Sunday, June 9, 2013

Student Teachers


Have you had a student teacher this year? Is their student teaching program different than when you were a student teacher?

When I student taught I was in one class for the entire semester – for 2 semesters. It was only me (and the master teacher) and I was there for the entire school day, everyday. The only thing I had to do outside of student teaching was meet once a week in the evening with my supervisor and the other student teachers. I had no other "school" responsibilities, just my lessons, and the education of myself and my students.

When I student taught I became 100% vested in the classroom, the kids and their success. If my master teacher had recess duty, I went to duty. If I gave a test, I corrected the test. During parent teacher conferences, I was there for all of them. I helped the students build a rancho, practice for a square dance assembly, learn how important it is to take care of their teeth, I helped them learn their math facts, and how to read and how to dig deeper while reading. I created interactive math and reading lessons and watched the students grow and learn.

When I student taught, I became their teacher. My master teachers (one in kinder and one in fourth) and my supervisor were there to guide and advise me, but I became the students' teacher.

Student teachers today (at least in my area) do not become vested in their student teaching. Student teaching is just another hoop they have to jump through on their way to graduating.

Student teachers today are put two in a class and they take turns teaching. They are not in the classroom all day, they leave by lunch. When it is time for them to leave they grab their stuff and go, making sure they have their homework or assignment ready for the class or meeting they are heading to. They rarely take anything home to correct, they usually expect the master teacher to correct all of the work they have given out.

Student teachers today are taking multiple classes as they student teach. They do not have time to do recess duty, correct tests, or meet parents. They have their own meetings, their own projects, and their own deadlines, but what they don’t have is a vested interest in the kids they are teaching.

If student teachers are too busy with their own "stuff", it begs the question, are the student teachers of today really ready to meet the demands of having their own classroom?

Are the student teachers in your area ready?




8 comments :

  1. Thanks for the insight, as a future student teacher spring 2014, I am trying to get all knowledge before I enter the classroom. Thanks for this. Please keep this post coming.

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    Replies
    1. Good luck! I hope you have a wonderful experience and learn a lot!
      Shawna

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  2. We did 3 student teaching practicums (one day a week) in three different types of schools (public, private, charter, urban, suburban).. I ended up doing 4 because I did one while I was abroad in Ireland. These were great to flesh out whether you really wanted to be a teacher and where you wanted to be, but I don't think they prepared me to teach. My final semester, I was there full time. I eased into it with my cooperating teacher. First, I did some small groups and observed a lot. Next, I did more like a co-teaching model with her. Finally, I had takeover weeks! Then, I felt prepared to go into the classroom. Granted, any first year teacher has a lot to learn, but I felt I could hold my own at the very least. My class has turned out pretty successful this year (they are all on or above grade level after some came to me at beginning first grade levels !!!) All 4 of my practicums were like you said, we went to recess, conferences, meetings, did grading, etc. I am SO grateful to have worked with such a great cooperating teacher in my full-practicum. I learned so much from her. I actually didn't appreciate how great she was until I stepped into the classroom. She had it together!! Even in trying to emulate her, I am not as good. And, in watching some of the other teachers at my school, I admire her even more and I am SO grateful she taught me.

    My advice from a first year teacher is...
    to the student teachers: jump in, ask questions, devote yourself as much as you can. Don't be hasty, but ask your cooperating teacher to give you more and more responsibility and support you as you take them on.
    to the cooperating teacher: teach. Don't expect your student teacher to watch you. Teach them, tell them what you want them to do, tell them how and why you do things, let them jump in. And, don't underestimate the importance of teaching the behind the scenes stuff... some of the best stuff I learned was about organization and record-keeping (no one in college tells you those things!)

    Check out my blog for a more in depth journey of my first year!! You can decide if I was ready :)

    Meredith
    fromafirstyearteacher.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Hey Meredith,
      It sounds like you had a wonderful experience! I am so glad to hear that there are still programs that prepare new teachers for the real world.
      Shawna

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  3. Here in Virginia the student teachers are in classroom for the whole semester. They spend a couple of weeks observing. But they do take over the class. They are expected to be the teacher. They do everything a teacher does.

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    Replies
    1. I am so glad to hear that other areas still value the student teaching experience!
      Shawna

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  4. Our student teachers intern for one semester in one classromm, another the next semester-both in their junior year. They (and the cooperating teacher) pick which of the two they would like to do their student teaching in. Their senior year, they intern in the fall and then ST in the spring.

    Intern semesters are all day one day a week and 1/2 day the other. They teach a couple of lessons and do whatever the cooperating teacher needs them to do. They have classes at school and a "seminar" the 1/2 day each week.

    Student teaching semester, they do nothing but student teach. They are encouraged to not even have jobs outside of the classroom when they teach so they can fully immerse themself into the classroom. They attend all meetings the CT has, and their duties.

    I don't know what it is like with the other schools in my area, but our ST are great and really ready for the classroom!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Elaine,
      The program in your area sounds great! It makes me so happy to know that there are some areas that still value the student teaching experience and are producing student teachers that are ready for the real world. Thank you for commenting and sharing how student teaching works in your area.
      Shawna

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Thoughts and comments are always welcome!

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