I absolutely hate student teaching and am just counting down until its over. I know that sounds terrible. Its not that I hate teaching. I really do enjoy teaching. I used to volunteer at some public elementary schools during my early college years when I was taking early childhood courses and truly enjoyed that experience. Of course that experience was at a school with mostly middle class kids with involved parents.
But with student teaching I've had a horrible experience. I was very limited in the districts I could choose from. I'm in Texas, and we could only choose from Houston, Alief, Aldine, or Spring Branch. And of the schools from those districts we could choose certain ones from from those districts, all of which were high minority and high poverty rates.
My co-op teacher is not helpful, has such a negative attitude. I've even heard her yell at the kids. The principal came in and observed me once and had tons of complaints about my teaching. She came in during February during a social studies unit I was doing and was very mad that I wasn't incorporating Black History(principal is black) and then proceeded to tell me that it is very important for white teachers(like myself) to know black history when they are teaching to black children. I found that comment a bit racist. Principal's visit was just an impromptu visit, so its not like she was requiring me to do black history. Principal told me that I'm too young(23 yrs) and inexperienced and even told me that she has reservations about me being a teacher.
I am so worried about my future as a teacher. I know I won't get a recommendation from the principal. She seems to absolutely hate me. My co-op teacher said she'd give me one. But with her negative attitude about everything, who knows what she'll say. I have good recommendations from my university supervisor and education professors. Hopefully that'll be good enough for me to get a job.
I've just had the worst student teaching experience ever. There have been days I have gone home and just cried over things that either my co-op teacher or principal have said to me. I even thought about quitting student teaching on several occasions. I wish I had had a better choice of districts and schools to choose from. But I was stuck with a Title 1 school that is just awful. While I do want to be a teacher, I absolutely do not ever want to teach in the inner city again.
This is probably the hardest part of getting certified to teach but it won't last forever. I am student teaching too and I am often quite stressed during the day and at night and on weekends. Do whatever you can to take care of yourself. I am reaching out for support outside the school I'm in as well as taking time each day to center myself. If I know I'm trying my best and that I am sincere and wanting to help the students learn, then I feel more peaceful.
I wish you the best and keep remembering that this won't last forever! (Someone mentioned looking for the students' smiles and I am trying to do that too to find the bright spots in the day.) I've also heard that you have to believe in your ability to learn in order to be a teacher. You can do this!
I'm really glad I came on this board. I usually don't. My student teaching experience was so similar to yours, it's kinda scary. My school was an inner city, Title 1 school with a teacher who yelled at the kids, didn't give them the help they needed, etc, etc, etc. I hated every minute. I went home crying, screaming, begging my husband not to make me go back, but I did, and I'm so thankful for that to this day. The experience taught me a lot- especially about how I don't want to treat my students and what kind of school just isn't right for me.
My cooperating teacher didn't think much of me. She didn't think I could hack it and really did not get a lot of support from the school, however, my professors encouraged me and knew what I was going through and knew I could do it. (Example- I was full time teaching and a student- first grade- got upset about something, stood up, lifted up his desk, and threw it at my head. Barely missed me. The administration and my cooperating teacher said that the student was unsupervised, so they couldn't do anything about it. My professor stood up for me so much...it was great.)
Long story short, head up. You can do it. I got a job a few days after graduation at a wonderful school where...I hate to brag...but my administration said I was one of their best. You just have to find the right fit for you. That was only 2 years ago for me, and I am so glad I stuck through it. I learned A LOT and have grown as a teacher because of it.
Noname, I am also very stressed out as a student teacher. Neither my CT nor my college supervisor have been helpful this semester. I thought I'd be getting helpful tips and advice about teaching from my CT, but he 'disappears' for the majority of the day and when he does show up in the classroom he's too busy talking to his buddies on his cellphone to answer any of my questions. In the past, he has forgotten to tell me about staff meetings and school functions, making me look like I don't care. I can't go to my college supervisor about my complaints because they are close friends.
My CT doesn't even have any lesson plans to show me from past years because he just 'wings it'. He seems to have a natural ability for teaching, but this doesn't help me one bit when it comes to figuring out how to plan my lessons each week. Weird how he requires me to do detailed lesson plans for each subject (which isn't required by my college), but he doesn't do any himself.
