Student Teaching Components
Much of the first week of student teaching will be spent in observation of the classroom environment, instructional techniques, and interpersonal communication and relationships. As you observe, it will be helpful to take reflective notes for the purpose of asking questions of your cooperating teacher regarding reasons for her/his interactions and instructional methods. Frequently asking questions of “why” and “how” will provide you with a knowledge base for choosing your own methods for instruction and management. During this period of time, it is also helpful to make and fill in seating charts to quickly learn the names of the students.
After a short period of observation time, you will be ready to become more involved with the students. The cooperating teacher may give you certain tasks that will make you more involved in the class. For example:
- Monitor student work at their desks to give one-on-one assistance.
- Distribute papers or materials.
- Grade papers.
- Check attendance.
- Assist students with make-up work/tutorials.
Please let the cooperating teacher know when you are ready to become more involved. Demonstrate enthusiasm and initiative. The cooperating teacher may be reluctant to “push” you. At the same time, be sensitive to your cooperating teacher and do not attempt to “take over” the class too quickly.
To initiate your teaching experience in the class, you may begin by co-planning and co-teaching a selected lesson. This may be done in any number of ways. For example:
- Divide the class into two groups with each of you taking a group for instruction.
- Divide the instructional time—one person does the introduction and presentation of skills, while the other person carries out the independent practice and evaluation segments of the lesson.
- One person may present the lesson content while the other one supervises the cooperative group work.
Teaming allows the student teacher to gain some initial experience in front of the class with support from the cooperating teacher. It also allows the students to observe the cooperative relationship of the student teacher and cooperating teacher.
After having observed the cooperating teacher model the preparation for and teaching of lesson plans, the student teacher will be able to assume some responsibility for planning and teaching. The student teacher’s lesson plan will be written and submitted to the cooperating teacher two days prior to teaching it in order to gain constructive feedback for revisions and ultimate success. The lesson plan will be based upon Best Practices and presented to the field supervisor each time she/he comes for evaluation. The student teacher will be required to submit copies of these lesson plans to the Director of Field Experiences. Please note that Best Practices will be discussed during Professional Seminar.
The purpose of this lesson plan is: (a) to assist you in organizing your thinking processes while designing an effective lesson; (b) provide a tool for communicating your plans to the cooperating teacher and the field supervisor; and (c) to give you confidence as you teach a lesson in a sequential manner. This process will accelerate throughout the first five weeks until the you have had experience in creating and teaching multiple lesson plans in all subject areas and periods of the school day.
Student teachers are encouraged to reflect in writing upon the success of the lesson. This reflection should include ideas for changes in the future instruction and classroom management, reasons lesson was/was not successful, etc.
A gradual building of teaching responsibility leads to the full responsibility experience. This means that for ten consecutive days for a single placement and two-five consecutive days for a dual placement, the student teacher has the full responsibility of planning and teaching the whole school day as if s/he were the regular classroom teacher. All other responsibilities that the teacher has during this time will also be assumed by the student teacher.
For dual placements, there are two periods of full responsibility during the semester, usually during 5-6 weeks and during the 11-12 weeks. These times may be flexible to meet individual classroom needs.
Unless there are extreme circumstances, no placement arrangements can be changed during the student teaching semester without the knowledge of the Director of Field Experiences. Student teachers are required to fulfill the teaching assignments at the assigned placement(s).
Weekly Student Teaching Schedule
Submit a weekly student teaching schedule to your field supervisor. This assists the field supervisor in scheduling her/his visits for observation. Be sure to exchange email addresses with your field supervisor. This is an excellent way to communicate with one another.
The Director of Field Experiences and/or the student teaching course professor will plan and conduct seminars throughout the student teaching semester. These seminars will occur on designated dates throughout the semester. Student teachers are expected to attend all seminars. The purpose of these seminars is to provide guidance, information, instruction, discussion, encouragement, and support during the student teaching semester. If you are ill and unable to attend, please notify the Director of Field Experiences or the student teaching course professor prior to the seminar date. Points will be deducted from the final seminar grade if a doctor’s note is not provided. A student must make up the missed seminar by attending a Professional Development Workshop or something similar in nature. These will be arranged by the student teacher. Seminar days are not counted in the required 13 weeks or 66 days of student teaching.
A Career Fair is held each semester. School districts throughout the region display booths of information about their districts and any potential jobs. All student teachers are required to attend this event. Professional attire is mandatory. It is advisable to bring copies of your resume to hand out to school districts in which you are interested.
In addition, an informational seminar on the topic of interviewing skills will be provided. A staff member from UHV’s Career Development Center who has up-to-date information on the process of applying and interviewing for a job conducts this seminar.
Contact the Director of Field Experiences and/or the student teaching course professor for suggestions on how to plan your Student Teaching Experience.