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LONG ---- My student teacher is driving me insane!
Old 10-15-2009, 09:26 PM
 
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I don't know how I am going to survive for the next five weeks. It is a six week Behavior Management Program (to observe a student/implement behavior plan) & she was placed in my Kinder room while I was out sick last week. It was apparently a very bad week - the sub lost all control & the P & VP both had to come into my classroom several times! (I have had no major behavior issues or classroom/student isssues so far this year, besides the normal K behaviors.)

Fast forward to this week... My class is out of control. I have had the worst week of my whole teaching career. I have had class meetings, discussed rules & expectations, used positive and negative consequences, and much more. I am out of ideas. They do not act like this if any one else is in the classroom, only when the student teacher is there. I am ready to pull out my hair.

MY MAJOR VENT - The student teacher keeps telling me "Verbal Praise, Remember it's all about verbal praise!!!" It's driving me insane- I use verbal praise ALL the time, I give high fives, we cheer for each other, use class cheers, say the normal "good work, great job, excellent, give yourself a pat on the back!" She also plans to use an incentive chart with this student - and buy him and ONLY HIM special toys as a reward for when he behaves. She demanded that I use HER plan when she is not there. I have a huge problem rewarding students with toys/candy for behaviors. I do use stickers, stamps, verbal praise, natural consequences and have an excellent behavior management system in place. I want to know who is going to keep buying this student toys when she is gone in five weeks and deal with him when he will only work or behave for a toy???


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Old 10-15-2009, 09:33 PM
 
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I would go to the supervisor of this student teacher and ask to have them removed. A student teacher should not be demanding things of you!

Either get her removed or lay down the boundries. If you are not going to supply the child with toys after she is gone, tell her that, and explain you do not find that to be a reasonable solution to this child's needs.

Is there a specific thing she is doing which is causing the difficulties with her that you do not see with other visitors.
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Old 10-15-2009, 09:57 PM
 
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I have spoke with my P about having her removed- the problem is the P attends the same church/is friends with the student teachers parent and she doesn't have a backbone. She pleaded with me to please just deal with her... I do have a call into her supervisor though.

I do need to talk to her again- everything seems to go in one ear and out the other. I have had other student teachers and never had any issues like this. It's been crazy. (Did I mention that my sub was unable to complete any of my lesson plans? So I have been playing catch up as well.)

The only thing I can think of is that I was not there the first week she was brought into my class and with the chaos of that week - they took advantage of the situation. They are naturally very curious and interested in what she's doing (we've discussed it). I know she is encouraging certain behaviors by allowing them to interact with her at inappropriate times (like when I'm teaching a lesson.) She interupts me when I'm working with small groups to either ask questions or report a behavior/situation that really does not need my attention. I just don't know.
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You are her boss
Old 10-16-2009, 04:54 AM
 
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so to speak and it up to you to deal with her if your P won't. She is not acting like a student teacher... she is trying to be their friend and is favoring the one child. Sit her down and in no uncertain terms let her know that YOU have the power to pass or fail her. Lay down the ground rules and begin again. If that means you take the class for a couple days with her observing in some other classroom, then that is what you do. Get a hold on these kids ASAP.

I'd be tempted to have her make up the days at the end. Sit her down and look her directly in the eyes and be firm. Have her student teacher supervisor there if at all possible and do contact that person with all this beforehand.

If she continues the way she is and one day has a class of her own it will be the gong show. Try to remain in control but assert your authority that this is your class and that she is not yet a teacher.

This is one reason I have yet to take a student teacher myself.
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Feel bad for you, but
Old 10-16-2009, 05:10 AM
 
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she needs to be removed immediately. I would contact her university supervisor and tell them so. Just say "Student teacher refuses to be redirected and will not comply with the classroom procedures that you have already put in place." Look, you don't need another "problem student" in your classroom, which is exactly what she is acting like. How many student teachers have you had? I've had 5 or 6 since I started teaching and I had to boot one out of the program and another had several similar problems to yours, but she was actually much worse. I and my administrator refused to give her any letters of recommendation.
As far as your prince goes, forget him/her. They have nothing to do with this situation. Your focus needs to be on the learning environment and the students. If this so called student teacher can't take redirection now, then what are they going to be like when they're a regular teacher? You can't just do whatever you want to in your own classroom. You must be able to follow your administrator's directions. And you are her administrator right now. Have a final meeting with her just to give her another chance. Tell her exactly what you want to see from her. Tell her she is in danger of failing the program if she refuses to comply. This is how I handled the guy I eventually had to fail. He simply was not capable of controlling a classroom. He was a sweet guy, but not a teacher.