Having to write 25+ detailed lesson plans each week is taking its toll on me and my family. I do not have a knack for detailed lesson plans. At one point, my husband really wanted me to quit this semester. I kept at it, thinking things would get better. But now, I half-wish I'd develop some medical condition just to have a 'way out'. (Yes, sickening, but true.)
On the positive side, there's only a few more weeks left in the semester. Good luck to you!
I completely understand where you're coming from. I went from having a great teacher for my field placement to having one that had nothing positive to say. Don't let the principal get you down, I would stick it out and don't worry about a reccommendation from the principal. Stick it out, because before long you'll be in your own classroom!
I can relate to your situation. My first year of student teaching, I had an amazing classroom teacher and a wonderful supervisor. They had nothing but good things to say about me and I thought I had teaching down to a T. My second year of student teaching however, has not gone so smoothly. Although I do have a good relationship with my classroom teacher, my supervisor does not seem too impressed by me. It is harder to teach at a struggling school where the students do not want to learn and the lack of classroom management was obvious since the first day. The best thing to do is take a deep breath and now that all of your hard word and dedication will pay off in the end when you have your own classroom!
I am a student teacher from Maryland and I also teach in a low socioeconomic school. I have encountered a little of the same racism you have, but not so severe. I suggest you try and look at the positives and try to enjoy the children rather than worry about what the faculty says about you. I do not see you having much a problem finding a teaching job because there is such a need. I know that in Maryland people do not even look at your portfolio and reviews when interviewing you. Good luck with teaching and remember that the kids are always the most important part of your job.
Simply be patient. This will soon be over. That principal is giving you a hard time because you are considered inexperienced in her eyes. Also, she doesn't know you which makes you an easy target. You're just another student teacher going through her school. I didn't like my student teaching experience. I thought it was lame. School systems are very politically correct and anti-male. I had to bite the bullet. My first mentor teacher was a control freak. The whole thing was so condescending. I hope I spelled that word right. However, my second mentor teacher was fine and a nice person. Teaching is very subjective and the government and the schools are trying to make it so that everybody does the same thing. Good luck on that one. I now teach in a poor neighborhood and it is okay. I am in my sixth year and I am not sure I want to do this forever. Kids are hard to teach because they don't know how important education is. They don't have to know this stuff in their eyes. Not yet. Many parents don't care, but some do. Keep your chin up and try to take the principal's advice. She wants you to listen to her and respect her for some reason. It is a big head game, so play it, and trust me it will be worth it later on.
I am student teaching in an all white upper middle class district and I hate it. the kids are so snotty and laugh at me while I teach. I am the only black teacher in the whole school and I can't help but think it is because of their low ideas of minorities thaat I receive so much disrespect. I have already had a student explain that they don't have to do any classwork because their parents make "six digits". I wish I could trade places with you in a heartbeat. I would rather be around my own people (no matter how low they are) than to be disrespected on a daily basis. it is a myth that districts with more money are better to work in. you have to find your own comfortable working conditions.
I'm student teaching at a progressive magnet school, and while the kids are great, my co-op is ...not so much. He completely sabotaged my lesson this week when my Supervisor came in to observe. He basically took over my lesson, while I was in the middle of teaching it. He interjected with comments, he "stole" the discussion, and he pranced around the room like an entertainer, so the kids were never really looking at me. They were looking at him. Today, we watched skits, and everyone had to vote on the best student presentations. He purposefully neglected to collect my vote, and walked away when I approached him to turn it in.
All I can say is "Hang in there!" We have no idea what these co-op teachers have as their "agenda." I myself, have a sometimes aloof and domineering presence, so I've had to learn to sit quietly, and give off body language that says I am calm and comfortable, that I'm thrilled to be there, when exactly the opposite is going on in my head. To tell you the truth, sometimes I think the co-ops might even be a little threatened. They know nothing about you. What if you are a better teacher? What if you have something to offer that they feel intimidated by? We don't know the inner workings of their minds. Try to let things go, and remind yourself that, in the scheme of things, this is just a stepping-stone. You'll survive!
I hated Student Teaching also. That was 30 years ago, and I have had a very successful and enjoyable career. Student teaching is an uncomfortable situation in that you're supposed to be the teacher, but you're in someone else's classroom. Don't judge teaching by your student teaching experience. Good luck.
