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HappyHiker HappyHiker is offline
 
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What they're teaching student teachers.
Old 03-25-2008, 05:22 PM
 
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Apparently, colleges are training student teachers to believe that the real reason they need to do student teaching is so they can retrain those teachers who have been out there teaching for a while. Apparently, all of our techniques are stale and we are in need of fresh ones. We all use too many of those pesky books. Oh, and we've "taught to the test" so much that we have forgotten how to really teach. That's pretty much what my student teacher believes, and from what I gathered today, she learned this from her advisor. She (advisor) pranced into my room as if she owned the place today. I liked her the first time I met her. She was kind of arrogant today. And what do people have against books these days? Don't you think that if books were so bad for kids that the first thing school systems would cut would be text book purchases? Those things aren't cheap!!!

Keep in mind, that I e-mailed this advisor a couple of times during the past week to tell her of the chaos that took place in my classroom when my student teacher decided to try to undo everything I had done in the way of management all year long and started inventing her own way of doing EVERYTHING. I think I wrote in a post before that I expected her to have them walk to lunch on their hands instead of their feet just to be doing something a new way. I told the advisor in an e-mail last Thursday that I wasn't sure yet if this lady just needed very specific detailed instructions or if she was just intent on hacking her own path through the forest while the bears chase her. Well, apparently, the advisor provided the machete and wished her luck on her adventure!

It only took about three minutes of talking to both these ladies together to figure out that they were on the same page on all this making sure that everything you do in the classroom is "fun" for the students. Yuck!! I hate that way of thinking. I'm all for fun, but at some point you have to train them to take the dammmmm test. I'm sorry, but they have to know how it feels to sit in a desk and be bored. I can't let her have them roll around in the floor, yelling and screaming for three weeks, and then walk in one morning and say, "Okay, get in your seats. We have a few hours of testing to do, and don't forget, you can't get up, talk, go to the bathroom, throw anything away, or ask for help on the work. Good luck!" It's my a$$ on the line. Neither one of these ladies have a stake in my test scores. There won't be a note attached to my test scores that says, ".....
but she had a student teacher who was really bad."

She was late to breakfast duty. She tried to convince me for the third time today that she was only supposed to teach for one week and was to do NOTHING the entire last week. How ridiculous!!! I wish I was doing student teaching these days if that's all you have to do. I worked my rump off when I was a student teacher. She's going to get a week off for spring break, a week off for TCAP, and then a week of nothing at the end? She's only in my room for seven weeks. Besides, she missed four of the first eight days. She has lied to me several times. I suspected she was lying about this too. That's why while student teacher was still in the room, I said to the advisor, "Now, she tells me she only has to teach ONE full week and does nothing that last week?" She said, "No, she has to teach AT LEAST one full week." Then I said, "Oh, so I can have her teach that whole last week also if I wanted her to?" She said, "Yes, if you want her to."

Her advisor didn't ask me about her promptness or work ethic, however. And, of course, her lesson was nearly perfect according to what she said her advisor scored her (99.5). I would love to know if that is true. I'm thinking three 30 minute evaluations in seven weeks by the advisor is not enough to truly make an accurate evaluation, and I'm beginning to think the college doesn't give two $h*t$ about my opinion. I'm with her all day long. Why doesn't the advisor seek out my thoughts and opinions? I'm a trained and experienced educator. What little bit I've shared with her I've had to force on her.

On a good note, she did go to recess with us today.



Last edited by HappyHiker; 03-25-2008 at 05:35 PM..
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laugh
Old 03-25-2008, 05:29 PM
 
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I had to laugh about your post. Go ahead and vent! It's the best thing to do in this situation. Sooner or later, your ST will need a reference letter from you. And when she gets a REAL teaching position, she is going to find out how fast she will become "stale" too.
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Old 03-25-2008, 05:43 PM
 
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Wow!!! I better get a student teacher and quick!!! No, I think I'll pass!!! Hang in there!!!
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Old 03-25-2008, 05:43 PM
 
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Makes me think of our students' parents defending their kids misbehavior/bad judgement. The advisor is in denial that any ST trained at their institution could have these issues. Hang in there!
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I should stop reading your posts....
Old 03-25-2008, 05:50 PM
 
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I just feel myself getting angrier and angrier at this ST (and now her supervisor too!) Is there anyway you can "quit" and just have her find another placement? I feel so bad for you and even worse for the kids! What does your principal say?


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happy hiker...
Old 03-25-2008, 05:50 PM
 
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I will have to say that you are correct about some of the attitudes in some colleges of education these days. My own university wasn't *explicit* with that message, but there was definitely a message that we were to take all our modern teaching methodologies out into the "real world." By the same token, we were also advised that there was much to be learned from veteran teachers--your ST doesn't seem to get that part!

