Monday, October 28, 2013

Student Teacher Adventures

Last week was the end of my six weeks with my first student teaching class.  It was a memorable adventure with the 35 students (36 for a month before one transferred to another local school) in the 5th grade class.  I learned a lot from observing the teacher's techniques, teaching the writing lessons (and occasionally social studies), and working with small groups and certain individuals.

Here a few teaching and classroom management tips that I found effective in the classroom:
1. Establish firm routines: this will help keep your class organized and out of trouble 
(i.e. complete the Do Now after you unpack in the morning and copy your homework when you return from lunch)
2. Have a bathroom signal: this will make your life easier
 (In addition, there's no need for a child to announce to the classroom that he/she needs to use the bathroom.)
3. If you notice that your class is still struggling with a concept, don't be afraid to review it  
(i.e. Some students weren't writing meaningful sentences with their Greek/Latin root words, so the teacher spent part of a period going over what it meant to write meaningful sentences and gave the students the opportunity to fix the sentences they had already wrote.)
4. "Hands down when someone is talking"
(It can be intimidating and distracting for those who are trying to answer a question when other children in the room are waving their hands in the air.  Thus, enforce this saying.)    
5. Remember to model first.  Then work on a couple of questions together as a class.  Afterwards, give them some questions to do independently.   
(If done correctly and the students listened, then there shouldn't be any questions during independent work.)

There are more techniques that I learned, but I can't think of them right now. 

What are some tips you have/know that are beneficial for future educators?

On my last day, the students had a surprise party for me and smothered me with gifts and treats.  
My cooperating teacher gave me a basket of teacher related things.

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