With this only being my second year teaching, I remember well the pain of student teaching. Know this: real teaching is NOTHING like that! Student teaching is incredibly stressful, but I promise it gets better. Don't worry about the principal. If your cooperating teacher and university supervisor think you are doing a good job, then take their word for it. They are the only recommendations you need to get a job anyway. All the applications for a first year teacher ask for those 2 recommendations plus one more from a professor, so it doesn't matter that the principal doesn't like you ... no one will ever know. Hang in there, and know that it gets better.
I am student teaching with the worse cooperating teacher ever for this semester. She has not been a bit helpful to me. She has me type up every lesson that I'd teach every week. And before I can teach the lesson, she needs to review it and have me change the entire lesson completely. It was just a torture in my part because I had night classes and a job to do.
I really thought my cooperating teacher was going to understand me but it turns out that she did not care a bit. I really dislike the experience with her. I find everyday to be dreadful in the classroom whenever I was with her. I really enjoy teaching but having to be in her classroom is the worse experience yet!
My student teaching experience, which I'm in the middle of now, is probably the hardest and most painful learning experience I've ever had. It started out horribly. I have 2 Co-Op teachers, which I've never heard of anyone having, and it just makes learning to teach all the more difficult. I'm trying to incorporate 2 different teaching styles and all it's serving to do is drive me insane. The relationship I have with one is okay, she's very helpful and really is showing me a guiding hand. The other relationship I have is rather... sterile. It's obvious he really doesn't want to do this, and spends as little time with me as possible. His style of guidance is something like teaching a kid to play baseball who's never played it and has only read about it in books and on t.v., than giving him a bat and ball and saying show me what you can do. All the while the coach is standing on the sidelines saying, "You're doing it wrong! You're doing it wrong!" I have a running countdown on my calendar... 35 days left! I'll make it through... or have a nervous breakdown, one or the other, it'll be over no matter what.
I am also student teaching right now, and having just as bad an experience. My first semester I was with an awesome teacher, who was fun and had amazing ideas and was really helpful. This semester my cooperating teacher can't even make it to her own classes on time (we float from room to room). She NEVER plans anything and sends me to make copies for what she is teaching that period! I honestly feel bad for the students bc all they do is worksheet after worksheet. As is that wasn't enough she stuck me with the worst class by far, and I only teach one period a day. I never even get advice because she is never there to observe what I teach. I noticed her poor planning and classroom management right off the bat, I just wish I chose to take a stand and change schools instead of "sticking it out".
i am so happy to hear that alot of you are having problems that i have. i feel like no matter what i do, nothing is ever right. I am to the point now that i am so stressed out i forget to do things, so that gets me in even more trouble. I love working with kids, but i dont think i can handle the environment of my own classroom anymore. I have 3 weeks left. i hope I dont lose my sanity by then. here is just a brief synopsis of my issues...
1) we were starting a new unit and there were papers to pass back that my CT had placed in an area that i really dont look at (basically in a corner behind her desk). I didnt see them, three weeks later i get yelled at for not passing them back.
2) A meeting with some lady-- It was on our break. I was getting shaky ( I am pre-diabetic), so I grabbed a snack before heading to the meeting with some co-workers (i was not the only one with a snack). Also when i get shaky, i get cold, all that i had that day was the north face that i wore as a jacket, so i wore that up to the meeting. I got yelled at for not acting professional at the meeting because i was eating and wearing a "sweatshirt"
3) I have troubles writing long lesson plans because I cant come up with all the questioning that i am going to do. I base my questioning off what i see the children doing and responding with. If they are struggling with a concept, i tend to ask more questions and focus more on what they are struggling with. IF they get a concept, i move past it faster so that we can spend more time on other things.
3) One of the sped teachers asked that i keep all the kids on the same page so that when her kids come in, they are all working on the same thing. So i spent alot of time planning a fun activity working on writing. (yes i probably should have checked with my CT) but i got yelled at for that.
that is just three of the many things that i never seem to do right on. I have basically given up now. I am so frustrated. I am so terrified to fumble anymore because all i want is this degree so that i can go do something different. Because I am so scared to fumble, I feel like i am doing it more and more.
