Student Teacher

Student teaching was one of the most stressful times in my life. Not because it was a bad experience, but I wanted to do so good that I think I pushed myself and stressed out way too much. I had two wonderful teachers teaching me. One was Mrs. Pam Hickman who taught me all of my organization, and teaching techniques. The other Mrs. Buchannan taught me how to be organized.... because her room looked like a bomb hit it. But in her defense it was an organized chaos that she could handle... I couldn't. I also had to learn the hard way that you have to have good classroom management no matter what age you teach. :)

I am barely into my third year of teaching and I always thought it would be wonderful to have a student teacher... I just didn't think it'd be any time soon.. 

Needless to say I was stunned when my principal came to me and told me I would have one in March! "Can I do that", I asked.
"I don't see why not."
"But I'm not experienced enough yet."
"You came highly recommended and I agree that a student teacher would be honored to have you teach them."
I don't like to brag on myself... It feels weird. In my head I was thinking.... "was I the last resort?" Her comment made me feel like I have accomplished something. I, the art teacher, have been noticed and appreciated. I love my job and I can't wait to spread that influence to someone else.

I am already preparing. So far I have typed up all my classroom procedures for her to be familiar with. Of course I want her to try some of her own stuff out to. I liked having pros and cons told to me by my teachers, so I have created a sheet that I can right pros and cons down for her on each day. I believe in constructive criticism and positive reinforcement even for college students and I think this will be a good tool.

So now I ask you:
What are your tips for preparing for a student teacher?
What are your good or bad experiences?
What would you as the teacher have done better to prepare them?
What did you like when you were student teaching?

Back in my student teaching days Fall 2008
Love how I'm the same size as the 5th grade students
Some things never change, hence the name "Little Art Teacher"!


Angie said...

Wow, your third year of teaching does seem kind of soon for a student teacher! I've never had a student teacher, so I don't have a lot of recommendations. I hope that you have a good experience and keep us posted. My cooperating teacher from my internship had a bad experience before me, so she was kind of rude at the beginning. She relaxed after she realized that I wasn't incompetent, but I was SO intimidated by her.

Phyl said...

Wow, a student teacher! I can't imagine having had one after only 3years, so GOOD LUCK! I have had 2 student teachers, last year, and about 5 years ago, and both were WONDERFUL thank goodness, but it can be tough even then.

A couple of quickie hints (since I need to get to bed):
1) have a place for the student teacher to have as her own - we found a little old desk for my recent student teacher, and it really helped. She was able to put her things there, and she wasn't always in my space. It doesn't need to be anything big, just something that is her "home base".
2) Make your personal expectations very clear, so that if there's something you need to see covered it doesn't get forgotten.
3) If you are going to be in the room when she's teaching, find a way to be unnoticed - we put a rolling white board in front of my desk. Otherwise, the kids will see you and turn to you to ask questions. But with a "wall" between you, you can still hear what's going on and take some notes, but the kids will see her as the teacher.
4.)set aside a specific time regularly to review her plans, and answer her questions, and let her know if you think something isn't going to work. Then let her go ahead with it anyhow, and decompress afterward - remind her that no matter how badly things go, the kids will survive and they will have all learned something.
5.) don't be afraid to point out weird habits or mistakes, but also point out the good stuff.
6)mostly, if there are absolute requirements you have for behavior, cleanup, organization, whatever, make sure you've made them clear to the student teacher. It's ultimately still your art room and your responsibility.

Hope I've helped - good luck!

Jacquelien said...

I am an elementary teacher in Holland, I teach kids from 11-12 years old. When I have a student teacher, I always tell them to be friendly, but not to become friends with the students. So be kind, but keep a distance. You are the teacher!

Blue-Bird said...

The school of my last student teacher congratulated me because she had learned so much from me.
Mostely I give them a big variety in subjects to teach. From very easy to difficult, so they notice that not every lesson is the same and that they really have to think about their lesson before they start.
Mostly I let them teach the same lesson twice. I give them hints how to get better results.
I think they have to make mistakes in order to see how they can do it better next time.
If they can see their own mistakes a good teacher is being born ;-)

Becca Ruth said...

Thank you all so much for the feedback. I am very excited. I don't want anything to be too overwhelming. I hope that I can make her comfortable working with me and the students. I know she'll make mistakes as we all have and she will learn from them. I am actually excited to see someone evolve. Just like watching a new project from start to finish.

Mrs. Jahnig said...

I have 3 practicum students...and I was so nervous because of the same reasons. When we do what we know we are good and we will always have our moments. For example, I was going over a ppt and I looked up and said...that is South America, right? Oh man. lol

I'm basically sharing all the tricks and trades I have learned. Being organized makes life easier. Have a plan and stick with it...students become frustrated when things are always changing. Don't worry, the first year is always the worst! Have a change of clothes in your closet. Teach basic routines of cleaning up glue, paint, brushes...at the beginning of the year.
You will do great little art teacher!!!

Anonymous said...

I have never had a student teacher, but I can speak from my own experiences being one...
The one thing I wished I would have received is more feedback daily. I would have liked a standing sit down meeting with my cooperating teacher at LEAST once a week to discuss and reflect upon how things went. It seemed she was always checking her email, etc. and didn't spend enough time in my eyes helping me be reflective as a teacher. Be positive and let her get to know you as a person. Invite her to dinner at your house, things like that. I know it will help build trust and relationships. Good Luck, she is very lucky to have you, and will learn so much from you and your blog! Keep us posted.
Jessica Balsley

Nancie Kay said...

I've had 3 student teacher/interns and one out of the 3 was wonderful. ST#1 taught me some technology skills while absorbing my teaching style. My main complaint with ST#2 was the lack of work ethic -wanted only to work during school/student hours. Wouldn't come early, stay late or grade papers at night. Left me with a stack of work to grade (no names) on her last day. Make clear your expectations for that by example and good luck to you!

Becca Ruth said...

Thank you everyone for the feedback. I am so excited to get this started. I have put together a notebook for her that has handouts of things I find useful or would reference everyday. I hope it helps. I have also put together a book list of the books I use the most. I have even typed up the Pros and Cons of the day sheet.
You all have helped out so much! Jessica, I like what you said about the sit downs. I plan to do that daily, mostly because if I don't say it right away... I will forget it.

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