you feel like it's not a good relationship.

    It sounds as if your bosses aren't too inclined to change this mess, but I would sure try again ... maybe by portraying the situation as one that can't possibly be beneficial for the student teacher, and by noting that it's a difficult relationship that is harmful to the kids. I know in my college classes, it wasn't unheard of to change a student teaching placement, even half-way through, and it could be initiated by either side.

    Good luck ... and if you can't change it, December isn't that far away! Also, by this point in the semester, shouldn't she mostly be teaching on her own, with you having turned over most of the responsibilities? That's the way our arrangement worked, then with the student teacher slowing giving back the class a few weeks before she left ...
     
  10. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Nov 12, 2007

    Take it as a vote of confifidence.

    I'm working with a number of 2nd year teachers. Most are just finding their own style.

    But I can think of 1 who would be ready for a student teacher. In fact, on Friday we had a new teacher (starts tomorrow) observing a number of the freshmen teachers to get an idea of how we structure our classes. While she's teaching Latin, she did see my math class, the English chair's class, and James' history class. There were a lot of freshmen teachers from which to choose, but the AP chose to have her see his class.

    So hang in there, hold your head up high, and show this student teacher all you can.
     
  11. Maryhf

    Maryhf Connoisseur

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    Nov 12, 2007

    Please remember that she is a visitor in YOUR classroom. Regardless of your relative ages, you have the right to insist that she follow your rules (not demeaning the students or you) while still allowing her to develop her own style. I think you are overdue for a serious talk with her about what is acceptable or not. When she graduates, she may substitute and it is a similar situation. You will be doing her a favor by being honest about her performance. I know that this will not be easy at all but it's your classrooom and you shouldn't have to be counting the days. She should have a college supervisor who could support you as well. Good luck!
     
  12. Beth2004

    Beth2004 Maven

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    It just doesn't seem fair to do that to you. I couldn't believe it last year, in my first year, that I was given a high school intern in my room for 9 weeks. Nevermind if I was given a student teacher this year, in my second year! To be licensed in MA, you need to student teach with someone who has completed 3 full years of teaching under his/her own license, though.
     
  13. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    My principal is insistent that we not have a student teacher unless we have been teaching a minimum of 5 years. Your first couple of years you need to spend so much time learning yourself, it is difficult to teach someone else.
     
  14. mrachelle87

    mrachelle87 Fanatic

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    Nov 12, 2007

    In our state each college sets the standards. Most have that teacher must have 3 years of experience. Some even require a master degree. The best part is that you get to evaluate her, not her evaluating you. Call her college to find out what they expect of her. Talk to her advisor. You might be surprise, if the college has guidelines in place that might require her to be moved out of your room based on your experience--they will force the school to change her assignment.
     
  15. Shanoo

    Shanoo Habitué

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    Where I'm from, cooperating teachers are expected to have a minimum of 5 years experience as well.

    Considering that YOU are the teacher and SHE is the student, I think that you should talk to her about her performance. I was constantly being evaluated by my cooperating teachers. They would let me know my strengths and my weaknesses and then would help me develop a plan to change those things with which I was struggling.

    Can you set up a meeting like that with her? Point out some of the positive things she is doing and use that to lead into the problems you are having. Tell her that you are concerned that she isn't using her time to maximize her learning. That you are concerned that, by concentrating on YOU and YOUR teaching style, she isn't giving herself opportunity to develop as a teacher. I would also, gently but firmly, mention that you have specific expectations for not only your students, but guests who come into your class and ask her to respect them (ie - not demean you or the children).

    If, after that conversation, she continues, I would contact her college/university and let them know the problems you are having.
     
  16. La Profesora

    La Profesora Cohort

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    In the college programs I know of, there is an advisor through the college who checks up on student teachers. You could cite "personality conflict" or that you are too new yourself - but don't keep someone in your room who makes you uncomfortable.

