Art Student Teacher Part 2

Before my student teachers arrived I thought about what I wanted to know as a student teacher... How is this classroom run, schedule, school policies / procedures, extra duties, clubs, and so on.  I also wanted to know what the teacher would expect of me and how they would "grade" me.

Upon our first meeting, I would look over Jessica's post over at The Art Of Education about the Top 10 Challenges of Managing an Art Room. I believe those are great stepping stones on which to discuss. 

The first document I gave them was this document, which explained my basic classroom procedures. 
They would also see this in action while observing for the first few days, but chances are they never get to see you explain all this to the kids. This document includes all the important "first days of school" information. As we all know, the first day is the most important, and most student teachers don't get to see you on the first day of school. 

The second document was a copy of my Pro and Con sheet. This sheet allowed me to write comments about the Pros and Cons of the lesson and or teaching. I would make copies of this front and back to save paper. I filled this out during 85% of the lessons they taught while I observed. We would always go over this sheet at the end of the day or during planning time.  I made sure to go over consistencies and inconsistencies during teaching. It is very important to remember that you are giving constructive criticism. 
Always go over a teaching schedule with your protege. Some universities will provide you with one to follow, but you may always make adjustments.  My schedule was as follows:
9 week student teacher
    Week 1: observe classes and assist during planning
    Week 2: observe and assist with classes and planning
Mentor teacher will assist in lessons taught by the student, observe, and take constructive notes
    Week 3: teach two (grade levels) of mentor teacher lessons, observe, and assist with classes and planning.
    Week 4: teach three (grade levels) of mentor teacher lessons, observe, and assist with classes and planning. Begin developing student teacher lessons. 
    Week 5: teach four (grade levels) of mentor teacher lessons, observe, and assist with classes and planning. Plan student teacher lessons. 
Mentor teacher will back away from assisting with lessons, but continue to observe and take notes
    Week 6: teach four (grade levels) of mentor teacher lessons and one student teacher lesson, and assist with classes and planning. Plan and implement student teacher lessons (1 to 2)
    Week 7: teach all classes of mentor teacher lessons and one to two student teacher lessons, and assist with planning
Mentor teacher will not assist with lessons, but will observe and take notes
   Week 8: Teach all classes of mentor and student teacher lessons, prepare, and plan future lessons.  No assistance will be given by mentor teacher during prep time. (mentor teacher must leave the room during at least two lessons)
   Week 9: Begin to phase mentor teacher back in. Monday: Teach all lessons. Tuesday: Teach 4 lessons. Wednesday: Teach 3 lessons. Thursday: Teach 2 lessons. Friday: Teach 1 lesson. 

This plan allowed for phase in and a quick phase out. The student teacher will be observed by a university official during this time as well.  I believe that the 8th week is the one that the most learning takes place. During that week I will not help with prep or during the lessons at all unless there are small things. I even make sure to be out of the room (working on my own plans of course) during some of these lessons.  They are basically on their own during this week.  The only reason I would not follow this plan would be if I had an ineffective student teacher and I knew my students were not getting the content and instruction they needed. 

It is my hope that this post will help those of you who have never hosted a student teacher or perhaps give you some new ideas.  I encourage each of you to try hosting a student teacher at least once in your careers. To see why I love having student teachers see my last post: Do You Want a Student Teacher? 

200 and Ahh-Ha Kindergarten Cutting

Thank you loyal followers! My little blog has reached 200 followers and is reaching 200,000 views! Thank you for always checking in time after time. 

Now for my AHH-HA moment.
My school has been low on paper this year.  Budget stuff, you know how it goes.  Therefore, any copies we make need to be reasonable.  Well, it's time for me to test some Kinder cutting skills.  I always wait until a month into school to do this.  In the past I have used this idea I got from Fun Art 4 Kids
I love this idea!  Working on cutting skills and showing growth from the beginning of the year and then again at the end of the year.  Students can take this home to show their parents as well.  But, this year I wasn't sure I wanted to use the paper just for this.  
So I thought to myself... How can we still work on cutting skills alone, and have it be repurposed... 
Why don't Kinders cut paper to be used for other projects.  Just like Painted Paper and Deep Space Sparkle have students paint and paint papers to use for other projects.  But, what to have them cut... I want to use my construction paper for other things...
My wonderful father-in-law works for Sherwin Williams and donated a ton of wall paper books just waiting for collages. 
Let's let those Kinders cut on these.  Here's the idea:
I love to use wall paper books, but don't always like the "big" paper covering the tables making mass chaos.  So I'm going to exacto the papers out of the books. Then draw out some quick squigglish, and straight lines and have the Kinders cut up the papers.  I know I will have to draw the lines, but it doesn't take long to draw simple curvy and straight lines.  I may even ask some student helpers to draw the lines during a "free choice" time. 
I will put the cut up wall paper pieces into my Warm - Cool - Neutral scrap drawers so they can be used for collages and mosaics. 
Wallpaper and what the back will look like before cutting.  Notice the lines progress in difficulty.  


Do You Want A Student Teacher?

When I was approached 2 years ago about wanting to take on a student teacher I thought, "YES". Why? Because I've been there and so have you.  I remember embarking on my own student teaching journey hoping and praying for a strong, kind, and great teacher that would take me under their wing.  In Tennessee we student teach under two teachers.  My first cooperating teacher was "Mrs. H".  I learned most of what I know from her.  Then, I had "Mrs. X" who taught me how not to teach.  It is because of these two teachers that I knew I owed it to this protégé to be a guide on his or her journey. 

I have had two student teachers in my career thus far.  Both came with pros and cons.  Having these two ladies made me better through their trials, errors, and successes.  In fact... they taught me a few new tricks!
Myself as a student teacher in Fall 2008 teaching the "Edible Color Wheel" 

My first student teacher Mrs. Matthews
My second protege, Shannon Torrey, teaching clay.
Pros of having a student teacher:
You will be molding a new art teacher
You will no longer be the "only" art person
Discuss professional development
Learn from each other
You will learn more about yourself as a teacher and, if you use this new knowledge correctly, use it to become a better one.

A little more work
Using planning time for more discussion to go over things
If the student teacher is having difficulty you may have to step in an maintain control or redirect
After the student teacher leaves you may have to reteach some management if need be.
You may have to deal with the fact that the kids might like that person more than you... Get over it! 

Having a student teacher is not for everyone. It was a wonderful learning opportunity for me and I do believe I am a better teacher because of it.  And who knows, you may have to leave the job that you love so much.  How fortunate would you be to be able to have someone you trained fill your position?  
I was fortunate enough to have Mrs. Shannon Torrey, my student teacher, replace me.  It made me feel so much better knowing she would take my place.  Before I left, a student told me, "If Mrs. Torrey gets to teach us it will be like a part of you."  Made my heart melt.  I thought to myself, this is why I taught a student teacher.  I encourage you to do the same to mold the next generation of art educators. 
Mrs. Torrey reading well wishes cards from students before she left for her next placement. 

Mrs. Torrey assisting students.

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