Last edited by lucky; 10-16-2009 at 05:23 AM..
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I did it
Old 10-16-2009, 05:52 AM
 
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I got my ST removed when I told her supervisor I'd never be able to write her a letter of recommendation. Go back to your P and tell him you will not write a positive letter of rec. See if P changes his tune. Then take back your class from crazy ST. Tell her you will NOT be implementing a behavior system you don't agree with, and neither will she. If she continues along the path, kick her out! Tell her college supervisor the same thing.

My really good class was crazy when my ST was in the room. She couldn't follow my plans, remember how our systems worked (even the kids knew!), or give any consequences that weren't positive. Once she was gone, my kids took about a week to get back to normal.

There is hope. Get that ST out of your room, pronto!!
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oh man...(sub here chiming in)
Old 10-16-2009, 06:32 AM
 
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What is the matter w/ this country? Seriously. Why are we fixing things that are not BROKEN!

And who is this short sighted educator that can't understand about diff. methods workign for diff teachers and students? Why can't you say - look, I know you have valid ideas and methods, however, the results are not effective and I have a proven method. Why not have HER watch YOU for awhile to see how your EXPERIENCE works for you. she is the STUDENT right!

As a parent I am saddened to hear this. If my child was in yoru class I'd be VERY disappointed in the school. To 'play" and "experiement" with my child's education and his initial introduction to how school works like this when an experienced teacher with a great method is THERE and willign to work is ridiculous. the CHILD students should come FIRST. At some point YOU the REAL teacher in this room needs to take back control.

Sorry, if I don't understand the dynamics of student teaching or the politics of it all, but that's my impression. I know these are tough economic times but I say TAKE BACK CONTROL!
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student teacher
Old 10-16-2009, 08:38 AM
 
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You are letting her use your students as guinea pigs and that is NOT ok. Make clear that you understand she may be learning differently, but it is still your classroom and you have created and 'trained' your students to follow certain rules and procedures. She does NOT have the right to boss you around.
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i can sympathize
Old 10-16-2009, 09:27 AM
 
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last spring i had a horrible student teacher. she tried to be their friend and I had some big stinkers that she couldn't deal with. the students (some of them!) thought that she was the "cool" teacher and I was the mean/strict one. It was bad! I gave her tons of suggestions on how to correct behavior or teach something and she didn't take any of them. Then she didn't come for two days and didn't call her supervisor. I emailed the supervisor and let her know how things were going. THe supervisor called her and pretty much told her everything I said..about how bad she was doing and how she stayed home for two days to work on her portfolio. It was SO AWKWARD! She called and left a message about me tattling on her. I don't know if i will ever take another one on. That's really sad to me because I LOVE teaching and want those who are coming into the field to love it too.
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crazyday
Old 10-16-2009, 10:00 AM
 
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to clarify the situation are you stating that the ST's only duty are to observe a student (one student) and implement a behavior plan?

is she supposed to come up with a behavior plan? is this something you can cooperate on?

I've never heard of student teachers who need to do this---but then I've only been in one state when I was in school.

What state are you in (if you can say) because that's a very interesting class to be in....letting the student teachers implement and decide what's the best way to deal with children


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Old 10-16-2009, 10:24 AM
 
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I feel bad for this very ignorant student teacher. This is a time when you can soak up all the knowledge of your EXPERIENCED mentor teacher!!! I'm all for student teachers taking initiative, but this crosses the line.

She will find out soon enough that she has a lot to learn not only about teaching, but about the real world!

