Saturday, September 3, 2011

Have you ever had a student teacher? Do you remember being a student teacher?

I just received an email for the university student who will be in my class this year as a student-teacher. He will be starting on the first day of the year and staying for....well, I don't really know how long! I am excited to have a student teacher in my classroom this year. I have hosted a student teacher before and enjoyed the experience but felt that I could do better next time...and here is next time!

For all of you out there who just graduated from teacher's college, or who have hosted a student teacher before I want to know what your best piece of advice is for this situation. What did you wish your associate teacher had done to help you get the most out of your practice teaching? What didn't you like? If you hosted a student-teacher what is your advice for me?

Bring on the suggestions!!!

22 Brilliant Teaching Thoughts:

Amy said...

I remember when I was a student teacher my host teacher would not give me complete control of the classroom. She had been a teacher for 30+ years and was sort of stuck in her ways. She was nice, but I missed out on an important experience. When I hosted a student teacher a few years ago I let her have control as soon as she was ready. I think that is very important.

jamielaurabaker said...

I just finished student teaching. My mentor was the best, she was supportive. She told how to improve my weaknesses! She gave many ideas, helped me plan at times of need and encouraged me daily. She shared her teaching experiences with me s well! I'm sure you are supportive already so this will be easy!

Becki said...

I always prepare a space for them, either a desk (not a student one) or a small table. I set it up with office supplies that they may need and any extra copies of the teacher's editions that I can beg, borrow, or steal ;). Most of my student teachers comment on how that makes them feel welcome right away.

I also have a folder with some important information for them. For example, a copy of the faculty handbook, my email/phone number, the school contact information, emergency procedures, dress code, parking, and cafeteria information. I also have a copy of our daily schedule and a rough schedule of my expectations for the first week. Later we work together to create a schedule for the rest of their time (usually 7 weeks or half of the semester) based on the university requirements.

I make it a point to have things prepared so I can use my plan period to take the student teacher around and introduce him/her to other teachers in my grade level, the secretaries, and other people we will have a lot of contact with.

If you get time to talk with them before they start suggest that they have an activity for the first day to introduce themselves to the class (poster about them, mystery bag).

PS. If you have any questions or concerns about the student teacher or their performance they should have given you the contact information for their supervising professor.

Melissa said...

Last week I welcomed my first ever student teacher into my classroom. So I don't have any advice but I'll be looking to see what everyone else says. I had a great experience when I was a student teacher so I'm just trying to remember how and why it went well. I'll admit I'm already a little nervous to hand over responsibilities. I'm not a huge control freak, I've just never done this before and I think I'm nervous for her. But it'll all be good I'm sure=)

Stephanie said...

I have had many student teachers and I really encourage them to stand on their own feet as soon as possible. I want them to earn the students respect and have the students go to them as often as they go to me especially sine this is the beginning of the year. I have found that the discussions we have most often center around classroom management and curriculum objectives. They need to find the essential questions of what we are teaching and how to convey that message. That seems to be challenging for them to conquer. They also need a lot of feedback, but I try to ask them what they think of the lesson first and then offer my perspective. If they have clear understanding of of what they would change or not change I think I have done my job. Good luck

MissSumner said...

I student taught a year ago, and I would've loved more suggestions from my advisory teacher. She just said everything I did was great but, I knew it wasn't! I loved Student Teaching! Good luck with yours!

First Time @Fifth Grade said...

I think you should have a linky party. Things you wish you knew or books you wish you read or strategies you wished you tried during your student teaching.

Beth said...

@FirstTiem @Fifth Grade- interesting idea....hmmm!!

Kelly said...

I just finished student teaching last May. The best thing my teacher did for me was allowed me to try new things and was always open to new ideas. The thing I appreciated was having a teacher really sit down and explain the curriculum for the school also showing them around where the supplies are...etc.

Mary said...

I am a fifth year teacher, so student teaching is still a little fresh in my mind. I learned a lot in my student teaching classroom, but unfortunately was kind of just left floating around and not given many specific tasks.

I would suggest making a little area for your student teacher as someone else suggested. That would have made me feel so at home! Also, I would suggest giving her (him?) a few tasks right away that they can do while you are doing things you need to do. For example correcting homework, responding to poetry notebooks, etc. This will let them feel useful and not in your way.

Good luck! You sound very thoughtful and sweet so I am sure a student teacher will benefit from spending time with you :)

veggieteach said...

Just like with our students. Have her observe a good lesson, Model the components of a good lesson, Let her try with support, gradually release more of the responsibility to her.

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Laura said...

I have had a a few student teachers - depending on where they are in their program (just starting out vs. ready to fly solo) makes a huge difference. Some have had no-clue what they're getting into, while some were born naturals. I've found that management is usually their weakness when starting out - they don't know how firm to be and you have to have support them to know where to draw the line. Also, the planning piece is important - it is a lot of work. I try to be flexible with my student teachers and let them work clock-hours - and I don't have them come in early or stay late. I teach them how to be efficient with their time while at school. If they have to call in sick or take a day off during their teaching I require them to write me sub-plans so that I can "teach" what they want. I they probably think it's a pain, but it's realistic.

