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I'm glad that student teaching is over because of the virus

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LonelySoul74
 
 
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I'm glad that student teaching is over because of the virus
Old 04-15-2020, 07:34 PM
 
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I don't know if this makes me a terrible teacher, but I don't care. I hated student teaching. Not because of the students, or that i couldn't handle it, or that my co-op was terrible. I was in a great classroom, district, and had the support of everyone. My problem was my supervisor.

I'll admit, I struggled with a few things. My co-op and i worked out a thing where I would email the lessons to her so she could check them over instead of printing and wasting paper, and money required to print. Great and easy. I emailed him about this.

To be frank, he displayed some of the worst professionalism I have ever seen. He would schedule appointments but never keep them. He would pop up at random, and then berate me in front of the students. When he DID observe me, he would talk loudly about me, insult me in front of the 2nd graders I was trying to teach, to the point where these children would look back with their faces scrunched up in confusion. Why is he talking about Miss _ like that? It wasn't that I was doing anything wrong. He wrote great things on my observation sheets, the children always understood my lessons and responded well to them. My co-op and the other teachers enjoyed my presence and thought i was great at teaching. So that's why what happened next just kinda threw me for a loop.

The worst offense was when I walked into the classroom to eat lunch, and he sat me down in front of my co-op. With a smile on his face, he said that I was the worst student teacher in the group of student teachers this semester, then he proceeded to scream at me, in my placement, in front of my co-op. Thankfully, the kids were at lunch, but i was caught so off guard. He continued to tell me that he knew since the beginning I didn't have the personality for teaching, that I didn't have that "spark", that I didn't care about my students, and that I should thank him because he was the only thing standing between my being kicked out of student teaching. He said none of the professors in the ed department had faith in me. They all knew that I was never going to make it. He then proceeded to tell me that I might be his first "failure", and that he always got the students who the department thought would do the worst at student teaching. This was on week 4 of 6.

I was completely thrown for a loop. I was devastated. I always got great reviews for clinical placements, I always was adored by students I taught, my lessons were great, and I have a history of reflections(done by multiple supervisors in multiple placements) that documented that. I don't know how much of his threats were bluffs, or if they were all bluffs, because I never heard from the head of the education department, nor did I hear from the person in charge of placements, ever.

But hearing that completely broke me. I've had problems with diagnosed depression and anxiety for a long time, but hearing that I was as worthless and terrible as my anxiety told me on daily basis broke me. I was incredibly suicidal. I wanted to die. I was prepared to do so. I'm crying thinking about it now. It was bad, and it was really close. The only thing that really kept me going on a day to day basis was those second graders and the fact that I had kids waiting for me to work summers back home at the daycare.

I guess the worst part was that after that, he kept telling me how far I came in two weeks. He'd pat me on the shoulder and smile and tell me how proud he was. But it didn't feel like he was proud. It felt like he was trying to save face, to make up for humiliating me in front of my co-op and the rest of the school staff(he yelled so loud other teachers came out of their classrooms to see what was going on). It didn't feel sincere. I didn't feel like he was proud of me.

At least I have somewhat satisfaction with the fact my co-op had total faith in me. She asked me to come back to keep teaching writing and poetry. He expressed genuine shock when my co-op said that she and my second co-op(in Learning Support) agreed to let me continue to teach writing to the second graders for my last six weeks. His jaw dropped, and he said "Are you sure? Just because she volunteered doesn't mean you're obligated to keep putting up with her...". And she answered "She didn't volunteer, I offered it to her because the children responded well to her lessons, and I think it would benefit them to continue having her presence to teach writing instead of cutting them off cold turkey."

I don't know if I sound like an over-sensative brat for writing this. If I am, then I guess that's on me.

I am disappointed I won't get to continue teaching writing. I am disappointed I didn't get to say my final farewells to my kids. I'm disappointed I didn't get to be in the Learning Support classroom. But I have letters and cards and drawings praising me from my kids. And I can count on my little victories over him putting me down. The little things, like my successful persuasive writing unit. Or that every child passed their tests involving money and making change, the hardest math unit for 2nd grade, according to my co-op. Or those smiles, whenever they enjoyed a lesson I taught or an activity I thought of. Little things that kept me going.

But I am extremely happy that I never have to talk to him again. I'm happy that schools closed due to the virus, that I'll never, ever see that man again, I'll never have to talk to him, not ever again.


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Wow!
Old 04-16-2020, 03:28 AM
 
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Sounds to me like HE is the one with problems. Almost like an abusive relationship so that he can be the knight in shining armor.

He's an idiot.
Don't let him rent space in your head anymore.
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Report him
Old 04-16-2020, 04:42 AM
 
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I think you need to speak to people in positions of power at your school. They need to know how you were treated and the impact he had on you. They should be encouraged to talk to your other instructors and your co-op teacher to get other viewpoints. Your co-op teacher will be able to verify what he said and how he said it. Do this for yourself and do this for those who will come after you. It's very empowering to stand up for yourself and to keep others from suffering the same treatment. You don't have to accept this and working through the system will help you to gain insight from the others that he claimed were against you teaching. You deserve to know the truth - don't blindly accept his claims when your own experiences tell you otherwise. Best wishes to you!
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You need to rewrite this in a more
Old 04-16-2020, 07:12 AM
 
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Time/Place/Form/Event style, exact dates, witnesses, etc., and send it to EVERYONE involved in your student teaching process, all the way up the lines to your State Education Department, HR, etc. This man has a screw loose and should not be allowed to supervise garbage pickup.