I think my student teaching experience is unique because I haven't even started and I am already stressed; more than I ever have been. I was suppose to teach seventh grade LA, but my co-op teacher got moved to sixth grade cross cat. She told me I can move with her and I am happy to do so; however, I don't even know what cross cat is. The fact that my student teaching semester begins in one week and I just found out about this is so much worse. On top of that I haven't even been in the school or classroom yet because my teacher can't seem to find time to go in or have me come in. I have talked to my supervisor and she has lead me to believe that I cannot even move with her because it is a special education classroom and I am not certified in special education. I don't know what I can do now because I, or should I say my parents cannot afford another semester or two of tuition to get me situated in a new classroom. My future as I know it is in serious jeopardy. I hate my experience so much right now and it hasn't even begun. I know that is definitely not a positive way to get started either.
This is my THIRD semester of trying to get through. The teachers don't let me do anything but sit there. On my observations she tells me "it's all yours" and then proceeds to butt in every five seconds. I can't get a word in edgewise! The last semester teacher I had wouldn't let me see an IEP, then lied to my advisor that I never told her what I needed. It has been horrible; I've put in about 400 hours but some won't count because it's been over 3 semesters. I have learned nothing but to hate teachers.
Maybe that's the problem we're all having. Our co-op teachers are lacking empathy and forget what it's like to be in our shoes. We are paying thousands of dollars to LEARN, not to be thrown under the bus. We are so lost and so nervous that we're basically just concentrating on surviving instead of learning. Hm, sounds a lot like how our bullied students are feeling...maybe that's why we can't fix that issue either. Teachers should be much more compassionate and observant of how others are feeling. Perhaps YOU are in the wrong profession.
I am currently student teaching and it is the hardest thing I have ever done. I am truly relieved to see that this is a common problem.
My University Supervisor taught a class I took (and aced) previously and I was not expecting any problems this semester. I was wrong. I have had to tell her about issues every week, and I am afraid that it is reflecting on me. She doesn't seem to take me seriously and my issues are never addressed.
My Collaborating Teacher is young and has not offered much help at all. All of her weekly evaluations say "Great job!" or "Continues to plan well for the content". Yesterday, however, I was blindsided. My C.T. told me during planning that she needs me to stay late in the afternoon (even though I have asked her for her key, and she has declined). She told me that she is busy with her Master's and her Capstone project and that she does not need to plan, I DO. How am I supposed to stay if she arrives at 7:15 and leaves at 3:00? I told her I will definitely need a key to do this and then she said I was being defensive. I have no idea where this came from. When I got home I discovered that she had already emailed my supervisor to come in and "talk to both of us about expectations". I guess this is a good thing since she obviously does not understand the role of a collaborating teacher and my university supervisor has offered no help up until this point.
Yesterday I cried myself to sleep. I am prepared at all times, my lessons have received nothing but accolade. I just don't know how I can take two more months of this. I feel like I'm being torn. I told my fiance I wanted to quit and he is starting to agree. If I am doing the best I can do and it still isn't good enough, what else is left?
I guess these are just birthing pains. I can see the light at the end of the tunnel but I still feel like May will never come. I need to get my mind right and keep my chin up and FINISH. At the same time it is incredibly depressing to be told in seminars and by the principal of the school that there are not jobs in this field and I have to continue working as if I could acquire one.
I feel your pain. I have a beautiful 3.95 GPA in this Masters program, and yet none of my classes in the past 2.5 years have prepared me for this sort of work.
In school it was easy - I attended two or three classes a week, and when the professors wanted to see our demo lessons, they gave us at least two weeks' notice. So to write one lesson plan for a 25 minute lesson, I had two weeks to prepare.
Now, I have 2 days to prepare 15 full-fledged lesson plans, 45 minutes of instruction apiece...
That, along with grading homework, exams, quizzes, essays, and taking care of IEPs, CSE meetings, annual reviews, wife, children... How do real teachers do it? I definitely have a newfound respect for teachers that I never had before!
You seem not to be struggling with lesson plans but dealing with your Cooperating Teacher. Mine, on the other hand, is wonderful, but he's getting angry at me for taking too long to write up a plan.
When this is all over and done, I think I'm going back to lifeguarding. Lesson plans are the bane of my existence. I like to keep my work at the office. Here, it's LESSONPLANLESSONPLANLESSO NPLANLESSONPLANGRADEGRADE GRADEGRADEGRADELESSONPLAN LESSONPLAN... er, you get the idea.
I can't handle this for the rest of my life. Weekends I shut myself in my room and work, and now it's Sunday...errr, Monday.... and I can't even think anymore.
Good luck to you. We'll get through it - you, me and the rest of the student teachers griping about this.
