Tag Archives: #student teachers

Vision Boarding for Teachers

This is the vision board I made during class. I now have it in my office.

I started creating and using vision boards back in 2008. At a bookstore, I stumbled upon a book about how to create vision boards and thought “I have nothing to lose by trying this out.”

Here is the link to the book I bought https://smile.amazon.com/Vision-Board-Secret-Extraordinary-Life/dp/0061579084/ref=sr_1_12?keywords=the+vision+board&qid=1555118702&s=gateway&sr=8-12

Now I get to teach vision boarding to pre-service teachers

One of the favorite parts of my job as a college instructor is to help future teachers reach and realize their goals. I have the privilege of influencing a group of amazing people who want to do one of the hardest but most rewarding jobs on the planet. I enjoy doing what I can to help them get everything out of life they want. 

For those of us who are visual learners and respond to images, it helps us to “see” our goals and intentions!

How vision boards have helped me reach a goal:

There was a period of time when I was substitute teaching while getting my license in another state. My dream was to work for a school district that was one of the best in the state. Everyone told me it was impossible to get a job in this district but I set this as my goal. I went on the district website and printed out a picture of the district logo, cut it out and pasted it on my vision board. I put my board somewhere I could see it daily. After a while, a job I was qualified for was posted on the website. I applied for it and got it over 150 applicants!

A few things to keep in mind about vision boards:

*Vision boards are a visual representation of your goals, and what you want to achieve

*Keep the board somewhere where you can see it every day 

*Take a picture of your board and keep it as your cell phone lock screen wallpaper of your computer or ipad 

*Vision boards help you stay focused on what is important to you including how you want to feel, what you want to achieve and what you want to experience 

*As you achieve your goals or if your goals change you can update your board 

*Creating a vision board is fun because you can let your creativity flow 

*Vision boards are great for student teachers who are starting their career

*If you like Pinterest you will like vision boards because it is a low-tech. version of Pinterest

*You can have multiple boards or fill different topics on one board

Vision board tutorial:

Materials needed: 

*Big butcher paper boards, foam board, cardboard, or other large surface such as a stretched canvas

*Glue sticks

*Magazines, pictures, visuals printed from a website, words or quotes 

First take some time to brainstorm the following: 

  1. What I want to achieve
  2. How I want to feel
  3. What I want to experience 
  4. Words/images to look for 
My students creating vision boards

Get to a place where you feel relaxed, put some music on and start looking for images you can use to represent your goals and intentions. Have fun with the creative process. You don’t have to create a board in one day but getting started will create some momentum for you to continue. 

I love creating and teaching vision boards. Have you ever used vision boards to reach your dreams? If so share in the comments…

How to survive and thrive your first year teaching!

Guest Q and A with a kindergarten teacher.

Erica, is now half way through teaching her second year in kindergarten.

I reached out to her to get some advice about how she survived and thrived during her first year teaching kindergarten. Here is some of her great advice:

Where and what grade do you teach?

I teach kindergarten in The Grants Pass School District.

One of Erica’s students creating chalk art

What was your favorite thing about your first year teaching?

My favorite thing about my first year teaching was building such strong relationships with my coworkers. When you are student teaching you build relationships at your school but the most important relationships are still related to your college. During your first year it’s really important to create strong relationships with the people around you because they will help you with understanding the curriculum, helping specific students, and making sure you get the supports you need to be successful and thrive.

What was the most challenging thing about teaching your first year?

The most challenging thing about teaching my first year was accepting that I can’t help every single student but instead I can only give them the tools to be successful. It was painful to let some of my kiddos who didn’t reach all the grade level standards or who didn’t get the proper supports in kindergarten go to first grade. Accepting that I can’t fix but instead can only support has made my second year emotionally easier.

What surprised you the most about your first year teaching?

What surprised me the most about my first year teaching was how much poverty/ trauma  there is in Southern Oregon. For some of these kids, we are ALL they have. Some of my students have gone through life events that I could not even imagine going through as an adult and all we can do is give them a hug and make sure school is full of love and support.

What is your advice for handling challenges communicating with parents?

