Will a bad Student teaching experience ruin my job chances

Discussion in 'Job Seekers' started by greenbay33, Jan 14, 2013.

  1. greenbay33

    greenbay33 Rookie

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    Okay, so in my student teaching, things didn't go as smoothly as I hoped. While I passed and my college advisors thought I made progress, I worry that I didn't impress my cooperating teachers.

    To be honest, I was a mess. I didn't do well in classroom management. While I was good at making detailed plans and good at trying to include everyone in the classroom, I had problems trying to get kids to listen and behave. I also struggled with finding things to engage students. In fact that was the thing I felt that was the worst. I had real trouble engaging kids and I felt like they didn't care even though I really wanted to be successful
    Unfortunately I didn't handle it well. At the end of the day i'd cry because it was so tough and I felt like I wanted to quit. I'd also get frustrated with kids. I was usually calm, but sometimes it got to me, though usually I would be crying and all after school. It didn't help that I was criticized (and rightly so ) for not being consistent and not being able to control my class (one of my teachers said that I "lost his good class" which made me feel like I shouldn't even be teaching.

    However, I must have done something right as they passed me. However I wonder if this will effect Job apps. In the year since student teaching i've had 3 interviews, but was not given the job. I've also applied to about 60 jobs total, and got rejected. My subject area is social studies, so it is tough, but I wonder if my cooperating teachers are telling these schools that i have emotional problems when they call.

    It makes me worry so much. I not only feel like a wimpy man because I still cry at 23, but I also feel like I chose the wrong career. I love my subject, and I love working with kids (i'm starting to like MS more than HS though, and elementary seems to be a lot more enjoyable). So would a bad Student Teaching experience impact my job search?
     
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  3. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    I think that it will only impact your ability to find a job if you don't get good recommendations. Will you get good recommendations from your cooperating teachers?
     
  4. hbcaligirl1985

    hbcaligirl1985 Cohort

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    I am suffering the same issue. I never want to think of my ST again, my fingers are crossed for you, my friend. And don't feel bad about crying--I was a wreck too.
     
  5. catnfiddle

    catnfiddle Moderator

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    Jan 14, 2013

    Start subbing and use that experience to supplement your classroom skills that you may not have perfected during your student teaching time. Once you get enough experience there, you'll probably also have some stellar references and not need to include your cooperating teachers among them. You will also have teaching jobs to add to your resume, which is equally important.
     
  6. Cerek

    Cerek Aficionado

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    Jan 14, 2013

    Student teaching is tough. Very few student teachers have master skills in classroom management and kids often view them as nothing more than a long-term sub, so it is natural that the students will act up and test you - that's what they do.

    Engaging lessons? Again, that is something that takes experience to really develop. Some people may have a natural aptitude for it, but most teachers start with what they feel would be interesting and then learn what works with their students through trial and error.

    You say you were "rejected" from over 60 jobs? I'm assuming that means you never heard back from those schools. That is more a product of the overall job environment than any perceived lack of skills or bad references on your part. No matter what career you choose, you are going to send out a LOT of resume's and applications that never generate a response. It doesn't mean your skills aren't acceptable, it just means someone else's skills may have been a better match. You got 3 interviews right out of college. Honestly, that's not too bad.

    Catnfiddle is correct that substitute teaching will be one of the best avenues for you to take. It gives you real classroom experience, which in turn, gives you more opportunities to improve your classroom management and other areas you feel you need to strengthen. You will also be establishing contacts in the schools and creating networks. These help you get your foot in the door when a position does come open. It also provides you with new references. I routinely list one principal that I've only worked for as a sub in my references.

    I know it is hard, but perseverance pays off. The more work you can get as a sub, the more experience you will build up and the more you will improve your skills. You will also have more experiences to draw on when asked "Describe a time you overcame a challenge at work or were successful with a difficult student?"
     
  7. greenbay33

    greenbay33 Rookie

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    Jan 14, 2013

    Thanks Cerek, I actually am just a little depressed because I didn't get the job at the last interview. I have been subbing since September for a number of district, but most of my work has been at 2 districts. One fairly large (for Nebraska anyway) and one that is smaller. Both are great places to work and I feel that I have gained a little confidence, even though sometimes it feels like when I sub i'm just a glorified baby sitter. Even then, experience is experience.