One thing to remember when they take over is that your name is still the name parent's will see on their report card - so give up control wisely. I chose to let my student teacher teach my what I normally would, but during reading groups I supplemented her teaching by teaching small groups out in the hallway (so instead of my students having independent centers - I pulled them and did and extra dose of instruction). I think this still gave her the feeling of being on her own, while giving me peace of mind that I was still instructing my lowest little ones.

I think it's important to let them observe in other classrooms of the same grade so they can see how the same lesson can be taught in another way.

I would recommend having them videotape themselves teach a lesson and then watch it on their own. Back when I did my ST that was required and I learned so much about myself as a teacher and what I wanted to work on. As uncomfortable as it is - it's totally worth it.

I also encourage my STs to invite the principal into the room to observe a lesson so that they have another person to use as a reference if needed.

I'm excited. I have a practicum student starting out and she seems great. I am eager to see how she does with the kids!

Katie said...

I had such a wonderful time student teaching this past spring! My mentor teacher was so great about providing me feedback when I would teach lessons. It was nice to have that to look back on too!

Unfortunately I did not really have my own space since she had inclusion and the SPED teacher was with us part of the day too. That is something I would have loved to have in her room.

Katie
Adventures of a 6th Grade Teacher

lindseylearns said...

I just did my student teaching a year ago! I probably have TOO much to say on this topic.

Things my mentor teacher did that I loved/appreciated:
-Gave me responsibilities and things to share at both open house and parent/teacher conferences.
-Encouraged me to share my ideas at team meetings and staff inservices.
-Was always encouraging, double-checking to make sure I had everything I needed, asking me what I was or was not comfortable with.
-Gave me opportunities to interact with the principal & vice principal. As a student teacher, I was way too nervous (especially at the beginning) to seek them out myself, and she made an effort to tell them what I was up to and encouraged me to talk to them as much as possible.
-Always demonstrated what it meant to be a true professional in a school setting! This is one of the best things I learned from her, because it's something that can't really be taught in college courses!
-Gave me my own space in the room. My first-ever teacher desk!

Things that were not so great:
-Her lack of organization stressed me out a bit.
-At the end of the semester, I never got a recommendation letter from her. She filled out all my evaluation forms from my university (with rave reviews!), but never got around to writing me an actual recommendation letter. I didn't matter much in the long-run, but was frustrating.

Karen Greenberg said...

I was a student teacher last year at this time. The best thing my mentor teacher did for me was have weekly meetings. He would be sure to tell me something I was doing well and something I could improve on. I didn't have to wait until the official "reviews" to find out I was doing something that could be better. He also let me talk when I needed to at the end of a long day. One thing that was REALLY nice, as well, is that I was part of the class from the first day of school. We were more like co-teachers until I was ready to take over the classroom.

Miss W said...

I have been a student teacher 3 times now...my best advice would be that the mentor teach should give plenty of advice to the student teacher. I have had only 1 teacher give me really good advice. That same teacher also provided me with a ton of stuff to do in the classroom. I am now more comfortable than ever in a classroom. :)

Amber Unger said...

CLEAR COMMUNICATION throughout the entire experience is so important! I am a third year teacher, therefore, student teaching was not that long ago for me. I remember: I would ask my cooperating teacher a (simple) question, she would talk for 15 minutes straight, but she would never actually answer my question. It was so frustrating. I believe great organization and clearn communication go a LONG way!

Jennifer said...

I just had the best student teacher. On her first day, I gave her a cup with her initial on it, exactly like I drink out of. I gave her a set of her own marking pens like I used, and saved all the other teacher goodies for her farewell present.

I told the kids from day one that she was my equal. Able to discipline, able to praise, able to take away recess and able to give out treats. Whoever was at the front teaching or walking around was in charge.

As she took over each subject, I stayed in for the first week she taught, to give her support, and then left the room after that. She knew I was there if she needed me for that first week, and then she was on her own.

I also let her know that some lessons will be epic fails. The kids will look at me clueless, and some assignments go right into the trash. Sometimes I make poor decisions, and we pick up and move on. I'm not perfect in teaching, and she doesn't have to be either.

agarcia said...

I suggest you give them copies of everything you do or have and ask other teachers to do the same, as a new teacher I would have appreciated this. Also, both of you should keep a journal of advice & questions for each other, this is a great way to communicate, plus she may have ideas to enhance your lessons.
Be sure you make her feel at ease. I am sure she knows she will be judged, so always provide positive feedbacks.

Dr. Reginia said...

Having a student teacher can be a great experience. You may share your expertise as well as non-traditional methods that will help within her career. Establish a friendly environment in which she will feel comfortable participating. Most importantly, respect her time and ideas. Give feedback in the most professional manner and without ridicule. She will be most appreciative.

Chanda Canup said...

BE SUPPORTIVE! Your student teacher is dealing with SO much and is probably SO unsure of his/her skill! Give constructive advice, but make sure to let him know you have his best interest and future as a teacher in mind! Nothing hurts more than to be assigned to a mentor who doesn't care and takes the opportunity to belittle.

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