I think the best thing you can do is rely on your teaching team and principal when it comes to challenges with parents. If you have a parent who is being unkind, I would advise telling your principal and asking for advice. Always ask for advice when you don’t know how to handle a situation. 

How have you navigated work/life balance?

This is one of the biggest challenges that every teacher faces. You always have a long list of things to finish and it never seems to end. Remember you are allowed to say no! I made a promise to myself that unless there are special circumstances I will not stay past 4 PM and I do not go to work on the weekends. I work through my lunches and prep during every prep period so I can leave on time. Its worth it for me! I am a planner so Sunday nights I pre-plan dinners with friends during the week to make sure I still socialize. It’s easy to make school your life but balance is so important. I always plan a special event for the weekends as well so I have something fun to look forward to(this can be as simple as a Saturday morning hike)!

What are some ways you have taken care of yourself this first year?

Self care is so important! Some things I do include going to the gym after work, taking my dog to the dog park, meal prepping on Sunday’s so I have healthy food for the week, leaving work by 4pm, going to bed at a decent hour so I have energy for the next work day, and talking about how I feel with friends, family, and/ or coworkers. Remember that you can’t be your best self for your students if you aren’t taking care of yourself.

As a student teacher, what are the best ways you can prepare while in your teacher preparation program?

While in your teacher prep. program take advantage of the opportunity to learn about different teaching styles and classroom management systems. You will develop your own teaching style/ management system but it’s wonderful when you have ideas to build off of.

What advice do you have for job seeking when the time comes?

My advice for job seeking is to apply to as many districts as you can via the online portals. There are so many amazing job opportunities in the Rogue Valley, and outside of the Valley, and you will find the best fit for you. Don’t give up! Job interviews are very stressful but when you find the right school you will know!
When it comes to interviews you need to be yourself. You will be asked questions about concepts that you learned in your prep program but that’s only about 30% of the interview. The other 70% is if you would fit into their school culture. Be honest about who you are and what you believe!  

THANK YOU Erica for taking the time to share your insights and wisdom with us!

We are so proud of you and know you are making a huge difference every day when you show up for your students!

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

 

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

Three Things To Start Trying Right Now In Student Teaching To Help With Behavior Management

Class rules boardmaker

  • Use your voice as a tool: As teachers, one of the best tools we have is our voice. Ensure that all students can hear you by projecting your voice. You can make your voice louder or softer as needed. Work on developing a ‘stern’ teacher voice to use when you need it, but be careful not to overuse it. If you use a soft-spoken or quiet voice while teaching, students may talk over you and start to take over the lesson. Practice using your voice as a tool in your car on the way to school, at home, and during lessons to see the impact it has on your teaching.
  • Pre-teach behavioral expectations BEFORE starting the lesson: Be pro-active rather than reactive. Spend a few moments before teaching your lessons being explicit about your behavioral expectations. What do students’ bodies, voices, and eyes need to be doing during the lesson? Be specific: “Eyes on me, hands in your lap, bottoms on the floor.” Use the same language as your motor teacher so students hear the consistency.
  • Notice or ‘catch’ students who are following through on the behavioral expectations: During the lesson make sure to ‘catch’ or notice the students who are following the behavioral expectations you explained at the start of the lesson. This can be as simple as saying “I notice Johnny has his hands in his lap, thank you Johnny.” Follow through on the same language your mentor teacher uses to praise student behavior for consistency. Do you have a classroom-wide behavior incentive in your classroom? If so, follow through and use the plan throughout the lesson.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Do you have the “goodness of fit” for teaching?

“The match between a teacher candidate’s personal attributes, values, and dispositions and the demands of teaching.”

-Dr. Koch

Many of us remember when we were children and played school with our siblings and friends.  We imitated our teachers and early classroom experiences, hopeful that one day we could be the teacher standing in front of the class. Others don’t know until much later that their personality, interests and passions line up well with the profession of teaching. Regardless of the starting point, let’s look at what makes a person destined to become a teacher. When we talk about “goodness of fit” what qualities do we possess that match the demands of teaching?

At my kindergarten parent teacher conference, my teacher told my mother that I had been a good “teacher” to my twin brother who needed extra support at a young age Continue reading