    Your classroom, your rules. Just approach it nicely :)
     
  17. Youngteacher226

    Youngteacher226 Enthusiast

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    Thanks everyone for understanding where I'm coming from. I do agree that it is not a good idea to have a student teacher with a new teacher...not at all! I was dead set against it when I found out about it. I couldn't imagine being put in a new teacher's classroom when I was student teaching. I would feel robbed as well, and that is how I explained it to my AP. But of course, she's with me anyway. I do think that a talk between her and I is overdue. We're only going on her 3rd week so it seems right on time. The only thing that worries me is that if I was to bring up the fact that she's supposed to be finding herself and not critiquing me, then she would say as she's said many times that she has done this for 9 years and she shouldn't be there anyway. She is very bitter about being suspended from her job to fulfil this requirement. She basically had to leave her job to do this in order to get her certification. (Makes you kinda wonder what she's been doing all these years to not have it already.):confused:But she throws it in my face time and time again that she's been subbing for sooooo many years like she doesn't want me to tell her anything or give her any advice. What she seems to forget is that she has no experience with lower primary children (K-4) and doesn't have a clue about how to approach them, talk to them, teach them so they'll listen etc. She gets so upset if a child is not paying attention to her, not realizing that she is just straight up boring.(I'm sorry to say). I won't tell her that of course, but I will mention her teaching styles and maybe suggest other formats for teaching at least while in my classroom. I also kinda feel like she's taking advantage of me in a way because she sits around and waits for me to tell her what to do. C'mon guys, when you all were student teachers, didn't you just want to jump right in and do things in the classroom (i.e leading the morning meeting, taking the kids to specials, reading with children, taking a small group). I know I did. But she made a comment to me the other day that she hasn't been doing anything because she didn't want to step on my toes. Huh???? Hello???? Aren't you supposed to take over the classroom when you're student teaching???:confused:
    I don't know, I just feel like this lady knows that she is old enough to be my mother so she plays on that. She makes it known everyday that she's tired, classess are stressing her out, the requirements are kicking her butt and she is just overwhelmed. I understand that but she seems to forget that I am a new teacher, I am overwhelmed, I am in Grad school as well, learning a new curriculum, and I am a mom! She should be trying to be a help to me and not a burden.
    Sorry for venting.

    I will have a talk with her tomorrow for sure. And put my foot down.
     
  18. Brendan

    Brendan Fanatic

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    Nov 12, 2007

    The student teachers we have often observe new teachers as quite frankly some of them no how to teach better than the older teachers. Last year, I used Ashely's history class (last year was her first year) as a good example and Christine's (an old teacher who finally left) as a very poor one.
     
  19. Ms. I

    Ms. I Maven

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    Well, just make the best of it & count down the days till she's out of there. I don't think an ST (student teacher) should be paired up w/ anyone who's been teaching for less than 5 yrs. This lady sounds pretty terrible. It's obvious that she's just doing this for the requirement & not to learn anything, after all, she thinks she knows it all already! When it's time for her to apply for a job, she's probably going to try for upper grades anyway.

    I don't know how receptive she is to anything you say, but since she thinks you're some wet behind the ear, green teacher who doesn't know anything, don't give her any pointers or tips then.

    Just get by the day & I hope it gets better.
     
  20. monsieurteacher

    monsieurteacher Aficionado

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    Do you not get any say in her grade? I know my CT had to mark me.
     
  21. giraffe326

    giraffe326 Virtuoso

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    Wow! We had to paired with a tenured teacher, and they only take volunteers. They never force anyone! Who ever the suburban schools did not take, went to the low-income city schools. My university had super-high standards. I could not ST in the district I live in because my sister was a senior in high school. I was going for lower el!
    Anyway, good luck. I did not get along with my cooperating teacher, but I was pretty much told by the university to just please her, despite my opinions. Apparently, she needs that talk!
    (Note: my coop teacher was older and very much set in her ways, I was not allowed to vary from her schedule/routine, which drove me nuts!)
     
