used_songs: (Sundial)
[personal profile] used_songs posting in [community profile] teaching
My academic dean approached me last week and asked if I would be interested in working with a student teacher next fall. I've had student teacher observers who came to a number of classes and then worked with small groups in my class or presented one or two lessons, but I've never had a student teacher who I worked with closely for a prolonged period of time and then relinquished a class to for her/him to take over. I never did student teaching myself as I did alternative certification.

Have any of you worked with a student teacher? Any tips for me? What was the hardest part? What can I do to make the experience useful for them? Any suggestions would be appreciated.

Date: 2010-04-04 03:31 am (UTC)
redsnake05: Art by Audrey Kawasaki (Default)
From: [personal profile] redsnake05
Hmmmm. Having relatively recently been a student teacher and having had a student teacher of my own, I think the most important thing is to be really specific about things they do well and the things they need to improve on. And be really clear about what your expectations are of good professional practice before they even see you teach for the first time. I don't know what it's like in your school, but at mine, we can send the student teachers to observe other teachers whom we know have excellent practice. I highly recommend doing that.

Date: 2010-04-04 11:01 am (UTC)
From: [personal profile] kaptainvon
As a student teacher, I would offer this, straight off the top of my head: when your student asks a question, please answer the question that they ask, simply and directly, and don't be afraid to say "I don't know" or "ask [X], they probably know more about it than I do". I work with some people who are very good at this and others who will answer five different questions, none of which are the one I asked and all of which leave me more bewildered than I was before I asked. Student teachers get a lot of bewildering insight in answers and sometimes the Facts are a) what we really need and b) all we can handle at that given moment.

Seconding redsnake's 'specific and clear' point, really. Also, if it's a formal mentoring programme that has documentation and required meetings and stuff, the student will be worried about getting those done on time and to a satisfactory quality. They're often components of the student's assessment, and so the student frets about them and puts them higher up the To Do list than you might. Obviously, I have only experienced one side of this situation, and I acknowledge that mentors are busy people with a lot to parse and juggle and manage - but your mentee can share some of that load with you if they're capable and you're willing, and that can help you free up and commit some time to dealing with what your mentee needs from you.

Also also - we're probably scared of you. If we don't ask you things that need asking, tell you things that need telling or do things that need doing, it's probably because we're afraid of overstepping the boundaries or wasting your time. Sometimes you need to remind your student to do very basic things, like show your their records of who's submitted work and who hasn't - stuff which needs doing but which we're frightened to do unless we're asked.

Date: 2010-04-04 12:59 pm (UTC)
kaethe: (Default)
From: [personal profile] kaethe
With my last student teacher, I would observe when she taught and keep a list of things she did well during the lesson and things to work on for next time (usually this section was short--one or two things). That way, I didn't forget small but important points, and not only did we have something to talk about later, but she had a written record she could use when talking to her professor or writing about her experiences, both of which were part of her requirements.

Date: 2010-04-06 08:47 am (UTC)
feuille: aeryn doing technical stuff holding a pen in her mouth (aeryn)
From: [personal profile] feuille
From the being-a-student-teacher perspective, when giving advice on what to improve, the student might not know how to improve it (example: "You need to differentiate for [this student]." Me: "Uh...OK..." *doesn't know how to do what is asked*.) Specific and clear, like everyone's been saying. Also explaining why you're making certain choices, why you're giving them this class or that observation, so they can get involved in their own learning.

Oh, and if your student teacher is anything like me, have tissues whenever you're having a private meeting with them, becuase he or she might cry at the drop of a hat. It's the stress!

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