Tag Archives: #student teachers

Why do you want to become a teacher?

For many Pre-Service Teachers (either in practicum or student teaching), it is good to look at why one wants to become a teacher…

In another post, we looked at goodness of fit with teaching. Do you possess the qualities inherent to become a good teacher? Read the post here: Goodness of Fit-Teaching.

Let’s take some time to reflect upon why you want to be a teacher…

Think about your educational background: What was your school experience like? was it positive? Did you have a teachers who inspired and encouraged you to be your best in all ways? Or, did you have a negative experience? What made the experience challenging?

Why do you want to become a teacher? I always knew I was a born teacher. It was always my instinct to help my twin brother from a young age and found myself naturally taking on the “teacher” role even as a young child. Do you want to follow in the footsteps of a good teacher you had or want to provide others with a better experience than you had?

Lastly, If you are a practicum or student teacher…

What are you hopeful to get out of this experience? If you are volunteering in a kindergarten, are you hopeful to learn about what motivates this age group to learn? Are you excited to learn about the curriculum or positive behavior support?

Check out this worksheet I created to reflect upon “why I want to be a teacher”

You can download the worksheet here: Why I want to be a teacher

I look forward to hearing your reflections!

Why I want to be a teacher-2

 

Weekly Self Reflection For Student Teachers

→Self-Reflection:

Why is self-reflection so important in teaching?

when we teach we learn about what works and what doesn’t work by using self-reflection. Teach a lesson, a day, a week and look back and take the time to examine what worked well, and what didn’t work.

Here are some questions to ask:

  • How did the students respond? Was the lesson too hard, too easy? How would you present the materials or lesson differently next time?
  • How are you feeling physically and emotionally? Are issues in your personal life creeping into the classroom? Are you able to leave stress from home at home?

Every facet of teaching and education including the teacher’s cognitive, psychological, social/emotional and professional characteristics can be reflected upon. How you show up in your classroom and your school matters! Every facet of you as a person and teacher impacts your students and the whole school is impacted on some level.

How you show up in your classroom and your school matters!

When we prepare to review dispositions of our pre-service teachers with self-reflection in mind, we have the following rubric and scale:

Take a look at this scale and see how you would rate yourself right now…

Screen Shot 2018-09-18 at 5.17.03 PM

We always want to see ourselves with a growth mindset and as a person who can grow and develop new skills.

Are you a person who is willing to put in the work to self-reflect so you can grow personally or professionally? If so how are you self-reflecting?

One student teacher I had two years ago said he had a long drive home from his student teaching placement. He took this long commute to run through his school day. He would think about the areas of the day that went well and the areas of the day that he would do differently next time. One suggestion I had for him is to have some type of journal or log to eventually (after he is done driving:) record those thoughts. Even though you think you would never forget them, the year is so full and there is no way to remember everything.

I designed this self-reflection worksheet as a way to encapsulate that self-reflection every week.

Think about:

  • Things that went well
  • Things you would do differently
  • Students you connected with (who and how?)
  • Questions or concerns

You can download the weekly reflection worksheet here: Weekly Reflection student teaching-2

Take a moment to fill this out each week. Create a file to keep the reflections and by the end of the year you will be so amazed at how much you have grown.

Weekly Reflection student teaching-2

  • Last night in our weekly guide meeting my wonderful pre-service teachers got into partners and used this self-reflection worksheet to reflect upon their week in the classroom. They enjoyed the chance to share with a partner and we will try this again next week.

The student on the left side of the picture, Hailey also shared her journal which she uses daily to write in. Her collaborating teacher encouraged her to use a daily journal to write notes about the day and questions that come up. I was so impressed to see this level of self-reflection from a student teacher!

IMG_2174

Two of my student teachers using the self-reflection worksheet to reflect on their week

©SPEDadvisor.com

 

Professional Dispositions For Pre-Service Teachers

The National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education defines professional dispositions as:

“The values, commitments, and professional ethics that influence behaviors toward students, families, colleagues, and communities and affect student learning, motivation, and development as well as the educator’s own professional growth…”

woman writing on dry erase board

Photo by Christina Morillo on Pexels.com

I created this chart for my students to reflect on their strengths and goals in each area of professional dispositions:

The disposition categories include: Professional and ethical conduct, Individual and cultural sensitivity, work habits, effective communication, self-reflection, and collaboration.  The chart can be downloaded here: Professional Dispositions strengths and goals

Continue reading

Teacher Self-Reflection- End Of The School Year

The end of the school year is a great time for teachers to spend some time deeply reflecting on the school year. Carve out some time to fill out this fun self-reflection tool I created.