  22. La Profesora

    La Profesora Cohort

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    So, she thinks she knows it all...


    then admits that she knows NOTHING....

    She should go back to subbing. she doesn't want to be a teacher. She wants it handed to her.
     
  23. Learner4Life

    Learner4Life Cohort

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    I know in MT you have to be paired with a certified teacher who's been in the profession for 3+ years. I also know that getting her re-assigned is definately not impossible and is in-fact probable!!! When I did my student teaching, one of the girls I knew was re-assigned THREE times!!! Needless to say she failed her student teaching but the teachers she was with complained to her advisor that she had in-appropriate relationships with her students (she was Jr. High). Talk to the woman's advisor and she'll probably understand that the dynamic is not good and neither of you are benefiting from the situation.
     
  24. FarFromHome

    FarFromHome Connoisseur

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    If it's anything like it is here, you get to give her a grade. Talk to her and tell her that it is your classroom and she needs to follow your rules. It doesn't matter how old she is. If she can't do that, then I wouldn't pass her.
     
  25. agdamity

    agdamity Fanatic

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    I would definitely have a meeting with her college supervisor. Oftentimes, they wield more power than your principal in getting student teacher's to do what they should.
     
  26. Irishdave

    Irishdave Enthusiast

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    What college is she coming from? (Please don't say Oswego)
     
  27. runsw/scissors

    runsw/scissors Phenom

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    I'm in my seventh year, and I'm not sure I would feel comfortable being a mentor! At least once a week I feel like I'm losing my mind. My desk is a disorganized mess to all who see it. I tend to set stuff down and forget where I put it. I'm having hard time adjusting to being the student council co-chair. I think I would seiously question my principal's sanity if she gave me a student teacher at this point. I can't imagine doing this in my second year as a student teacher. Personally, I think any mentor to a student teacher ought to have at least 5 years of experience and agree to do the job.
     
  28. mommyre

    mommyre Comrade

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    WOW!!! I cannot believe you have an ST. My school requires that our CT (cooperating teacher) has 6+ years experience, and nothing against you but I would not want a second year teacher! You have not experienced enough of the types of classes and students yet! Not to mention in NC you only have a temporary license for the first 3 years.
     
  29. smalltowngal

    smalltowngal Multitudinous

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    I was to be placed with a CT in 2nd grade for my first placement. She had over 5 years experience in the grade; however, they moved her up to 3rd grade and because it was her first year in a new grade, they placed me with a different 3rd grade teacher.

    I know I would NOT be comfortable with a ST in my room!! Nor if I was a ST I wouldn't want to be placed in a room with a second year teacher. Nothing against them, but your still learning the ropes of the curriculum and still building your lessons and classroom management skills.
     
  30. YoungTeacherGuy

    YoungTeacherGuy Phenom

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    Wow-- I can't imagine having a student teacher in my classroom. This is only my 2nd year teaching, and it's only my first year in 2nd grade (last year I taught 1st grade).

    I was asked by my principal if I wanted a college student to help out/observe in my classroom 3 times a week this year. The student needed to get some early field experience, and my principal thought that the student could learn a lot from me.

    Anyway, I graciously declined! I thought she should be placed with a more seasoned teacher. Plus, she was a lot older than I am, so I thought she might be offened being placed with a teacher who is young enough to be her son!

    You should really speak with your principal!
     
  31. Ms. I

    Ms. I Maven

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    I think that it's rare to have a genuinely great CT as it is, no matter how many yrs they've been teaching. I earned 2 credentials, so I had to student teach for 4 quarters (1 year's worth). I'd say only half of them were good & one of them was extremely exceptional & she's the only one I still keep in touch w/ today. All 4 of my CTs had been teaching for yrs.

    The worst one I had had two Masters degrees & claimed to be a minister.
     

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