As for the advisor, well, I think they're under a lot of pressure to graduate teachers (graduate students, period). I think my own university let several folks through while I was there who probably shouldn't be in a classroom without a lot of mentoring/support. I know that I agonized over observations (still do) and usually received ridiculously high scores.

The funny part about real world vs. methodology is that when we were prepping for Praxis II, the workshop coach made sure that we knew to answer the questions based on what the book says to do (methodology) and not what we would really do in the situation. I guess teaching to the test has some value after all!

Sadly, this ST is going to breeze through the end of her program and get her degree. I'm curious about her ability to pass Praxis II (or whatever her test is for certification). I hope she invites you to her classroom when she gets one--on second thought, maybe not!
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Failed test at least once.
Old 03-25-2008, 06:16 PM
 
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JulieG04. I know she was taking her test again a couple of Saturdays ago. I can't remember if she said she was taking it for the second time or if she said she had failed it for the second time already. She should receive her test scores before she finishes in my room.

She has only spoken to my students on four different days so far. Each day she has managed to fit into the lesson or speech something about her former job as a secretary at some fancy smancy office that she is apparently really impressed by. I'm sick of hearing about it already. Good grief! She is truly impressed with herself.
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Old 03-25-2008, 06:21 PM
 
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Yikes! I agreed to have a ST in the fall. I hope I didn't just make a huge mistake!
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So, I was wondering
Old 03-25-2008, 06:36 PM
 
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So I was wondering.

Just how long does it take for a teacher to get stale? Is it 1 year? 5? 10?

How long have you been teaching happyhiker? Have you got a "best before date" now?

I am a little worried. I have probably gone beyond "stale" based on my 30+ years. Guess I will break the news to the teachers I am mentoring that I am actually "stale"

Wonder how we "stale" folks can explain our addiction to professional development and keeping current as evidenced by the daily PD sessions here on Proteacher.

Keep posting happyhiker. I am giving your ST story a new genre ---- truth is stranger than fiction.

Good luck
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Old 03-25-2008, 06:47 PM
 
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I'm sorry that this has been such a negative experience for you! Just keep thinking about the evaluation that you'll have to do at the end of her placement and a letter of recommendation..You'll definitely have your say then!!!

On another note, if you don't already, when you email the advisor, you should cc it to your principal. Get your principal more involved in this...Have your principal come and observe the ST and maybe your principal should talk to the advisor!


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Wow
Old 03-25-2008, 06:51 PM
 
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When I student taught I followed the schedule of the school I was at. Even when the college had spring break, I didn't, I had to be at my placement. When my placement had spring break, that is when I got mine.
Another thought is that when she gets her own classroom (if ever) she is going to be in for a rude awakening when she has to be there on time and everyday and make all the lesson plans and be the one that "entertains" all the little darlings all day. I'd like to see her kids test scores in the future!
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What if...
Old 03-25-2008, 06:58 PM
 
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Your prince observes ST for a lesson and then conferences with her. Wonder how she would react to the "How do you think that went" Speech.

I have only been out of school for 4 years. I can't imagine behaving the way your ST is behaving. We would have been escorted out of the building. Do not pass go, do not collect $200. And, we would have had to repeat ST.

Can't wait til she falls on her face. (That's not nice of me is it?)
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Old 03-25-2008, 07:23 PM
 
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Do you have a final evaluation of w/ a comment section????? I think some very explicit "constructive criticism" is definately called for. I agree w/the other poster who said that she will need a reference from you at some point. Unfortunately, I do see some desparate school system falling for her bull sh*% & hiring her. Then it will be the children who woll suffer because they won't have a responsible grownup to look out for them.
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Old 03-25-2008, 07:32 PM
 
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I am a student teacher, and have been surprised at the stories I have heard on PT. I think that the cases on here are the exception. From my standpoint, I am student teaching so I can learn from the expert (current teachers). Student teaching has given me many real life experiences I would have never otherwise encountered. I feel more confident about having my own classroom because of it. I am sorry about the experiences you and others have encountered. I hope that the system filters those people out, because the last thing we need are teachers unwilling to learn from others, let alone others who are already teaching. There are new methods, but these methods stem from older practices that have been used in the classroom for a while. Good luck and vent away!
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Old 03-25-2008, 07:35 PM
 
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Boy, this lady has some nerve. Someone will bring her down a notch or two when she gets in the classroom ( if she even gets a job). We were taught to respect the MT as they had much to offer and share with us. It does upset that any college would put the mindset that experienced teachers are stale. What do they know? In my district many teachers , spend hours and hours researching best practices and going to conferences.