If possible, get signed statements from adult witnesses. Also attach all evaluations or anything this guy ever sent you in writing. I believe you have a lawsuit for hostile workplace and harassment. If he actually TOUCHED you in any way after threatening you like that (patted you on the shoulder included), that defines the tort of battery, i.e., unwanted touching. He is a lunatic. Get your certificates signed, then sue the bastard, the institution, and anyone else who should have caught this behavior and failed to stop him.
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Old 04-16-2020, 07:41 AM
 
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I am sorry this happened to you. You already got the best advice I can think of for how to move forward with the situation.

How were things left as far as your student teaching status? Did you pass? Will you be able to get your certification or will you have to repeat it? Hopefully in the circumstances, you will pass. Hang in there.


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Old 04-16-2020, 08:24 AM
 
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I am so sorry! Please don't let this abusive and threatening man dictate how you think about yourself or your teaching skills.

Great advice above, but you may want to wait until you have your degree/teaching certification in hand before you do anything. You don't know if he can screw with it at this point.

Your coop teacher is the one who knows you and your skills. It is her recommendation and references that will be most important in your job search. Is there a possibility you can join into the class online learning platform? If only to check in with the kids before the end of the school year to say goodbye and I love and miss you guys?

Your supervisor reminds me of army drill instructors in the movies who try to instill fear in the young recruits. The difference is a drill instructor then builds each recruit up to be the very best they can be. Your supervisor has done just the opposite. His back-and-forth mean guy/nice guy behavior is very concerning and he shouldn't be supervising anyone, much less teachers.

Again, it's totally him and not you. Please seek help immediately if you ever again think of doing something irreversible. Thank God your nightmare is over! I wish you the best of luck in your future teaching career!
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Old 04-16-2020, 10:25 AM
 
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You've already gotten great advice, but I want to say that it's clear just from the way you've written this, that you do have what it takes to teach. Your love for the kids and your passion for teaching comes through.

You are a fighter. You've continued through even though this man tried to tear you down, with a good attitude and a positive vibe. Give yourself a lot of credit here, what you've gone through is not an easy thing to come back from, but you did it.
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This was me
Old 04-16-2020, 10:39 AM
 
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Everything you said happened to me! My supervisor was this deranged immoral old professor. She was pure evil and all my classmates said if I did not kiss the ring she would single me out. Well I had enough and she sure went on a terror on me.
I ended up going to the college president and my classmates backed me up. Of course I did this at the end once I had gotten my grade. I am so sorry this happened to you. During this time you have a silver lining indeed! Although I cried so many tears during that time I am a fighter and it seems you are too. Those type of people are dead inside..yuck!
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Old 04-16-2020, 05:20 PM
 
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I'm sorry that happened to you! It's not your fault! Don't let him make you feel badly. He's abusive and toxic. It's clear by what you wrote that you have what it takes as a teacher. You're Co-op's support and confidence in you shows that. The way you describe and talk about your experiences show that. He's just a miserable person taking his own insecurities out on you. He's one of the worst kind of people to deal with when they have power over you....it can be very damaging to a person to deal with someone like that....if they don't take you out by creating problems with others, they try to take you out by attacking your self-esteem and confidence.

I could have written your post. My supervisor was the same way. It was one of the most toxic and demoralizing things I've experienced in my life. Very stressful and shocking! My Co-op stood up for me by telling my supervisor she thought I was doing a great job, but she didn't report my supervisor, and I had to just deal with it. My supervisor said things that embarrassed and demeaned me in front of people at my placement site. My Co-op would bring up those things like she couldn't believe my supervisor said that and it made her mad. She didn't think it was right and would stand up for me. But, I don't know if she ever reported it to the university or not. I wish she would have though.

My supervisor shared private information, insinuated, and manipulated situations to try to make me look questionable or lacking in some way or another. She'd jump all over me for no reason, making something out of nothing. She'd twist, provide misleading information, lie, and accuse me of things that were far from true. Minimize and insinuate something was wrong with me just through her focus of what she said and did. It was a game of smoke and mirrors and could be subtle at times to a couple times a full blown angry attack on my character.

At the college, my supervisor was the head of the program's right hand woman. She played it to a T, always volunteering to help out and do things the other supervisors didn't want to do or have time. She "appeared" so helpful and dedicated. It made me sick watching her in action at some of the events. I'd report things to the head of the program, who was also the head professor for the student teaching seminar class, but it never went anywhere.
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Old 04-16-2020, 09:44 PM
 
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Reread every post that said report him until the idea of that truly sinks in. According to everything else you said, he was not correct in his assessment of you. BUT, even if he had been, it is unconscionable to personally and publicly attack you. It sounds like he has esteem problems himself and pushing you down lifts him up. His superiors need to know what he did because he WILL do it again to someone else. Truthfully, it would not surprise me if he has repeatedly berated someone so unprofessionally before and never been reported for it...allowing him to feel safe in doing that to you. Don't let him get away with it! And if his words got you down, remember being invited back by your coop teacher. She knows you and recognizes your apability!


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