Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Three things having a student teacher taught me

Hey friends!

It's Erin from Learning to be Awesome here!  I'm going to share with you some things that I learnt about myself and my teaching after having a student teacher last year!

My student teacher was awesome.  Her enthusiasm and drive were so motivating - especially on those days when I was feeling not the best.  Great news too - she landed her first teaching job after only two interviews!  Read on to hear the three things that having her in my room for two months taught me!

Having a student teacher taught me to be flexible.  
As teachers we are flexible by nature.  It goes with the territory.  But the kind of flexibility I'm talking about is different.  I'm talking about being flexible in how my class looked!  In how it sounded, and how the programme ran.  There is so much you can learn when someone is able to experiment with your space - knowing that there is someone there to catch them if they fall.  
For the first 3 weeks life in my class was very much "Monkey See-Monkey Do" but once I gave the reigns over to her - WOW did I see her flourish.  And the kids were so engaged.  They asked about "Miss S" right up to the last day of school.

Having a student teacher taught me to be reflective.  
Again - it's the nature of the job!  We are constantly reflecting on our programmes and modifying to suit.  I was forced to REALLY examine WHY I do things the way I do when she was in my room. When you have to explain WHY you have silent reading after break time, it makes to contemplate whether changes need to be made.

Having a student teacher taught me to have clarity.  
Once you have to explain things to a student teacher to help them with their teaching, it really helps the students in your class!  They are more clear on the learning because you have had to be clear with your student teacher.  One way to have clarity in your teaching is to develop shared success criteria with your students.  
This really is a universal thing too.  For Example: if you are teaching students to add two fractions together, one sure fire way to be sure your students understand is to get them to develop criteria that they can refer to when checking for understanding.  This criteria could be steps they go through (great in maths and science), or more liberal such as a list of things a poster presentation must include (more suited to social studies and ELA).

Have you had a student teacher before?  What are some of the things they have taught you?

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