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kmcma kmcma is offline
 
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kmcma
 
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I Suck At Student Teaching
Old 09-18-2018, 01:08 PM
 
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Yesterday marked the beginning of my 4th week of student teaching. I'm completely embarrassed. I am completely overwhelmed. I am completely broken. I suck st Student Teaching.

I dread going to school in the mornings. My CT is a very kind, very laid back woman. However, I haven't received any feedback from her because I don't think there is much to say. I'm useless. I have trouble going into detail when it comes to discussions. My CT is really good at going off on these beautifully engaging discussions with the students. I talk and the discussion is over in 10 minutes causing me to awkwardly move forward with the next part of the lesson. Every lesson I teach, ends entirely too early. I try to prepare for each lesson the day before but because we are basing the lessons off of her curriculum, the information I prepare isn't even in the same ball park as my CT's. When she teaches the block before mine, I try to fill in the parts that I may have not added to my lesson and then I get overwhelmed. This causes me to blank during active lessons and it's a mess.

On top of all of that, I am in the state of GA and we have to complete EdTPA. I don't even no where to begin. I unfortunately went through an out of state program and they hardly prepared me for student teaching, let alone EdTPA. They literally hand you the handbook and expect you to just go about your day. I have read the hand book and all it has done is overwhelm me to the point of depression.

I don't want to suck at student teaching, but I don't see how I am going to pass any of this. It's my 4th week and I don't do anything but teach that 1 block (supposed to be teaching 2) and grade a little here and there. I thought I was supposed to be doing lesson planning, grading, contacting parents, teaching... I don't do any of that. I'm sure it's because my CT thinks I'm not ready for this. When I first started, she told me that my program failed to prepare me. She said it wasn't my fault, but still. I have spent $30,000 with this school. All I want to do is quit. I don't really want to quit, but I'm sick of embarrassing myself and I'm sick of leading these students in the wrong direction.

Is this how student teaching is supposed to be?


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new student teacher
Old 09-22-2018, 07:15 PM
 
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Hi, I am not in a position to give you a great answer (sounds like you are in a higher grade level than I am; I student taught decades ago; I have never had a student teacher; I am not in GA so I don't know about EdTPA), but I thought it must be frustrating to be waiting for responses to your questions.
Perhaps experienced teachers don't visit this New Teacher board on a regular basis, so if you post your question on a different board at proteacher more teachers may be able to respond.
Teaching is not easy. Student teaching is not easy. Stress and worry are common, and each lesson can feel like a struggle at first. It sounds like you are watching your CT's lessons closely, and trying to learn from her, and that's a good strategy.
Asking for help here is a great step, too.
I hope as you go forward you will experience a supportive school environment where your colleagues are willing and able to help you through these tough times.
Best of luck to you.
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Old 09-22-2018, 10:01 PM
 
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Telling you that your school did not adequately prepare you was an inappropriate thing for her to say to you. She is not in a position to judge all that you know because this is a new situation for you.

Maybe you can ask her to give you one suggestion of how you can improve. Please do not compare yourself to her as she has had tons of practice and time to refine her skills. Most colleges do not prepare you for what it is really like when standing in front of 20 or more children waiting for you to help them grow academically. For some people, it comes to them naturally. Others, like me, have to work at it over time.

Please do not give up. This is a learning process and it does take time. Learn as much as you can from her and go to some of the boards on PT such as for your grade level. You can do this and there are plenty of people to support you!
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Old 10-17-2018, 12:40 PM
 
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I'm coming in on this post really late, but I hope you are hanging in there. Student teaching was very hard for me too. Like you I felt overwhelmed and I felt like my cooperating teacher didn't provide enough feedback. She also criticized my college's program, saying my supervisor did not provide enough support. I felt like that support should have come from my cooperating teacher. Regardless, I made it through and graduated.

I think it is common for student teachers to feel like they should teach as well as the experienced teacher. In reality, you have to gain that experience. Think about it. We walk before we run.

My instructor sent her students a letter along about late October. It was an open letter to the first year teacher who was struggling by then and ready to give up. That teacher spoke candidly, from experience. Teaching is difficult. You will feel challenged. Rest. Eat right. Exercise. Take care of you. Teaching will be much easier that way.
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I'm right there with you...
Old 10-17-2018, 07:11 PM
 
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I could have written this myself. Just replace with the state of New Hampshire. I have worked really hard to get this far and still overcoming many obstacles not just student teaching. Super overwhelmed and blank in front of the class too. I thought I was the only one who did that. Our TCAP is also a ton of work that I need more time for. By the time I get home from mom duties, make dinner, chores, I'm exhausted and can't stay awake planning or writing my TCAP.


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Old 10-18-2018, 01:19 AM
 
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First of all student teaching is hard. Hang in there, you will learn by doing. I would definitely take the PP's advice about asking for suggestions on improvements. But what really stands out to me is the inability for you to properly plan due to you not knowing what she's teaching in the previous block. You cannot expect a positive outcome without prior planning. Especially just starting out. You are preparing and then changing your plan at the last minute. That is enough to cause your feelings of inadequacy. Not your fault... Maybe ask for tips in planning. You have to know what your doing ahead of time. Good luck
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Old 10-18-2018, 05:12 AM
 
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Just ideas (because before you will get better, you have to get your head in a better place)

Does the class use a set curriculum? Do you know where the teacher gets her lesson (ideas) from? Have you explored it so that you know what prior knowledge the students have been exposed to? That would help you understand what they already know and better organize future lessons.