    As for my recommendations, I honestly don't know if they are bad. I got recommendation letters that highlight good things, but one of them is basically a generic letter that doesn't mention anything good or bad, just that i'm a good guy and would that this CT gives his approval. To be honest i'm more worried about the emotional issues than the teaching things. I've always had trouble handling criticism and I hate that i get so emotional and yet i'm a guy. I guess the old stereotype that boys don't cry is something i believe makes me weak, even though i'm sure it doesn't.
     
  8. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Jan 14, 2013

    Great advice!:thumb:
     
  9. Myrisophilist

    Myrisophilist Habitué

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    Jan 14, 2013

    I agree with the subbing advice. Perhaps some of your trouble was not feeling comfortable (I would've been on edge and emotional, too, if I was doubting myself and getting less than satisfactory feedback)? Working in several positions within a district may help you become familiar with a variety of teaching methods and age groups so you can be flexible and gain confidence.

    Another thought I had is that you might want to look into tutoring. Are you more comfortable working one-on-one or in small groups? There's much less management to worry about (and much less "classroom" too!).
     
  10. greenbay33

    greenbay33 Rookie

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    tutoring isn't bad, theres just not a lot of positions available and I don't know if a lot of students would take advantage. In fact because of my lack of job interviews in teaching (I know its just because i'm in a low demand field, but still) i plan on trying to look for other jobs. I just don't know what i'd be qualified for, and i don't have much job experience other than subbing and working at a grocery store at night. I still want to try to teach though. I still love my subject, and I feel with the right school, i'll love the kids
     
  11. Cerek

    Cerek Aficionado

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    Jan 14, 2013

    First of all, don't worry about the generic recommendation letter. My CT and I got along great and are still good friends. During my time leading the classes, she felt comfortable enough to leave me alone with the class on a number of occasions while she did other duties (usually running to the office or meeting with another teacher). I also actually "subbed" in her class a few times during my ST when she had to attend workshops. So she and the principal both felt very comfortable with my abilities, but the recommendation letter she wrote was still very generic (in my opinion).

    Even though tutoring may involve fewer students, it allows you to work more closely with each of the students. I always make sure I list my experience in BOTH areas on my resume' and mention them in my interview (if applicable), because the experience from subbing is not the same as experience from tutoring, and vice versa.

    The other advantage of subbing, as Myrisophilist mentions, is that you have a chance to learn how other teachers organize their rooms, prepare their lessons and establish classroom rules and behavior. You may also get a chance to see how other teachers handle their classes.

    One last suggestion would be to ask if you could just observe some veteran teachers on days when you aren't subbing. That shows admin you are wanting to learn from others to improve your own skills and gives you a chance to see how different teachers handle the same behavior issues. It also gives you a chance to observe different teaching styles and decide which one(s) suit your own style best.

    I'm constantly looking for tips and tricks from other teachers that I can use myself.
     
  12. Peregrin5

    Peregrin5 Maven

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    Jan 14, 2013

    Plenty of student teachers have been through what you've been through. You are a pre-first year teacher, and you can't be expected to have perfect classroom management. Even experienced teachers have problems with classroom management. As long as you're bringing your effort to the game and you get right back up and keep trying you should be fine.

    Honestly the teacher that told you you lost his good class is probably someone who is less suited to teaching than you are. (I just don't believe in classifying entire classes as good and bad classes)

    I think your problem lies more with the fact that you're teaching social studies and there's a very low demand for social studies teachers, so any position is probably going to go to the most experienced applicant. That means anyone who has more years of teaching than you (which is basically everyone who is not a brand new teacher).

    Keep building up that experience subbing and you'll eventually break into it.
     
  13. Peachyness

    Peachyness Virtuoso

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    My very first student teaching assingment ended horribly. It went fine until the last few weeks. My master teacher started to get a bit weird. I mean, throughout the whole time there she was odd, and even my university supervisor noticed it. She spoke to me when I had two weeks left and said that all I ever did my whole time there was complain. What????? Uh, no I didn't. She also refused to write me a letter and said that I wasn't good enough to continue on to my next student teaching assingment (we had to do two, one upper grade, one lower grade). My next assignment went MUCH smoother, luckily.

    Anyways, that didn't end up hurting me. I had letters from my university supervisor, my second master teacher, and from university professors. Ask around!!!
     
