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My 1st student - any tips?

Discussion in 'Primary' started by merlymoo, May 13, 2012.

  1. My first student starts in a couple of weeks. I have all the paperwork and know what's expected of me, but just wondered if you have any tips or things you wish you had known before having your 1st student.
  2. My first student starts in a couple of weeks. I have all the paperwork and know what's expected of me, but just wondered if you have any tips or things you wish you had known before having your 1st student.
  3. bonniconni

    bonniconni New commenter

    Don't introduce them to the class as a student - especially if the pupils are older! I always tell my class that a student is a visiting teacher. They soon work it out for themselves but it stops them being eaten alive before thay have a chance to establish themselves!
  4. Just be ready to let go.
    You're going to be sharing your class. Some of your children will prefer the student to you, if they're any good.
  5. Plan in plenty of time to talk to the student. It might sound daft but in UKS2, I use very spare second to get my marking done and this was always the hardest thing about the early days of having a student. They needed time to chat about what had happened in the class and why, and how they would have coped / dealt with it etc but I just wanted to mark and grab a cup of tea!
  6. Sorry, also tried to add: ask the student to mark in a very different colour to you. If you can't do this duets marking policies then ask them to initial each lesson or use a sticker or stamp that says 'we worked with Mr X today'.
  7. lardylegs

    lardylegs Occasional commenter

    Go to the school administrator and ask exactly how much money the school is getting for your student. This money is to pay for supply to release you (and the school tutor, if there is one) so you can plan and do assessment work with the student. You should NOT be spending hours of your own time on this.
    Also, once your student is OK to be left alone, get busy for next term!!! Make resources, get ahead with your planning and so on...
  8. As a student, I really appreciated it when my classteacher disappeared for a few lessons quite early on in my placement. It gave me the chance to try things and make mistakes without her watching me every second!
  9. roddywoomble

    roddywoomble New commenter

    I agree with this 100 percent. I also think that it's important to be sensitive when passing on any tips and things which the student could improve on. The most important thing, though, is to make the student feel at home - be nice to him/her...can't stress that one enough!!
  10. Thanks for your ideas. I'm getting quite excited about this now!
  11. As an NQT, I only completed my final placement a year ago so I can remember what I responded well to.
    My best mentors were very supportive and constructive. They wouldn't just tell me where I had to improve but give suggestions. They gave honest, fair feedback that helped me to improve. I also really appreciated it when they would leave the room for a bit so I didn't feel constantly under pressure.
    I particularly liked it when I had specific "roles" in the class. I arrived earlier than my mentor so I had the role of writing the date and setting up the chairs. It sounds inconsequential now but I felt like it gave me some responsibility of the class and made me feel a part of the school life.
    Mentors who were not so helpful would award me the highest marks without even thinking about it or watching me. Yes, it looked good on paper but it didn't help me learn at all.
    This is a bit of a silly one but I sometimes felt that I wasn't included fully in school life. Even though I was just a trainee, I spent a lot of time teaching, marking and assessing by my final placement yet I was still relegated to the "visitors' part" of the staffroom. The "teachers' part" was off limits. I think a little more acceptance would have made me feel more welcome and comfortable in the school. I'd like to think that I would treat a student as if they were another member of teaching staff.
  12. Staffrooms actually have sectioned areas for visitors? I've known the milk to be off limit to visitors but not parts of the staffroom!
    I'm a student at the moment in a Y6 class. Even though my teacher doesn't have a great deal of time for me due to the SATs, she does give me very direct and clear advice, and tries to help me prepare for my appraisals.
    I often find it very difficult to ask for advice as I don't want to interrupt their busy schedule, so do find the time to just go and ask them how things have gone, how they're managing etc. It does make a difference as a student to feel looked after!
    Oh and introduce your student to any staff you come across and any subject responsibilities they might have!
  13. I've just completed my first block teaching placement in the first year of my degree and had positive and negative experiences.

