Student teaching questions and answers
Updated: Jun 6, 2022
In an Instagram poll, I asked, what questions do you have about student teaching or teaching in general? During this episode, we cover five common student teaching questions. From how to work with a co-op and classroom expectations and time management and edtech, we cover it all. We cover the following questions about student teaching.
"How to manage the work and social life aspect of teaching. I've managed it somewhat over the year of pre-student teaching and student teaching in kindergarten, but I'm still struggling. Mine is how to set boundaries for yourself between school and home."
"Finding the balance of managing classroom behavior. But not having too many rules or appearing mean."
"How can we do a good job of trying new things and making practicums our own without ruining established classroom procedures? I'm so nervous to try new things it causes issues for my mentor teacher."
"What ways can you cope when you and your co-op have completely different teaching philosophies?"
"What are some ways you can transform worksheets?"
Question 1: "How to manage the work and social life aspect of teaching. I've managed it somewhat over the year of pre-student teaching and student teaching in kindergarten, but I'm still struggling. Mine is how to set boundaries for yourself between school and home."
The concept of balance is a unicorn - it doesn't exist! There will never be a perfect 50/50 balance between social and academic life. It will be more workdays and more social time days at times.
Pick one day of the week on which you will leave on contract time.
Schedule time in your daily and weekly calendar for you.
Protect your time.
Review your schedule and choose your commitments.
Question 2: How do I manage classroom behavior without having too many rules or appearing mean?
Instead of thinking about roles, think about expectations. What are your expectations?
Discuss procedures with students
Continue to build relationships with your students.
When students enter your classroom, make sure that they know that they feel valued.
Question 3: How can we do an excellent job of trying out new things in the classroom without ruining a teacher's classroom rules and procedures?
Have that conversation with your cooperating teacher.
Be open and upfront about it.
Share with your co-op, "Here's how I plan to use it. What do you think about it? Do you think this would be appropriate for your students? How do you think your students would do with it?"
Make sure you have a plan and a clear expectation for the plan. How will it benefit everyone? Share your reasoning behind using the tool, technique, or strategy. Communicate with your cooperating teacher.
Question 4: How can you cope when you and your co-op have completely different teaching philosophies?
Don't worry if you and your co-op aren't best friends. You can still learn from one another.
Reflect on the methods your co-op is using.
Consider how you can teach the content in your style
For example, if a teacher uses PowerPoint to present a lesson and students do guidance, maybe next time you can use a Nearpod instead. Students will now have some formative assessment checks. It's keeping the same style, but you're adding your flavor.
Question 5: My co-op loves worksheets. How do I get off the worksheet train?
It's not always a bad thing to use worksheets.
The worksheet offers many different ways for students to respond, but it keeps the same questions, and you can customize how they interact with it.
I would suggest trying out some technology. For example, try out Wizer, Wordwall, ClassKick, or Teachermade.