Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Need advice from teachers

I am about to embark on a new adventure...a student teacher. He is one year younger than I am, so I feel a little more out of my element since they are not as young as the "normal" student teacher. I also know of him from high school, but wasn't friends with him back then. (And for all of those of you who know I am single, he's married.)

I don't know why I am feeling inadequate lately with my teaching, but I am. Knowing I am going to have a student teacher is making me second-guess whether or not I am qualified to have one.

In a classroom that is primarily workshop oriented, I am a little hesitant to hand over everything. What advice do you give to a control freak? What advice do you give to a teacher who has never had a student teacher?

Thanks in advance!


Jen Barney said...

Giving your treasure into the hands of someone else is really hard. I have had FANTASTIC student teachers and NOT-SO-FANTASTIC student teachers in my 13 years of teaching.

Soooo- Here are my thoughts:
1. I first sit down and go over what the workshop process is about. Many students have NEVER even heard of it. I then have them observe and make notes... usually what is different from traditional and what I do. Always tell them to make a list of questions they have each day. I would have him start out with just reading books with the class- possibly some community builders, etc. He could even do teacher in a bag (Sarah introduced me to that... it is really cute).
2. I then give them a time line of when they will take over things... usually start with spelling, math, science, etc. then writing and then reading.
3. Each day sit and just talk... what did they see- and then when he takes over, what went well, what could have gone better.
4. Don't worry about age. I have had a student teacher who could have been my mom- seriously. Go with what you know and take it one day at a time! You will be great and your student teacher will come out of there a better person for being in your room!

Sarah Amick said...

Ultimately you don't have to relinquish control over everything. I made a list of lots of minilessons that they could do in both reading and writing workshop. We discussed at great length what my expectation was for each lesson and then she taught them. It is a great time for them to introduce and then you can both confer with students. It's also a great time for you to get some small group instruction together. But communication is a must! Keep probing and having them ask lots of questions!

Dina said...

I just had a student teacher at the beginning of the year. First, I will tell you to pray over the experience. It was stressful at times, but I feel I am a better teacher because of it. Second of all...MODEL, MODEL, MODEL. I gave my student teacher a notebook to write down things she saw, questions she had, observations she made. I would also use this when observing her. It made it handy to answer her questions. Third, be prepared to have someone asking you questions constantly. She was curious about every aspect of my classroom. Finally, know what is expected of your student teacher from his college. Don't be afraid to ask questions and be in contact with his supervisor.

I was super nervous about having a student teacher, but was confident that my principal wouldn't have given me one if he didn't think I was ready. You have SO much to teach someone about how to be a teacher AND how to invest in your students. I will be praying for you. Let me know if I can help out in any way.

amazeingteacher said...

the first thing is to know that they are coming fresh from college with some practicum experience but nothing compared to the realm of what we go through on an hourly/daily/weekly basis! Classroom management and discipline will be difficult to get a grasp on since you have already developed your routines during the first semester. Also with it being an non traditional classroom setting, he must understand that even though it may appear noisy or unstructured at times you are aware of where the kids are developmentally and you are able anticipate (discipline) problems before they happen just because you are experienced. many times i've told my student teachers that i am able to come in the classroom on any particular day and 'wing it' because i have 13 years of experience, they do not. they cannot take the luxury of having one moment of the day unplanned because that is when you start losing control. many times after student teachers have been there for many weeks or toward the end of their stay i will leave the classroom under their control for a whole lesson or an extended period of time in order to give them some freedom and to see what it is like. i try to paint a realistic picture for them as much as possible and hand over as much responsibility (a little at a time) as i can.

hope that helps! good luck!

Danielle said...

I have to say that stumbling across your blog was a God sent. I too am having a student teacher in two weeks and I'm really just not sure about it. I'm glad that I'm not the only one struggling with this. I'm worried that the idea of the workshop will be overwheleming since there isn't a teacher's guide to follow. It is going to be an adventure. I'm hoping to have a bit more time to chatch up on my professional readying..we shall see. I just have to keep reminding myself that this is an oppertunity to bless someone else and hopefully share the love of Christ with them. Enjoy!