  14. Studentteacher8

    Studentteacher8 Rookie

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    I haven't had my first placement yet, I don't start it until May and I'm already worried about it. Reading everyone's comments reassures me that its not meant to be perfect and without any mistakes, it's a learning experience.
     
  15. greenbay33

    greenbay33 Rookie

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    I know a lot of it is my subject. However, I don't know about the teacher part of it. While I do think he wasn't that great (he was mainly into teaching for coaching, which I can understand), but he wasn't terrible. Kids liked him too, so I at the end of theday i'd say he was effective.

    I think a lot of the problem is that I have so much guilt from my mom. She always points out that I didn't do this one substitute teacher program in college (I was lazy and applied late) while one of my best friends did and got a job. She also makes comments how other teachers in my field get jobs because of coaching, and how I didn't prepare as much as other kids. Also part of it is she was an elementary teacher, and is now a reading specialist, and she is very good, and every job she interviewed she got offered (she's been lucky in that sense) and I don't think she realizes i am in a tougher field, and so she thinks i'm not trying hard enough (maybe I am not). So yah, its a lot of things
     
  16. Roobunny

    Roobunny Comrade

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    I won't go into too much detail regarding my ST experience, but it was AWFUL! I think it was on my list of one of the worst things that I've ever been through. I was a child psychology major and had to take some pretty challenging classes, yet my ST placement was the lowest grade I received during my years at my university.

    I couldn't use my cooperating teacher as a reference because of the situation. It took me over 5 years to find a teaching job, but I think a lot of it had to do with the job market and the fact that I had no networks.

    At times, I definitely felt like giving up and had even started looking into a nursing program at a local community college...but I am glad I stuck it out.
     
  17. hbcaligirl1985

    hbcaligirl1985 Cohort

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    I can tell you that I spoke to a teacher today who had an awful student teaching experience too. She has been teaching 18 years DESPITE the fact that her CT tried to sabotage her and then 5 years later was horrified to learn she had actually been hired.
     
  18. Roobunny

    Roobunny Comrade

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    I just don't get that! My CT tried to fail me and told me I should never teach. It was definitely a blow to my self-confidence and I did doubt myself for quite a while since I wasn't able to get a job (let alone an INTERVIEW) for 5 years.

    Looking back on it, I've realized the whole thing was definitely a learning experience. Had I wish things had gone more smoothly? Sure. At the same time, I am also glad I was putting in 100+ hours a week trying to please my CT and "get it right." Putting in the blood, sweat, and tears prepared me for the real world of teaching and my first 3 months on the job where I was working 70-80 hours a week, but I was expecting that. Sometimes I even consider sending her a thank you card. :)
     
  19. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    It's so hard for outsiders to look at what happens during a student teaching experience and really understand what went on.

    When I was in grad school, we grad students often enrolled in the same classes as the undergrads. For the grad students, the course number would be much higher and the requirements of us would be much bigger, but we'd physically sit in the same room as the undergrads at the same time because we were a small department and there weren't many grad students (maybe 15-20 at any given time). For example, I took an ancient Greek class about the author Xenophon. It was like Greek 800-something for me, since I was a grad student, but Greek 400-something for the undergrads. We were all learning about Xenophon, but the grad students were expected to learn a lot more about Xenophon in a much deeper way. I hope that all makes sense. Anyway, in a lot of my classes was this one undergrad. He was, to be frank, an idiot. A nice guy and all, but honestly knew nothing about the content. Imagine my surprise when I learned that he wanted to be a Latin teacher. Heh. Anyway, so one day I was doing some field experience/observation stuff at a local high school. Lo and behold, he was there too, doing a mini lesson. He was teaching the students about some grammar topic. The problem was that he was doing it all wrong. He gave the wrong forms and translated them incorrectly. I sat there thinking, What the heck is this?? Fast forward a few years, and I was talking with the real classroom teacher for that class. She told me that he had been assigned to her as a student teacher but she had to basically "fire" him because he just didn't know the content. She was a kind person and a great teacher (from what I could tell), but she also needed a student teacher who would be able to actually teach the content. This guy couldn't do that. I'm sure that in his mind, his version of events, he probably thought that he was being picked on or treated unfairly or had unreasonable demands placed upon him.
     