You can download and print it out here: Self-Reflection For The End Of the School Year

Share your thoughts: If you have a team of other teachers you work with, take some time to share some of your reflections and ideas. This self-reflection tool would be great for a grade-level team to fill out and determine what items are similar and different on each teacher’s page.

Student Teachers: As part of what is recommended in 5 Things To-Do Before Student Teaching Is Done  take some time to reflect on what went well and what you would change. Using this self-reflection tool will help guide your thoughts and have something tangible to look back on before the school year starts back in the fall. Although it might be tempting to cut and run, take the time to self-reflect while you are still in your final days of your placement.

Changes To Make: What are some changes you would like to make?:

  • Do you want to change your classroom layout, organization or design? Make note of those changes now.
  • Do you want to look for a new newsletter or parent communication log?
  • Do you want to change your classroom job chart? The Importance Of Classroom Jobs-Community Building
  • Do data sheets and student progress monitoring need to be changed? How well did they work? Now is the time to think about all of the many things in your class that you would like to change.

Screen Shot 2018-05-25 at 6.35.58 AM

Best Lessons And Activities: What were the best lessons and activities this school year? Continue reading

5 Things To-Do Before Student Teaching Is Done

When May comes around, you are almost done student teaching…

Here are a few things to consider before the school year ends:

  1. Take pictures: Before everything in the classroom is packed up and put into boxes, take pictures of your classroom and classrooms at your school that you like. Take pictures of bulletin boards and how they should look. Take pictures of word, walls, classroom job charts, and any other parts of the classroom decorations or organization you would want to re-duplicate.pexels-photo-1002635.jpeg
  2. Get Digital Copies: Make sure to get digital copies of anything your mentor teacher used in the classroom that you could use in your future classroom. Newsletters, progress monitoring sheets, blank data sheets, substitute teacher folder information are examples of forms you can get copies of before the school year wraps up.pexels-photo-990819.jpeg
  3. Get Letters of Reference: If you have not done so already, make sure to leave with letters of recommendation from the mentor teachers and administrators you worked with. Ideally the letter is on the school letterhead and signed. Make sure to give 2-3 weeks notice when requesting a letter of reference. pexels-photo-356331.jpeg
  4. Give Thanks: Write thank you notes for your mentor teacher, grade level team, parent volunteers, front desk staff and anyone else who helped you during your journey. The Power Of The Thank-You Note Check with your mentor teacher about farewell gifts to students. Some teachers will send students off on the last week of school with a small gift.
  5. Celebrate: Take time to recognize the accomplishments you and your students have made this year. You have worked so hard and have a whole school year to reflect upon. You have so much to be proud of!pexels-photo-949592.jpeg

 

And Enjoy that Summer break! 

Practicum Students: Ideas For Engaging In The Classroom

Ideas for engaging in the classroom

What Practicum Students Can Do In The Field:

Many times, when University practicum students start volunteering in the schools, they are unsure of what their role is in the classroom. Your supervising teacher may give you direction or an idea of what you can do to help in their class. Some teachers will ask you to lead a small group literacy or math activity or do a read-aloud for example. Some teachers however may not give you as much direction. This may happen because teachers are very busy or there is not a built-in meeting time for them to fill you in. You may step in to the classroom when the teacher is teaching and therefore there is no time to chat.

I am offering some tips and ideas of what to do if you are not given much direction in your setting:

Observe and Reflect:

It is ok for the first visit or two to observe the class. Run this by your mentor teacher so they know what your thoughts are about observing the class. If observing the first time or two makes you more comfortable than practicum is an ok time in your pre-service teaching experience to do this. Practicum is a chance to get a feel for what different classroom settings are like. You will be able to volunteer for 25 hours in five unique classroom settings. If you choose to observe, take the time to jot some notes down about what you are seeing in the class. Some guiding questions and things to look for include: Continue reading

Create A Student Teacher Resume That Stands Out

pexels-photo-590016.jpegBeginning teachers may not have as much teaching work experience to put on their resume but job recruiters often like the enthusiasm and eagerness of a pre-service teacher. Here are a few tips to enhance your teacher resume. Have a few people look it over and stay open to their feedback.

  • Keep the resume one page in length if possible.
  • Unique resume templates can be found on google docs and teachers pay teachers.  Many of these templates are free.

Continue reading