Encouragement I can't offer but I can say that if you keep at it, so will I, and we can definitely forge ahead together.
...we could choose certain ones from from those districts, all of which were high minority and high poverty rates.
Although I can understand your frustration, I can also sense that your attitude going in may not have been as positive as it could be, and it has obviously not gotten any better.
Working at a Title 1 school does not have to be the nightmare you describe. I know plenty of Title 1 schools that are challenging yet very rewarding places to teach. Most of the CTs are very caring and want to share their knowledge with their STs. You may have just been unlucky and found a CT who is burned out, or who sensed that you just didn't want to be there because it wasn't "a school with middle-class students and involved parents."
My advice to you is to accept the fact that most of the available jobs are going to be in low-SES high-minority schools because those are the hardest to fill. Yes, it is much harder to teach in one (I have taught at both ends of the spectrum), and despite what you may have heard in the media, you have to be an outstanding and dedicated teacher to teach in a Title 1 school. It is not for sissies, and the bad ones get weeded out fast.
I found that comment a bit racist.
So what were you teaching in your social studies unit in February? February is Black History month, and it would have been a very good idea to do a unit on Black History. Black History is really part of American History and all children, not just Black children, should be exposed to it.
In my career I have had many STs. Most of them came in enthusiastic and excited to work with the low-SES minority children. If they had any reservations, they did not let on. They worked very hard because that's what I expected from them. They realized that the best training was in the trenches. I always told them that if they could make it in a Title 1 school, they could make anywhere.
Ask yourself why you want to be a teacher. To make a difference? To help children?
Student teaching realities:
1. It's tricky for new teachers to enter an established classroom...so it's OK if you are feeling a little awkward. Just about every teacher I know went through those feelings until each could find their "niche."
2. Sadly, many of my colleagues in the field forget what it was like to jump in and plan, teach, discipline, etc. for the first time. Some feel it is good to have a tough love attitude with their student teachers, but forget that in the classroom lessons are sooo different than college class lessons.
3. Many teachers don't want to the extra work of a student teacher OR do want the student teacher to help them not have to do some daily things. SO try not to take the experience too personally...especially if it is overly negative.
4. Don't feel you have to know all the answers...I taught over thirty years and STILL didn't have every answer or solution. Teaching evolves with the students you have in your care.
5. Administrators...please.. .there is a long list of why some should just never be near emerging teachers.
6. A PP was correct that you need to develop a type of armor when in the field of education. But take heart...it all gets better with time if you stay the course.
Whenever I had student teachers I told them two pieces of advice after the general statement of "always be prepared." My two mantras were given to me by my cooperating teacher back in 1969...yikes...looks crazy in print...
1. Always speak to parents the way you want to be spoken to no matter how tough the news.
2. Always treat the children the way you would want your own children to be treated.
Those two thoughts made my teaching experience extremely successful.
Hang in there...follow your heart...get ready to swallow your pride many a day...but go make a difference! I'll be standing in the wings cheering you on.
I'm so glad I found this post because I have been so unhappy in my student teaching experience! Even though I wanted a high school, my college put me in a middle school for my entire 15 weeks. It has been hell -- not because of the kids, but because of my cooperating teacher. She leaves the room as quickly as she can, as if disgusted by me. At 6am she'll email me and tell me to change my lesson...or 5 minutes before class, she tells me to change my lesson and I feel like a rug is pulled out from beneath my feet.
She rarely smiles, comes in looking pissed off at me, like I hurt her mother or something. I've been a substitute teacher for a few good moths before student teaching, so I feel offended when she jumps into my lesson mid-stream and steals my good ideas. Sometimes, it feels as if she's trying to win the students with my ideas, because she notices they like me.
Where's she's cold, tough, and has a no-nonsense attitude, I'm more compassionate, expressive, and flexible. I try so hard for her to like me, but at this point it makes me angry that she bosses me around so much and changes my lessons at the drop of a hat. I rarely know what I'm doing more than a day in advance. This makes me so angry because she is clearly disorganized! Her desk is a mess, her papers are everywhere, and she acts like she's so much better than me even though she's only 30 and I'm 25. But because she has tenure and I'm just a lowly student teacher, she feels she has the right to do whatever she wants.