  20. cris10fosho

    cris10fosho New Member

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    I know this post is old, but I totally understand! My content is Social Studies, too. Reading your post reminded me of 1 of my 2 Student Teaching placements. I had 1 good placement, and 1 IDENTICAL to yours. Except the CT at that placement was overly critical and broke me down daily...even when I know I did things well and right. She always pointed out ONLY the bad. It was rough....just wanted to tell you that you're not alone!
     
  21. ZebraStripes

    ZebraStripes Rookie

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    I agree with this. You can really make an impact and it could be a fresh start. Just be aware that subbing will really test your classroom management skills and your patience. You will have to be hard and strong. Kids can sense weakness in a sub and if that happens, they'll eat you alive.

    In my student teaching experience, my cooperating teacher had fantastic classroom management and when I took over, the kids were a breeze because I only eased up a little, but it was enough to make them warm up to me. When I subbed after college, it was in an inner city district and it was a complete 180. It taught me to be tough, confident, and stick to my guns.

    I now have a teaching job in the same district with the same inner city population and my classroom management is pretty good but it only got that way because I was forced to be tough. It was the best decision I could have made for my professional growth.

    Take a deep breath, prepare yourself (both mentally and professionally), and dive in. You'll probably be glad you did :)
     
  22. HeatherY

    HeatherY Habitué

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    Also, how are your interview skills? Since you are in an area that is saturated (Social Studies), you really need to rock your interviews. Get someone to do some mock interviews and write out questions and answers and practice them all the time. Ask your helper if you are making eye contact, sounding knowledgeable and enthusiastic etc.... A mediocre interview could be why you are losing out.
     
  23. chasisaac

    chasisaac Comrade

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    My student teaching was the worst 12 weeks of my life. This includes basic training in the Army and being shot at in Lebanon.

    Making matters worse, I already had three years of full-time teaching experience. I could not stand my CO and the Uni Advisor as they were both useful idiots who could not survive without tenure.

    The difference between student teaching and actual teaching is the difference between baby sitting and being a parent.

    Sub. Trust me on this one. You need to sub. This will help so much with classroom management skills.
     
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  24. funandfit

    funandfit New Member

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    Just a Note

    You are not wimpy. ST was the most difficult and gut-wrenching experience I have ever had. I have determined that I do not want to teach ever again, after having been the sixth sub for one class a few years back.

    Time will heal those wounds, and I don't blame you for crying. When there's so much to get together and not enough time, sometimes all you can do is surrender because the struggle is just too much. At one point, I thought I wanted to try ST again, but I decided that I didn't want to put myself through the meat grinder again.

    I am even pretty good at the subject I chose, and I subbed at every grade level before I became very sick. So, since you know you prefer teaching the elementary grades, maybe you could go back to school and become certified for the lower grades. When I went through school, two more classes was all it took to become certified in the middle grades. I definitely don't like middle grades or elementary, but I am hoping to go on for my Master's degree in a field that has less to do with education. I see the greatest strength I gained from my time in the classroom is my increased ability to speak in public.

    Lots of brotherly love sent your way. It will get better. Possibly consider other careers where you could have a positive impact on youth. One of my friend's brothers became a youth minister. The other coaches basketball. I, despite my personal illness, enjoy tutoring. Classroom management is management in the truest sense of the word. Maybe you could find success assistant managing/managing at the store where you moonlight. Don't box yourself in too much. You have an education degree; you passed student teaching; you are capable of more than you know.
     
  25. mrteacher5

    mrteacher5 Guest

    Jul 31, 2017

    Hello. I know this is an older thread but I wanted to share my story with any other about to be teachers who had a terrible student teaching experience. During my final two years of college, I worked my tail off to make sure I had the best grades possible. For the first time in my life, I made it to my University's Deans List. I felt ready to student teach and I was excited about my future in front of me.

