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Hi Brad, I really enjoyed reading this. I am coming to the end of my student teaching and am looking at some of the data that has been collected and am trying to figure out if my work has made a difference. I can see the numbers on the sheet - but the students progress is much more than that. I can see how the student has become more confident with their multiplication tables. I have watched one of the students get excited about how their reading has transformed. I get to see all of these new and exciting things everyday, and yet, I am scared that I am not collecting enough data in order to show others the progress that the students are making. At least I know for sure (whether the test scores say it or not!) that they are making progress. And I have done the best I can to help them. Thank you, Amelia Matthews
Hi Lisa, I loved reading this article about teaching the larger lessons while in the classroom. I am currently student teaching in a middle school (an age where I think lying blossoms). I have been lied to quite a few times. Whether it was that a student finished an assignment, the student didn't steal, or that the student didn't hit the other student. I really do try and have faith that the student isn't lying to me and that they really did finish the assignment and yet, I am beginning to develop a problem with believing my students. Every time a student tells me something that I don't believe is true I check with another teacher (usually the other teacher is involved). I get feedback and learn their thoughts. I think a big problem I have developed with this is how I react to it. There wasn't a class on this! I am not quite sure how to ever go about lying. This may have part to do that I am student teaching and will have a different set up - but I think it is a strong concern for me to have. I think that I need to take on a larger role and confront the student earlier on in the interaction/situation so that it doesn't blow up to much. Please let me know what you do and what happens! Thank you, Amelia
Hi Rob, I really enjoyed reading this article. I am currently student teaching in a classroom uses a lot of small group work - which I love! I think that being able to work with students in a small group setting helps the students to stay on task better and I am able to do a much better job at assisting them with what they need help on. I really like your idea about praising the effort and not the answer. I am currently working with students on multiplication and can see how frustrated they get when they get a wrong answer. However, the students have come so far (we've mastered the 3's, 4's, and 6's in a matter of weeks). This article was a great reminder to continue to praise the students effort and not just their test scores! Thank you, Amelia
Hi Jennifer, This was a wonderful article to read. I am currently student teaching right now, and after school today I found out that we are getting another student! One that had a lot of behavior needs that we will need to meet. I was just starting to fall into a "groove" and get a handle on student teaching... so maybe this is a blessing in disguise. However, right now, I am definitely scared out of my mind! :/ It was good to read this though about how your new student shook things up for you and your classroom and how you saw how well your students were working together. That is my biggest hope right now. I guess I shouldn't feel too scared, but it is definitely new to me. I am lucky that I am working with a teacher that has a lot of experience with behaviors students. Thanks for posting! -Amelia
I really loved reading this article. Right now, I am about halfway finished with the first part of my student teaching experience in special education. I found last week and the start of this week to be very difficult. And I couldn't quite put my finger on why. Then, a few days ago I applied to join Teach for America. While applying you have to fill out a questionnaire. A lot involving teaching. One of the key points of me that brought me into teaching is that I believe that everyone can learn - and everyone should learn. I believe that teachers shouldn't be the first to give up on a learning situation with a student. Looking back on this time, I had to remember not to give up what I believe in and what first attracted me to teaching. After a few harder weeks with hard incidents, my time spent reflecting on my philosophy of education really pushed me to model what I believe in.
Hi Rob, I absolutely loved reading this article. I am currently student teaching and we do a ton of reflecting! And up until now, I always thought that it was a lot of work. But now, I see how much all the reflecting really helps me to improve upon my teaching. I love the goals that you set for yourself. I set goals for myself while student teaching. Those goals included staying professional, keeping an open communication with students, and have more work for the students to due during some of the class periods. I realized how important it was for me to make these goals because it really helped set myself up for success. I also fall back on my goals to remind myself what I am working for and different ways to succeed. Thank you, Amelia
Hi Rob, I really enjoyed reading this article. I think that being able to create a safe space for students is really key in aiding their learning. I loved reading about the ideas you have on how to create a safe space in a classroom. Currently, I am student teaching in a middle school special education placement. Various students come in and out of the classroom all day for different periods. I have made it a goal that for every period I great each and every student in the class as they walk in the door or as I see them. I think that having a person greet you by your first name shows that person cares for you (that comes from my personal experience and bias). I have worked as a leader in various situations before and I have noticed how much of a difference is made when I sit down on the same level as the people I am working with. A change really does occur in the power level. I think that being able to implement something in the classroom won't be all that difficult to do and will be something worthwhile to incorporate. In regards to getting to know your kids, I think that is such a key point in successful teaching. This past week, I had a student ask me why I cared so much about him getting his work done and passing. I have known him for 2 weeks, so I get why he didn't understand why I cared to much. I kneeled down beside him and told him that while I hadn't known him for very long it didn't matter because I saw the potential in him and saw how smart he is. This student has truly gained a place in my heart in the short amount of time and I want nothing more than to help him while I am teaching in his classroom. I plan on watching the Ted Talk. Thank you for posting this!
I really like how you put this. I agree that getting to know your students from a clean slate is very important. Personally though, I can see both sides. I think that it is very important to give your students an opportunity to let them show you who they are beyond the paperwork. But I also think it is important to look through the paperwork and note anything that you might need to work with. I am currently student teaching and in order to get started quickly I have been asking for basic information on students so I can best provide for them. Name, grade, disability, academic levels, and more. I have been there a week and have found that even through the "facts" I see the students as much more than that. Because they are much more than anything that is written on paper or anything that has been told to me. IE - I was told that the student who has a rough home life has trouble connecting with people and getting motivated to work. AND YET, after one week I have already established a good rapport with him and he and I work well together. I think that the most important thing is to take any information about the students with a grain of salt. I will be different than any of the other teachers they have had before because I am me. So giving them an equal opportunity to show me their personality is key to being able to provide for them successfully.
Amelia is now following The Typepad Team
Jan 9, 2014