I hate my student teaching experience and detest the fact that I have to teach for free, while still having to pay my university to do it. I feel used, abused, and cheated. I'm not learning much because we have to teach to the ELA test and the novel we're teaching is outdated. If I didn't love my experience with the kids, I think I would have quit at day 1.
Get used to doing things for free. As a teacher, you will not just be required to be in the classroom. You'll have to do things like lunch duty, bus duty, committee work, IEPs, etc. None of it will be for extra pay and no one will thank you for it. You'll also have to take classes you don't want. You'll have to teach for the test. You'll have to teach books that are assigned for your grade level. That's how it works.
Your school is charging you to learn from the teachers you're working with. From what you've written, most likely, your cooperating teacher sees you as someone who wants to be friends with the kids, while she has to be "mean" and give them grades.
You may want to be compassionate toward HER and wonder why she's disorganized. Could it be because she's trying to teach 80 kids and you at the same time?
I find that people who don't like student teaching are the same people who never become teachers, or quit after a year or two. If you can't cut it now, you won't be able to cut it when there are 5 administrators breathing down your neck, parents calling and questioning your decisions, and students who will actually want a teacher-- not another best friend.
Most teachers keep their lesson plans and after the first 2 or 3 years, you won't have to do as many. You just have to tweak and update the ones that you have. If they're truly taking that long, find some on the Internet. They're out there and they work just fine.
What about incorporating First Nations into your History lessons or Chinese Americans, or Hispanic? History is important from ALL views not just whichever month it is.
Student teaching IS hard. The way we are expected to teach our students doesn't seem to be the same way mentor teachers (or Universities) are teaching their students. You are not a full fledged teacher yet, that is why it is called student teaching, and as such your MENTORS should be helping you out. I wonder if these 'terror' mentor teachers even act as colleagues to their co-workers or if they create the same non-supporting environment in their work place?
My reply is many months after some of the original ones. How did everything turn out in the end? What are the positives that came out of the negatives?
I completely understand how you feel. For my college, we student teach in two different schools. My first placement was a blessing. My second placement, which I only have 2 weeks left, has made me physically and mentally sick. My CT has stated numerous times they don't know why they took a student teacher and often tells me they are too overwhelmed to talk or plan anything with me or will tell me they had a bad day so I should just leave early.... so, I am sure you can guess how those comments make me feel. My supervisor and last CT thought I did a stellar job. I connected with the CT and we made it work. Now, it's as if my CT doesn't even want me there, which I don't understand because why would you sign up for a student teacher as a mentor if you don't want to help or guide them? I do everything my CT asks and I go beyond and try to help in every way imaginable. My CT is a screamer, I am not. My CT insists I scream at the kids but that is not how I teach and how I want to be. Another teacher in the school told me they enjoyed my teaching and that I had a nice way with the students and that I was soft but firm. So we have a contradiction here.
It gets better. No teaching guides, manuals, or books were given to me to plan. There are no plans. I ask what we are doing this week to co-plan, "I don't know" is usually always the answer. I went into another classroom in the same building, guess what, all books, manuals, plans, etc. All the charts and poems I have been researching and planning were all in the books already that wasn't provided for me. I asked, "no we don't use those" but another teacher down the hall does?
Oh, and the comments in front of me and behind my back to other teachers. And the constant that's great BUT... and the general feeling of not be respected really upsets me. It is a huge mental struggle to get myself up in the morning to drive the 45 minutes to be treated like this all day. My CT also takes days off "just because" and never showed up for the school meetings but made me go and never told me they were not going. It's honestly a nightmare. I am actually home sick now, I called in early this morning when I woke up sick. I don't even know if I am truly sick or drained or over stressed or both.
Im in my last semester at college and am currently student teaching at this huge public high school. It has more students than my college does! My initial complaint was waking up early - as the last time I had to be in school at 8 am was 4 yrs ago. But by sleeping early I could easily remedy that. My CT is nice but even though its been barely a week I can sense a tension developing between us. Its an awkward tension. Because I feel as though she's treating me like an assistant. But I'm not! I taught a lesson on my first day after watching her conduct the lesson twice. And you no what she told me that I talk to much. The students were not talking, so I wanted to stimulate conversation. When a kid chose to participate, I let them without any hesitation. But she interrupted me and didn't let me take control as I wanted. I wanted to run the lesson with the same material but my way. Also I feel as though she thinks that I think that I'm better than her, but I'm not thinking that way at all. There is so much more but the main thing is although I like her as a person, as a CT she is not giving me a chance or space to teach! I am seriously considering a change in placement, which I don't want to do because it feels like I'm quitting but I need to learn!
