Tuesday, April 8, 2008

the trials of a student teacher

Oooh I have had a few interesting days. My student teacher started yesterday. I think he might finish today! It is quite an interesting process that I have been through with him in the last TWO days.

Yesterday he came in all smiles, everything sounded good, he was wanting to do what he could to work with the classes and I was given the responsibility of looking after him. This is his first round EVER and generally it is quite overwhelming to say the least. The concept of preparing interesting, well-thought out classes and taking control of a group of students who are not yours is a challenge to say the least. I have tried to help him make some decisions with what he is going to do and even set him up to see a couple of very young male teachers to watch so that he could see good practice. This is all part of what I understand to be my role as the supervising teacher.

Today I overheard him tell another student teacher that I am babysitting him! He didn't realise that I was in the room at the time that he said it. I pretended I didn't hear what he was saying but it did affect both him and I. I backed right off. He started treating me with kid gloves. I didn't broach this subject with him all day. I spoke to the other person that I am sharing the student teacher with and said that he would need to talk to him as I was not ready to deal with him just yet.

I overheard part of the conversation - my partner in this basically TOLD him what he expected from him: dress (no jeans), preparation for classes needed to be done by Friday and that we would not put him in front of the classroom until that was done and finally that a timetable for observation needed to be organised by the end of today. By the end of the time the spoke my partner told me he thought the student teacher was coming across as quite arrogant.

I ignored him for most of the day - he obviously doesn't really want my help and I have plenty to do without him. (I know it was not the most professional thing to do but he made me very cross and I had to get on with my job.)

Today was a crazy day - my normal teaching load, choir and parent-teacher interviews at the end of the day. On top of this I have a huge pile of correction to do and then a student teacher who is trying my patience.

After I took choir I had my final class for the day and my student teacher watched me deliver the class. He had seen me teach the same class to another group of kids earlier in the day so his job was to observe how things change with a different group of students. We were discussing what was the difference between the classes and he dropped the line "you are an awesome teacher but I am not sure that I want to be here." So I unpacked this statement - was it the school or teaching in general? He thinks that it is teaching in general. He stated that he will "talk to his counsellors" from the uni and let me know tomorrow.

Whatever he decides I will discuss the comment and that he needs to own it and that he also needs to think through what he expects from others who are paid to 'look after' his interests etc.


Frogdancer said...

Maybe this year's student teachers are destined to be crap???

Vanessa said...

WOW! He sounds like he has some serious growing up to do. He also strikes me as the type who has had everything handed to him by mommie and daddie with very little effort on his part. Good luck with this one and keep us posted.

scottsabode said...

What do you think he meant by "babysitting"? That you weren't giving him enough space? I'm also interested to find out who your supervising partner is! BTW I have a student teacher coming in late April, so I hope it's not another dud!