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Things to Remember
Submitted by: todlyn
Originally posted at the A to Z Teacher Stuff Discussion Forums

Having been on both ends of the experience I can't say enough about how important your role will be in shaping this new teacher. ** My own student teaching experience was lack-luster. My cooperating teacher thought of me as her ticket out of the classroom. I saw her in the morning, and then she was gone for hours. She gave me very little feed back. In fact, the two major things I garnered from the experience were that I was truly unprepared for the task I had undertaken, and, secondly, I did not know what to do about it. The only word of advice I remember her giving me was that I needed to improve my handwriting. Like that was going to radically improve my teaching! ** As I have continued in teaching, I have also had the chance to serve as a cooperating teacher. From these experiences I would recommend that you: 1) provide an open environment in which your student is able to make mistakes without fear of judgement. ** 2. guide them gently into more effective practices when mistakes are made. ** 3. monitor and make notes on anything that you think you and your student need to discuss regarding their teaching during your planning period or at the end of the day. Make sure you include lots of positive feedback, too. We all need encouragement. ** 4. never assume that your student knows anything, that includes the CONTENT they are going to teach. (I have just jumped up to fifth grade and am going through a re-education of sorts. Can you believe that some statistics professor forgot to inform me of Pascal's triangle, or better yet that I am teaching it to 10 year-olds!) ** 5. teach your student how to incorporate the standards used in your state if applicable. ** 6. require them to do their own classroom and behavior management. ** 7. provide any pointers for managing those mountains of paper we all know and love. Include information on grading, filing, and parent communications. ** 8. stress the importance of parent involvement and community relations, such as weekly class newsletters, class webpages, etc, ** 9. have a work area set up for your student that includes the office basics such as note pads, stapler, WhiteOut, etc. ** 10. don't walk out and leave him/her. I know you won't do this, or you would not have bother posting this message in the first place. Be sure to provide emotional support as well as a presence in the classroom, too.



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