Good luck this week. Keep in mind, it will be over before you know it.
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Old 03-25-2008, 09:26 PM
 
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Like a previous poster, I should really stop reading your posts, because they seriously make me wonder what kind of teacher this woman thinks she is. Not one who would pass her student teaching here, that's for sure.

I would follow the advice of another previous poster and have your Principal observe your student teacher. I would then have your Principal write a brief evaluation based on what they saw and add it to your final report to be sent to the university (or whereever it ends up going). Is it possible to have other teachers in your grade level (or other levels) observe her as well, and provide their comments and feedback to her? Perhaps she thinks that it's just you who sees her 'as she really is' (not really meant to be teaching). Perhaps she will get a bigger wake up call when/if your Principal and other colleagues observe her.

Also, is it possible to go over the adviosr's head - to the coordinator of student teaching, perhaps, to discuss your concerns about your student teacher?
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Old 03-26-2008, 03:27 AM
 
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I don't understand how some ST can act the way they do. When I was a ST, I would never have behaved that way. I also had a year long ST experience and 3 weeks of teaching on my own because my cooperating teacher was out for surgery. It was a great experience and I would never try to take over. It was her room and I was learning. I wonder if you can let the principal know that you want her removed from your room.
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Old 03-26-2008, 05:09 AM
 
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I can't believe that the supervisor is on board with the whole "fun" concept of teaching. It goes to prove that some college professionals are out of touch with what goes on in the classroom, just like some administrators.

I would bring these concerns to your principal immediately. Can he ask to have her removed from your school? You are going to have a tough time with testing if they are free to roam about the room for the next 3 weeks. I hate testing, but it is a reality. Yeah, teaching to the test has become a way of life, to a degree, for all teachers. How can it not be? We do interim testing throughout the year to see where the little darlings are so we can fine tune our lessons to meet their needs. That's what it's all about. Yes, fun can be thrown in there, but not constantly!

Hang in there!!! Keep venting away!
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Student Teacher
Old 03-26-2008, 06:03 AM
 
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During my many years of teaching, I have had many student teachers. The first student teacher I had came in with the same attitude as your student teacher. It was an awful experience for me and took me a very long time to take on another student teacher. I learned a great deal from that experience.

I believe it is our job to give back to our profession. One way to give back is through taking on student teachers. So I jumped back in and took on other student teachers. Two of them have been amazing...truly naturals at the job. A few would eventually become good teachers. And a few will never be good teachers. You can see it from their attitude. That is very sad for the students they may have in the future.

KatieTeaches Your attitude is great! You will be a wonderful teacher because you are willing to learn. After 20 years of teaching, I am still learning...daily. Good luck to you in your search for a teaching job.

HappyHiker As past posters have stated, you will be the one to give that final evaluation and you will be the one they call when a recommendation is needed. All I can say is be honest. Don't be afraid to tell the truth about this student teacher. Good luck...I hope she gets better and the experience becomes better for you.
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Unfortunately
Old 03-26-2008, 06:35 AM
 
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universities today are teaching new teachers idealistic ways of handling and managing their classrooms. I just graduated in December. I'm long term subbing right now until the end of the year and I have a job lined up for next fall. I went to a really great University with a top notch education department. We were definitely taught idealistic methods...ways of handling and not handling students...ways to teach lessons...things to do and NEVER to do that we often saw in our practicums and student teaching.

Throughout my years in school I made a point to listen to my professors' advise, but I always listened to my mentor teachers as well because they had the in class experience. My professors had a more ideal look on things. Anyway, I always made sure I was taking in ideas from both sides...so I feel I kept it well balanced and not just in the ideal; however, there were other classmates of mine that COMPLETELY bought into the "new age" way of doing EVERYTHING.

I feel for you and I feel for your ST. I student taught in 4 different classrooms at 4 different grade levels and I always made sure to be on great terms with my mentors. All you can do is hang in there. She'll be the one that is sorry when (and if) she gets her own classroom and learns how things REALLY work. She'll be wishing she shared in your wisdom a little more! Hang in there!

PS--If any of you "stale" teachers on here want to give ME advice I'm MORE than willing to take it! I'll be a first year teacher in a 5th grade next year! Excited but nervous!
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Old 03-26-2008, 07:08 AM
 
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i had the same thought mshelbyk did--have your principal observe, do an "informal" evaluation, and write something up to share with advisor---or even be in on a meeting.

how old is this advisor? she sounds young. (as if college teachers new anything about teaching children!)
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Old 03-26-2008, 07:34 AM
 
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Happyhiker- I'm sorry about the frustrating situation that this ST has caused. I read your posts and a feeling of familarity creeps over me. I had a similar experience last year. However, when I emailed her advisor almost daily, I didn't get a response. I left messages at her college- nothing. It wasn't until I called her at home that she finally came out. She thought I was expecting too much of the ST- for example, she said this after I asked the ST what the objective of the lesson was. Hello- read what you wrote on your formal lesson plan! Anyway- all this to say I went through the process of not passing her which is, in my opinion harder than passing a ST on their classroom experience. It is hard to remain positive during the whole thing.

