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Student teaching questions


From: Pam (pgstephens_at_TeacherArtExchange)
Date: Sun Sep 19 2004 - 19:36:03 PDT

Dear Fran:

When I was in the elementary art classroom and served as the cooperating
teacher for student teachers, I found the university guidelines to be
exactly as you mention -- sketchy at best. Now that I am on the other side
supervising student teachers as a university prof, I still find the
university's guidelines lacking. This is especially true for student
teachers in the visual and performing arts.

To this end I created a set of learning objectives (with an assessment
rubric) for student teachers. I would be happy to email those to you as an
attachment. Student teachers who have used these guidelines find them to
helpful to determine how well they are performing, to reflect upon their
learning, and to figure out what it is that they still need to accomplish.

As for the nuts and bolts questions you ask, there are no written-in-stone
rules, but I suggest the following:
1. Model some lessons (writing and presenting) as you want your classes
2. Allow your student teacher to write a few lessons with your guidance.
Remember that this a mentorship situation. Handing over your lessons will be
easier, but your student teacher won't learn much.
3. I require my student teachers to start with one or two classes and then
advance into carrying the full load. If the cooperating teacher wishes,
during the last week or so of the student teaching assignments, the student
teacher relinquishes a few classes at a time so that the teacher can ease
back into place.
4. Overload can be a good thing. It's certainly not a consideration after a
person is hired, now is it? Getting a dose of overload is getting a dose of
teaching reality.

From rainy Sedona,

"My mind is clouded by the puma of indifference. Viscous puma, you have made
a colloidal suspension of my head. I'm in a fuzzy neutral. My mind is stuck
in park. I'm in a life-or-death struggle with the puma, hand in paw. There
are no winners here, only the puma and me, tied for second place. But when I
think that all is lost, I unleash the bison of my passion and I send that
puma packing! Get thee hence, slothful puma, bonehead puma of ennui! I curry
favor with the buffalo of my zeal!"
Blue Man Group, c. 1991

>>Do you have your student teacher write their own lessons or do you give
the lessons to teach? I've had one student teacher so far (who did her own
lessons), but someone told me that some teachers give their student teachers
the lesson plans. Also, my student teacher will be with me six weeks and
then at the middle school six weeks. I teach 5-6 classes a day (K-5). How
many classes (different grade levels) should they teach by the end of their
six week? The information from their college is pretty sketchy for split
assignments. I don't want to overload them, but on the other hand, the
management in art classes is so important. Any thoughts on this?<<