Oh waking up early - definitely the part of teaching that most disagrees with my natural strengths! Glad it was easy for you to adjust, I oversleep way to often and it stresses me out
On to the "awkward tension," have you tried ignoring it and pretending each day is a new day with your CT? A lot of times the tension that we feel from another person is largely in our own minds. I can see how your CT's actions can make those feelings rise in you, but we have a lot of power over our own perceptions of the world. Instead of looking for more evidence that your CT is terrible, try looking for evidence that your CT is trying. Or even, ignore a lot of evidence and just start with a fresh page every day.
Our brains are wired to look for patterns and warning signals, but we can actively resist lumping these ideas together and forming an opinion.
It is in our own best interest to keep an open mind.
Some of these cooperating teachers sound a bit like bullies so I don't think I'd make generalizations about how "soft" gen y teachers are. I'm a fifty year old student teacher and, yes, I do think that some of the current twenty year olds could be more pulled together but I also see how dog-eat-dog and unpleasant teachers can be. It's the economy and constantly being threatened with loosing jobs.
Right now I have a cooperating teacher who seems very insecure and doesn't want me to do anything.
As a former student teacher, I can identify with all the problems that have already been posted. In my case, I felt that my goals were changing mid-semester. I was no longer there to pursue "my dream of being a teacher," I was just trying to survive the semester and earn my degree. I finally graduated, but could not find a job in education. I now work at a store about 20 minutes from where I live. As bad as I feel not presently teaching, in a way this might be a "blessing in disguise." I don't have the stress that comes from trying to manage 25-30 kids that don't want to learn anything, mounting state regulations, endless paperwork, ect. My evenings and days off are free and I'm enjoying my job and life. Don't get me wrong, I still love kids and would love to work with them. I just don't want to risk my health in an over stressful job. If you are student teaching now, and are (like I was) just tying to survive, my advice is to hang in there, stay strong, and earn your degree. You've worked too hard and spent too much money not to walk out of college with something. Even if you don't teach, you can still use your degree for other (less stressful) occupations. Good luck to all and remember "this too shall pass."
It's been a year since I left ST, and I'm still not over it.
I feel like it will be 20 years later and I still won't be over it!
I absolutely, 100% HATE my CT, and this comes from a person who hates no one, ever.
She complained to my supervisor about trivial things without ever talking to me first! Once I didn't do a lesson bc the student was having issues with a lost assignment, so I allowed her to make up the assignment and do our lesson tomorrow. Another time I prepped a worksheet a few days in advance when everything else was completed weeks ahead; they saw this ONE time and berated me for it when I was always on time and always prepared. My CT would often forget to give me assignments until a few days before, or even the beginning or middle of class. She was so bad, in fact, that she would often "need email reminders" to give me worksheets for the kids. You're a teacher and YOU need reminded?
The expectations between my CT and supervisor were also never clear; he wanted one thing, she wanted another, and since they were buddies, I was always at fault regardless. On the last lesson, he even said, "You'll get a high B or low A," but apparently changed his mind. Worse was the fact that I have a disability and they used this as an excuse to be harder on me, even telling this to my face. While I passed, I shudder to think how I'm going to explain my grade to anyone who asks bc I know they will never believe my story. I tried talking to my supervisor and chair to no avail. They spent the entire time telling me why I was wrong rather than listening to my points. And they knew I was right bc they reverted to ungraded matters like my dress rather than anything of importance during the meeting.
Looking back, I should have appealed to the committee or at least taken a W and redone the course, but I was so overwhelmed I just wanted it to be over with. I awoke walking on eggshells and left sobbing, defending myself in vain.
I often wanted to get on a nearby bus that stopped there and never come back.
I'm sorry for everyone who's had a terrible experience. ST is often a subjective discipline, which is ok when you and your CT get along, but is disastrous when you don't. Student teaching is supposed to be a learning experience, not a tour through hell. Expectations are never clear from the beginning, you pay good money to be berated and torn to shreds, your CT's word is considered God's, and in the end you are stuck with a grade you know isn't reflective of your work. Worse still is the fact that there's nothing you can do, even when you and other witnesses stare directly at injustice. The system is broken, and I'm glad I'm no longer a part of it.