Make a spot just for your student teacher so you're not trying to share a desk and they have a "teacher" space. If possible, have s.t. watch and then parrot what you do a couple of times just to try it out. It helped us to have her slowly take over instead of all at once. I also have an office attached to my classroom, so I could hear everything without being seen, so I took observation notes but students didn't look for me. It helped to let her try to handle the situation first. Even if not how I would do it, let her, then talk about it later. This way, the students see the s.t. as an adult in charge rather than looking to you to be in charge of the s.t.and them. If you want to, share your resources with the s.t. I do my planning on Google, so I could share links and plan pages that way. She used some of it and changed some of it. I made a resource/info binder for her that included everything from where to park to fire drill, roster, lesson planning template, school calendar. Everything I could think of! Ive just had one, but it was a great experience. It was SO much more work than I expected, but it was good for me, too. Gave me a chance to think about why I do things a certain way so I could explain them and I got info that is new right now in colleges--definitely be open to also learning from your s.t.!
My cooperating teacher was uncomfortable giving me critical feedback, and that really made my experience less valuable. Example - I once forgot an entire lesson block and she said nothing.
I second the rec of letting her ease into FT teaching slowly. My university had a schedule but my CT just gave me everything from week two without really modeling what things should look like (I didn't have access to the district curriculum maps until almost a month into ST).
Post by cherryvalance on Feb 11, 2018 13:11:06 GMT -5
These ideas are great, thanks!
The great thing about teacher training and education in NJ is the student teacher is required to spend a ton of time in the classroom observing before student teaching. He expressed an interest in possibly trying a lesson or two towards the end of his practicum, so he's got an idea what to expect for next semester.
Having a student teacher is hard. They will not do things the way you want and you will find yourself wanting to jump in bc...your kids!...and there is little downtime because they are always THERE.
That said, obvs it's important to train new teachers so you help them as best you can and hope for the best.
I don't really remember student teaching but giving him/her a space in the room is important, as well as letting him/her make mistakes and being willing to debrief afterwards. Making sure he/she is set up with everything they need (standards, rough plans, copier directions, keys).
"Hello babies. Welcome to Earth. It's hot in the summer and cold in the winter. It's round and wet and crowded. On the outside, babies, you've got a hundred years here. There's only one rule that I know of, babies-"God damn it, you've got to be kind.”
Post by RoxMonster on Feb 12, 2018 21:16:25 GMT -5
From day one, make sure the students see him/her as a second teacher in the room. If they are a traditional college student and in their early 20s, depending what grade you teach (I teach seniors in HS), it can be difficult if they are only a few years older than the students. I instill in the ST that they are a teacher also and to keep that professional relationship with the students (I have had two student teachers and both tended to start out acting more like friends with the kids than a professional authority in the room. I think it's pretty common but both improved over the course of student teaching).
Decide what your negotiables and non-negotiables are. There are some classroom rules that they just had to roll with because at the end of the day, it was still my room and I needed to take over again when they left. But there were other things I gave them complete free reign with (discussing it with me first). Only you can decide what falls into which category for you.
Give lots of feedback and often-both positive and critical. We sat down every day on our prep even if for just five min to check in with how classes where going that day. Also, unless it's something where the safety of the students is at risk, I really tried to never correct them in front of the class. If they said something incorrectly, I would quietly mention it to them if the kids were working independently and let them decide how they wanted to correct it with the kids. We also are 1:1 so I could sometimes email them during class to correct something or remind them of something they forgot and then motion to check their email during a minute between activities. It kept it discreet so the students still saw them as an authority figure, but corrected mistakes before kids were confused.
When you are comfortable and they have been teaching for a bit, leave the room. It's important for them to get some time by themselves with the students and I think it's important for the students too. If you aren't 100% comfortable, you could always leave and stand outside the door a few steps so you can still hear/see what's going on and could jump in if needed.
If the ST is doing something you can't live with or you think is not best practice for them, definitely discuss it with them respectfully ASAP so they can start working on it and improving on it over time.
I feel like there is so much more I could say! It is a lot of work but can be a very rewarding experience.
Post by cherryvalance on Feb 13, 2018 15:57:36 GMT -5
These are all great suggestions.
He just started observing today and is wonderful. I was conferencing with writing groups, so I encouraged him to chat with the students and sit in/offer feedback. I also gave him access to all of the programs we use, so he can get the lay of the land before he starts teaching next semester.
Thanks for the advice and encouraging words. I think this is going to be a great fit and experience for both of us.