Dispositions: “Consistently listens attentively and receptively to feedback and is process/solution oriented. Responds to feedback by implementing suggested changes. Seeks ongoing feedback. “
INTASC: 9 & 10
Being open to feedback from your collaborating teacher (CT) is one of most important disposition to develop as a student teacher. Every student teacher regardless of their background in education has the chance to be a good listener and implement suggestions in the classroom. Student teaching is a great time to try out ideas, and new teaching strategies in a safe environment. Here are some ideas to cultivate this disposition:
- Carve out planning time with your CT at least once a week to plan and reflect. Approach this meeting with an open attitude and show willingness to make improvements. Humility at this meeting will go a long way with your collaborating teacher.
- Set aside a journal that stays in the classroom called a “parking lot” where you can write questions during the school day. At your planning meeting, use the questions to guide some reflections.
- Keep a journal you can take back and forth with you. Use this journal to write some reflections and suggestions from your CT. You can note ways you have tried the suggestions and how they worked out in the classroom.
- Make a point of talking to specialists, especially if your students are struggling and need more support. Any suggestions you get can be discussed with your CT so you are on the same page.
- Some specialists include: Behavior Support Specialist for behavioral concerns; Occupational Therapist for help with fine and gross motor, including handwriting support and sensory integration needs; Speech Language Pathologist for help with language and speech issues.
- Video tape yourself: It is powerful to see yourself teaching. You can learn so much about the positive and negative parts of your teaching that can be improved upon. Spend some time reviewing the videos of yourself teaching, take notes on what could be improved upon.
- Remember every day is different and every day you have a chance to improve your teaching practices. See this relatively short period of time as a student teacher as a time to stay open and receptive to feedback.