    The class teacher I was placed with hadn't been qualified for long and was unprepared for my visit. I didn't feel very confident from the outset as she was asking me what I should be doing whereas I was looking for more guidance and instruction. I felt, especially through the first week, that I had to constantly ask what I should be doing whereas it would've been nice to have been told what my boundaries were and what was expected of me.

    A lot of the school staff were nice but some were very stuck up and didn't even look me in the eye. A superiority complex maybe? The staff room was awkward as most staff would chat in their cliques and as I hadn't been formally introduced to any of them I had to try to make small talk and create an "in". I just generally felt that my introduction to the school, the staff and the children could have been a lot better.

    The positives were that the class related to me brilliantly and I felt I bonded with quite a few of the kids. My confidence increased and I learnt a lot from the placement in terms of planning, behaviour management, inclusion etc. It's hopefully set me up for a more successful placement next year.

    Overall as a student I'd say that a teacher receiving one should just communicate fully from the outset what is expected, what will be happening, how everything works and aim for an honest and constructive partnership. Definitely introduce them to other staff members, involve them in conversations and meetings and do leave the room for a period while they're teaching as it definitely helps!
  14. I think it's very easy for students to complain about the schools and classes they are placed in but what they don't realise is that sometimes, the class teacher doesn't even know they're having a student, and they may not even want a student. Some heads agree to take students on without liaising with staff at all and then forget until the student turns up on the doorstep. Therefore, the class teacher might not know what is expected and might need to ask the student as they've just been dropped in it with no guidance.
    I also think that students forget they are visitors to a school, not staff and that they have to make an effort, just like they will when get a job. We're all so busy and actually, some days I just want to eat my lunch, chat to a friend and relax. I know it can look rude if there are students around but the staffroom is our sanctuary, especially after a week of wet play and piles of marking. Sorry for being harsh but I get really tired of the 'poor me' attitude of some students who expect the earth, especially the students we've had recently who gave little in return. It's a two-way relationship and students need to try hard too.
  15. I finished my BA Primary Teaching last year so can give a few pointers to what was good/not good.
    - In my first placement school there were quite a lot of students - it was a big school and they knew that I was interested in music and so placed me in the class with the music co-ordinator which was fantastic because I really got straight into music which was ace for me! I know its not always possible like that but find out if your student has any particular areas of interest/skills and use them!
    - responsibilities are excellent (obviously this depends on the level the student is at) but even writing the date on the board/handing out letters etc. etc is good for establishing their role as a teacher in the class.
    - NEVER introduce them as a student - the kids may work it out by themselves but make it clear to the children the student is just another teacher.
    - Leaving them to it when teaching - not interferring and letting them work out of their own problems in the lesson (if they can). obviously there may be times when you have to interfere but in general I'd say a few points of feedback at the end of a lesson would be useful.
    - going out of the classroom - means that the pupils can't turn to you for a 2nd opinion.
    - introducing them to everyone/showing them around the school/where things are/what they can and can't do/coffee mugs etc.
    - acceptance and inclusion in the conversation in the staffroom.
    - involvement in after school activities.

    There is lots more but I can't think of it off the top of my head!
  16. slippeddisc

    slippeddisc New commenter

    Be prepared before they come with class lists, group lists, photocopier codes, objectives, timetable etc. Highlight the lessons he/she is going to teach.
    Pop out of the room every now and again to give them some freedom to take control of the class. A whole lesson completely independently is a great feeling for some students.
    Don't be scared to give negative feedback as long as it is constructive and helpful. I wish more of my teachers had done this when I was a student teacher. They are there to learn from you. Do this is a nice way though as they will have spent hours planning and preparing so any criticism hurts! They do need to learn from you though!
    If they are struggling and aren't doing well then get support from your head/deputy earlier rather than later.
    Take the opportunity to catch up on marking, reports etc but make sure this doesn't interfere supporting your student.
    Ask them to mark in a different colour unless your policy doesn't allow this. Ask them to initial work they taught/marked.
    Be smily and supportive. Placements are tough and they probably aren't eating and sleeping very well!

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