Put your big girl panties on. Ask your cooperating teacher for advice on how you can make your lessons better. Is it the lack of question skills? Or lack of expectations? Fix it. Look for question stems that you can use in discussions. Then wait for answers. Sometimes that wait is hard. Use think-pair-share to generate info/discussion for students. Think more beforehand about your expectation for the lesson. Is it too high? Too low? Is it you second guessing yourself?

You won't get better without practice. So make sure you practice! Don't give up on yourself at this stage of the game! This isn't an easy job and very few people are born just being able to lead kids to water without working hard at it. You can do it, too. And stop comparing yourself to you CT. You can't be her yet. She worked hard to get to be where she is now. Ask questions. Copy her style. Find out about her lessons and make yourself comfortable with them. You can do it!
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Don't stress
Old 10-31-2018, 10:25 AM
 
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I hope you are doing well. I will start student teaching next fall and I am very nervous that I will not do very well. Everyone around me is so excited and ready and I feel like I am the only one who isn't ready at all. Your post showed me that I am not alone and I hope that you have learned a lot since you posted this and are doing awesome!
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Learning pit!
Old 02-27-2019, 06:14 AM
 
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4 weeks?! Give yourself a chance. If you were already wonderful at this and knew everything you wouldn’t have to student teach. I tell my students all the time that we have to be in the learning pit when we are learning something new. Everyone is! It is okay and necessary! It is uncomfortable, but with help and perseverance we get out. Mistakes are good! This will help you understand how your students feel when learning something new! Listen, take notes, enjoy the students. Teaching is a great thing and fun. Hang in there.
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Forge Ahead
Old 03-03-2019, 12:06 AM
 
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I hope you dig deeper and continue with teaching. Your CT is laid back? That sounds pretty good.

About 23 years ago I had a control freak for a CT. I postponed my student teaching. After a few months, my second try at student teaching went well. My CTs were not perfect though. I stuck it out. I taught full time in elementary Ed. for about a couple of decades. I had to work with a few sadistic principals. I was miserable at my last work site. Too many big problems that I couldn't fix. I went into another field of education. Again I needed training. I had a crazy , unstable, and extremely mean supervisor/trainer. This person yelled and screamed at me every day.I held on and put up with this psycho. Now I am starting to enjoy my new job.However , I now have to meet with another supervisor a half an hour a day at the end of my shift. This guy is rude and irritating. What's the point of all this? In general life is pretty good, and most people are fine to work with. But, you will have some people who will try to upset you and get in your way. I say dig deeper, work hard at it and carry on . Life is not conflict free. You will have battles here and there, and I say face them.Tragedy doesn't last forever. Are you a pessimist ? Forge ahead.

I hope you made it through your student teaching okay. Anyway, I think my point is fairly universal. It doesn't matter what field you get into. There will always be people, roadblocks, and problems that try to impede your progress. I say fight for what you want.


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Old 06-03-2019, 03:01 PM
 
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Quote:
I have trouble going into detail when it comes to discussions. My CT is really good at going off on these beautifully engaging discussions with the students. I talk and the discussion is over in 10 minutes causing me to awkwardly move forward with the next part of the lesson. Every lesson I teach, ends entirely too early. I try to prepare for each lesson the day before but because we are basing the lessons off of her curriculum, the information I prepare isn't even in the same ball park as my CT's. When she teaches the block before mine, I try to fill in the parts that I may have not added to my lesson and then I get overwhelmed. This causes me to blank during active lessons and it's a mess.
You just described me (when I was a student teacher) and just about every single student teacher on the planet. When I was student teaching (as well as my first few years of full time teaching) I could never end a lesson on time - I had the opposite problem as you, where I'd go WAY too long. During student teaching I accidentally kept teaching through their recess! It was about ten minutes into it when my CT stopped me and rushed the kids out the door. I could never lead an authentic discussion - don't worry though because that comes later with experience. What I did is I wrote down a list of questions that I wanted to ask during discussions, that way if I blanked, I would have something to keep me going.

I would say....don't worry...you are fine!!! Don't expect to be good at everything right away. Like any skill, it takes a lot of practice. I'm just finishing my 7th year of teaching and I am still finding things I want to get better at.

If your CT isn't saying anything about it, chances are you are blowing it up in your mind to be bigger than it actually is. If you are still worried, sit down and have a conversation with her.

As far as the rest goes - I don't live in your state and don't know anything about the requirements. Do you have a supervisor at your college? That might be the best person to talk to about this stuff. Then I would list all the steps you need to complete....and break it down. Complete one step at a time. I have struggled with anxiety all my life - this is something that I do to help me because when tasks get overwhelming for me, I tend to give up and not even start. (Like right now, I'm supposed to be writing report card and I'm here instead!)

You'll be great. You ARE great already...but you'll get to the point where you can do things the way your CT does it, when you've been doing it as long as her!
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