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Advice on helping a student teacher on placement.

Discussion in 'Primary' started by dizzyblonde1969, Jan 1, 2011.

  1. For the first time I have a student teacher doing a 5 week placement next term. I am really keen to make her experience a good one as I remember some of mine that were rather less than positive! I'm happy to be as supportive as she wants but at the same time give her the space she will need to really feel she "own" the classroom. She has spent a few individual days in the class, so knows the characters involved, has met my angel of a TA, knows where the loo and staffroom are (essentials!!) and has an idea of what resources we have.
    I am really just looking for any advice from those of you who have had lots of students! What's the one thing you think I should know?
  2. Not had lots of students, at least recently, as I now supply.
    My first thought is you haven't mentioned getting to know her, so you are able to read how things are going and her expectations. Similarly, she will want to know how best her practice can go for you and the school. I think the better the working relationship between student and teacher, the better things will go.
    The toughest thing for the teacher is if things don't go well, if the student is very poor or failing. But it is probably an unlikely scenario.
  3. I finished my GTP last year and now I'm an NQT, so student teacher days aren't far behind me!
    I know that as a student, I wanted to:
    Watch different lessons being taught by different teachers (and see their plans if possible) and then talk to them about what I'd seen, to ask questions, find out why they'd done things in certain ways etc.
    Be observed by different people, so I could have a whole range of different opinions and feedback about what I was doing.
    Have some ownership over my lessons, and find things out for myself sometimes. My class teacher often tried to help by giving me finished products - but I needed to know the hows and whys.
    I would have appreciated someone showing me how to plan using the frameworks, not just following a "rough outline of what we did last year."
    I wanted the children to respond to me, not the teacher sat in the back of the room. I needed to be left alone, sometimes, to see what happened when it was just me.
    Try not to give conflicting advice - find out what's being adviced at uni. My teacher often told me that lecturers didn't know what they were talking about, hadn't experienced life at the chalk face for so long, etc etc. I ended up being so confused about who I should be listening to and learning from.
    Make your student feel welcome, valued and appreciated - and make sure, if you can, that other staff in school treat them well too.
    I hope this helps a bit!

  4. Sillow

    Sillow Lead commenter

    As a student I would really have valued time set aside every week when I could ask my teacher questions etc. I never felt I could ask on my first placement and on my second would find out things from my mentor that the class teacher had said, but never to my face! I really wish she'd sat down and talked to me about how I was getting on and how she wanted to help me.
    I agree that sitting down and deciding on the week's timetable is very useful, so expectations are known from the beginning. I missed some meetings on my final placement because the teacher didn't tell me I was supposed to be there (and then, as she didn't say much to my face, didn't tell me after I'd missed the first one, so I missed the subsequent ones as well. I only found out weeks later from my mentor).
    I vaguely remember my HT telling me I'd have a student this term but haven't heard much. Maybe it was a dream? Must go and email...

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