Best of luck to you!
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student teacher
Old 10-16-2009, 10:56 AM
 
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I did my student teaching 3 years ago, so this is all still so fresh in my mind. I had a great relationship with my cooperating teacher and still keep in contact with her. Some student teachers and cooperating teachers have a great connection, while others do not like your situation. There is absolutely nothing wrong with that either. There were other student teachers in my undergrad program who got reassigned to other student teacher practicums due to "lack of participation" or inability to fulfill all the responsibilities as having that role. There have been rare cases of student teachers gone bad, when even the dean of education had to observe a student teacher.

Basically, you are the judge as to whatever goes on in your classroom. You have the ultimate say and approval. If you don't want to have unfinished business in your classroom, then don't let her do the behavior chart with that student. I'm assuming the particular child who needs to be monitored by a chart and rewarded, needs a consistent plan to follow. It would not be a consistent plan if your ST starts this behavior plan, then it's discontinued once she leaves. So, if it's not something you will continue after her departure, then I say "can it!" You need to have the ultimate call as to what you want to continue with this child, since it is YOUR classroom.

Remember, it's a privilege for your student teacher to be there and you need to reason with her and make sure she obeys your calls of duty. Good luck!
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Put the brakes on her.
Old 10-16-2009, 11:35 AM
 
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I understand the position you're in. I understand your frustration with your student teacher.

I strongly suggest that you take back control of your classroom and do not permit your student teacher to do anything other than what is required of her. If she is given assignments to do particular activities, etc. with the students from the university, ask for a copy of the assignment in writing or her syllabus. Keep calling her supervisor and ask that the supervisor bring copies of her requirements as well so you can review them together. You can take that opportunity to highlight the things the student teacher has done that were not part of the program. Explain that you understand she has obligations to complete her teaching credential, and that you will supervise these requirements but will no longer allow her to freelance teach or add to your classroom management from here out. Make sure she is clear and understands this.

Do not let her put one toe over the line. There are a million reasons why you need to be in charge, least of all for your student's well-being! Nevermind the tender feelings of the principal and the student teacher's parent. THEY will NOT be the ones facing angry, upset parents when the student teacher's meddling is made public, YOU will, and yes, it will be YOUR fault if you permitted it to continue just because your principal asked you to look the other way. Do not let this know-it-all student teacher ruin your rapport with your students and parents.
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Could she be a future co-worker?
Old 10-16-2009, 02:09 PM
 
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Forgot my login.

If this student teacher is so tight with your principal, is there any chance the ST could be a co-worker in the future? Tread lightly if that is the case.
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Old 10-16-2009, 02:30 PM
 
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Coworker??

That's all the more reason to make sure she doesn't receive her credentials.
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that sounds horrible
Old 10-17-2009, 04:41 PM
 
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I am so sorry, and I agree you have to take back control. We have a part time intern this semester, who will be teaching a short unit. But he is very unprofessional and targets some of the already behaviorally struggling boys. They feed off his attention in a very negative way and get riled up (in the afternoons). It is a struggle to keep them on task and settled.

I want to help him and give him some guidance, but we haven't had a chance to sit down with him yet.
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troubled by student teacher
Old 10-30-2009, 01:14 PM
 
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I'm curious...whatever happened in this situation?
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I disagree
Old 04-30-2011, 07:49 AM
 
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I don't think the seasoned teacher should tread lightly, I think the P needs to be woken up. I dont think that if the ST gets hired, that they will be any better, nor do I think her job will be any easier. We just had a P that was 'connected' to our superintendant walk out of the school (mid-semester, mind you) because she was trying to pull the same types of stuff your ST was. Rest assured, she will get her comeuppance and chances are with her weak management plan, if she's around for awhile, it won't last long. Especially if other teachers in her grade aren't doing it and if the teachers in following grades aren't doing it. I kinda want to know what college she went to because EVERY class I ever had said "don't give rewards for good behavior, they'll only do it when they think they'll be rewarded."

Good luck! The university supervisor is your best ally.
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I disagree...with treading lightly
Old 04-30-2011, 07:50 AM
 
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I thought that would post after the message about treading lightly.
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