    Well my student teaching went completely awful. I had a pretty difficult behaving class. One student in particular got no discipline at home and did pretty much whatever he felt like doing. Even with my CT. In my first week of student teaching, my principal decided to do a unannounced observation of me. (I later learned from future coworkers, that unannounced observations by principals during student teaching is very unethical in the Education field. Especially in the first week of ST.)
    Everything went okay until the student previously mentioned decided to purposely spill a cup of water all over the table on our reading group. After having the student clean it up, I disciplined him and kept going with the lesson. However instead of going to the hall, this student went completely bezerk and starting getting his whole entire class off task. Being a student teacher in my first week, my only idea to do was send him in hall while I get the class refocused. The principal blamed the entire situation on my "bad teaching" and said he was going to send me back to my college town if I don't get my "crap" figured out. I spent the rest of my student teaching so terrified to make an error that it affected how I taught. The principal also decided to inform my University supervisor that I was on my last chance and would be kicked out if I had another complaint from him. My CT, who was probably scared of standing up for me didn't back me up but she gave me passing marks for student teaching. However since I only was able to get my CT and a few personal references, only a handful of schools gave me an interview. I spent the following school year doing Paraprofessional work with students with behavior issues at a middle school. I'm an Elementary Ed major so this experience was although terrifying at times, turned out really great. Working with the toughest of students definitely gave me better classroom management practice and I eventually did land a elementary job the following year. I found out that the principal at that Elementary school is best friends with that defiant student's parents.. My whole student teaching experience got completely messed up because of favoritism. Unbelievable.

    I know it completely stinks to see any classmate's Facebook statuses saying Woohoo I got a teaching job! I too was completely jealous and even had to stay off social media for a few months. Mainly because I got so frustrated at my situation and being envious of my classmates. Don't give up. Keep applying, and get good experience and stay positive. Try substitute teaching or paraprofessional work if a teaching job doesn't come.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 31, 2017
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  26. Mshope2012

    Mshope2012 Companion

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    You need to move on! You made it this far. I don't know what area you are in, but in my area, it can take years and years to get a job. Sub. I did for a long time and it was a great experience. I always feel like kids can pick up on whether or not you have confidence. You have to develop a presence. This does not come naturally to everyone. I still work at my management even after almost 20 years. I also think you might gain confidence from reading a lot of books and websites that deal with these issues. Finding the right grade level is important also.

    Use this time as an opportunity to keep working. Even coming to this message board is a step in the right direction. Fake it till you make it. This is a hard, but rewarding job. You got this!
     
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  27. mckbearcat48

    mckbearcat48 Cohort

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    If you're committed to being a better teacher, you can make it happen. I am probably the worst person here to ask about subbing (I hated it but it made me better, and I pulled a full-time job last year), but I do think there are a few positives in it...the biggest one is networking. I actually was recommended by the teacher I LTS'd for to the ROE when I got my position (even though it was in my 3rd best subject).

    In terms of engagement, think of ways to make the mundane fun and the kids will come with you. I related a lot of my science lessons to the NBA since I had a lot of young men who loved basketball. Some lessons aren't going to turn out well, but that's the nature of the beast. Every lesson you teach will get you one lesson closer to that home run lesson that you will remember forever. Good luck in your search...we all know the struggle.
     
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  28. Rainbowbird

    Rainbowbird Groupie

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    Does anyone know what happened to the original poster? Feel bad for the poor guy. I agree with lots of the advice. Get more experience; don't box yourself in; and don't give up on yourself! Many, many teachers get their first jobs by being a long-term sub. I have friends who have done it right out of school, and after a maternity leave. Being a para can also be very helpful.
     
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  29. Leaborb192

    Leaborb192 Enthusiast

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    ,
     
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  30. futuremathsprof

    futuremathsprof Phenom

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    I am a fourth year high school math teacher and I enjoy teaching this age group, but I don't enjoy BTSA. At. All. I still have one year of that left before I clear my preliminary credential in California and it sucks. The meetings are completely redundant and repetitive if you had a good mentor and did well during student teaching in your teaching credential program. Basically, BTSA is designed for first-year teachers and and you discuss things like classroom management, effective learning strategies, and how you reached all learners. The frustrating part is that I have been to several professional development workshops to learn different math strategies and I already know this stuff... BUT, I have to do it in California because it is required before you can clear your credential. Lame.

    Edit: Just thought I should mention, sometimes you just have to pull through to advance in your teaching career. I liked student teaching, but it depends on where are placed and classroom management. Try to keep your chin up and realize this is only temporary. You may very well learn from this experience about what not to do! Keep at it! :)
     
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  31. Mshope2012

    Mshope2012 Companion

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    Aug 5, 2017

    One of the best teachers I know had a horrible first year. It was so bad that he almost quit. The next year he came back completely strict and organized. This teacher was an informal mentor to me my first year. Her honest advice helped me become successful though sometimes it was hard to hear what she told me. (It was "me" at times, not the kids.) She is one of the best teachers in our district. It can be done. Learn from this!
     
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