I agree with KatieTeaches that not all student teachers are like the few that leave a sour taste in our mouths. What many people have told me and I will pass on to you is don't let one sour experience affect letting another future teacher into your room to learn from you. With that being said, I declined having a student teacher this year and also for the fall. But, at this point, I don't think I want one every year. I think that it is part of the job- training the next generation of teachers, but for now, every few years seems fine!
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Old 03-26-2008, 09:09 AM
 
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I don't know about anyone else in my position but as a 2nd year teacher I am more than happy to receive advice from any "stale teacher". I can't imagine acting like your ST. I worked my buns off during my student teaching. I never did anything without first talking to my cooperating teacher. I did pretty much anything they told me to do. I really payed attention to how they interacted with the students and I still to this day use some of the methods they taught me. I am very thankful that I had an awesome student teaching semester.
Good luck with your stinky ST!!
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Old 03-26-2008, 09:13 AM
 
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I disagree that colleges are thinking ST's can "retrain" current teachers. That's a rather blanket statement. Unfortunately, we tend to hear the horror stories of a few ST's and not enough about the great ones out there. I think both ST's and veteran teachers can learn from each other.
It's unfortunate you are having a bad situation, and it appears you now have lost any positive attitude toward her. I would think you would be able to view the evaluation results given by her supervisor. You could certainly ask. Ultimately, the students are the ones who suffer most, and they can definitely pick up on "bad vibes" between adults as well. Teaching styles have definitely changed over the years. Granted, it does not sound like you have "one of the best", but no one will ever be just like us in the way we do things or what we expect.
This is just my opinion, of course, but if the experience is bad enough and you aren't happy with how new teachers are coming out of colleges near you, then perhaps not having a ST again would save you all this frustration and being upset.
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Old 03-26-2008, 01:52 PM
 
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You poor thing. If the opportunity exists, fail her and everyone a favor. She will do no credit to the profession.

Here's what I have found working as a teaching assistant at a university:

1. All education majors get As...regardless of their ability. (May explain your 99.5%)
2. We let EVERYONE into education regardless of scholastic aptitude. I once had one of my field students say, "How could my co-op expect me to tutor on the spot? I don't remember long division!"
3. Education is a cash cow industry for many universities. The more students they can get in the major, the more money the college makes.
4. Many students do not know what else to do with themselves so they figure they'll become teachers.
5. MANY faculty are just out to forward their own agendas and could care less about the types of teachers they are producing.
6. Our students take the Praxis II multiple times. One girl just passed it after her 14th time taking it and another girl is on her ninth and still hasn't passed at our university.
7. Many students do not read the text, complete assignments correctly, or turn things in on time. From my observation, exceptions are granted.

It's a shame that many university faculty really don't care about education. Unless there are higher standards for student teachers and educators in general, we are going to keep creating problems for generations to come. Hang in there, HappyHiker. I hope common sense prevails.
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Old 03-26-2008, 03:14 PM
 
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I think the thing that gets me the most is this-The people who are graduating now with a teaching certificate are considered "Highly Qualified" while vetern teachers had to take more tests or more classes to maintain the certificates they received when they graduated as well as the ability to continue teaching classes and subjects they have taught for years. At least this was the case in my state thanks to NCLB.
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Old 03-26-2008, 04:09 PM
 
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YES!!!! That really chaps me. This gal says (could be lying) she has been told that because of her 25 years of previous work experience as a secretary she will be qualified to teach five or six different "business" subjects at the high school level. Now think about that. What about the "business" teacher who has been teaching the "business" classes for 25 years? How could that person NOT be highly qualified? RIDICULOUS!!!!!!!
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Old 03-27-2008, 08:02 AM
 
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we have such poorly educated teachers is because we continue to award education degrees (not my state, though). Teachers need to major in a discipline. You need to have mastered something. You may teach all subjects, but you should have majored in one of them. It's the jack-of-all-trades, master-of-none thing that's hurting us. Education should not be a degree.
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Old 03-30-2008, 02:30 PM
 
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I don't know at what university you were a teaching assistant, but the university I attended had very strict guidelines for the school of education. You had to have a C average to enter the program. There were students that I knew of that could not get their grade point average high enough to enter the program. I know, a C average is not that high, but at least they stuck to it. I also knew students who were dropped from the program because of poor grades or poor attendance. There were no automatic A's in education classes.
I'm sure that there are some universities that operate the way you have described, but not all of them do. There are some very fine teacher education programs out there. It's important that education majors find them so they can be the best teachers they can be.
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