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[teacherartexchange] accepting student teachers into the art room...


From: Margaret Angstadt (mangstadt_at_TeacherArtExchange)
Date: Sat Oct 17 2009 - 10:18:52 PDT

Greetings from the Cold Northeast!

Perhaps some of you have a moment to share some insights on this topic...

Our art department is creating a document for presentation to and
discussion with area colleges
regarding our expectations for student teachers, and our expectations those
who are observing classes in preparation for student teaching.
As cooperating teachers we are trying to set reasonable, professional standards
with the understanding that the intern is 'practicing' not necessarily

Of late we seem to experience sadly unprepared interns (some are in
pre- as well as post-baccalaureate programs.) Their coursework --
often unrelated to education and the career they are pursuing -- is
overloading them. Many are also employed which adds to the lack of
time and focus.

Last week an intern left suddenly (before the end of her schedule)
without the courtesy of saying good bye or thank you... by note or
email, if not in person. Fortunately, our current intern (presently
here for 6 weeks of observation) is well suited and prepared for the
profession. (She is a graduate of our own school system).

The majority of student teachers that come to us are - in our
estimation - ill prepared in basics, such as creating a unit plan or a
lesson plan. Developmental psychology courses are lacking. During the
school day often carry on "one-way-conversations" (read: monologue)
focusing on their lack of time or their work load, their job... To
constantly re-direct this type of conversation is tiring. Some
interns believe our art materials are available to them for making
Christmas presents. Several years ago one young woman arrived the
first week -- unplanned pregnancy -- spending more time across the
hall ill, than in class. Her cooperating teacher that insisted that
we encourage her to completion student teaching by overlooking not
only her lack of skills but lack of attendance because she was so
'nice.' We took a four year break after that one... (and, thankfully,
that supervisor was replaced with a new one who came knocking at our
door yesterday.)

Welcoming student teachers is a lot of work for no pay. It is,
however, a professional responsibility I take seriously. So I'm
trying to be more >>pro-active<< in setting standards and
>>communicating these standards<< to the art ed programs (faculty
directors and students) in the area.

Any and all insights and suggestions we could add to our "list" would
be appreciated.


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