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Have a successful observation with these 3 tips from a Student Teacher Supervisor

Updated: Mar 13

Please don't give your student teachers poor unfortunate soul vibes when you observe them. The experience of being a student-teacher can be exciting and challenging at the same time. This is where student-teacher supervisors play a crucial role in supporting and guiding student-teachers.

John Shenberry shares his tips and strategies for new and student teachers regarding supervision as a college and student-teacher supervisor through Brooklyn College.

One of the most critical aspects of student-teacher supervision is setting the teacher up for success. This means ensuring that when supervisors come in for observation, the lesson is high-quality and meets certain criteria. Shenberry recommends that student-teachers focus on four key parts of a lesson: flow, differentiation, student readiness, and engagement. It is crucial to ensure a flow to the lesson and that the teacher considers differentiation for students with diverse learning needs. Additionally, student-teachers should ensure that students are ready for the lesson and that there is engagement. Lastly, supervisors will look for classroom management, a critical aspect of effective teaching.

One of my favorite tips for student-teacher supervision is to provide frequent and constructive feedback. This can be done through regular meetings or conferences, where the supervisor can discuss the student teacher's strengths and areas for improvement. In addition, supervisors should encourage student-teachers to reflect on their teaching practice. Reflection can help student-teachers identify what worked well and what could be improved and develop a deeper understanding of their teaching philosophy and style. This can be done through reflective writing, discussions, and recording their lessons.

Whether supervisors know in advance of their visit or not, student-teachers should plan a fully functional lesson around these four parts. Shenberry suggests that student-teachers consider the learning objective that guides all of these aspects.

Tips for a recorded lesson

  • Ensuring that the video submitted for observation is of high quality is important.

  • Technical aspects, such as blurry video, can distract and negatively impact the observation.

The ultimate goal is to demonstrate to the supervisor that there is engagement and that the lesson effectively achieves the learning objective. Overall, student-teacher supervision is essential for supporting and guiding new teachers. By focusing on the four key parts of a lesson and ensuring that the lesson is of high quality, student-teachers can set themselves up for success. With the guidance of experienced supervisors, student-teachers can gain the skills and confidence needed to become effective and successful teachers.

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