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Paired Placement

Discussion in 'Trainee and student teachers' started by keepthespirit, Dec 28, 2011.

  1. keepthespirit

    keepthespirit New commenter

    After a full and rewarding career I'm supervising trainees on teaching practice - and finding it rewarding as well. Last year I supervised two very good students who, like you both, were different characters. The combination proved to be beneficial to each of them . They recognised the advantages and disadvantages of differences of how their partner worked. From this they each enhanced their style using this knowledge. They both finished with top grades and good friends. It sounds like communication is good and you have an understanding and supportive class teacher. Think of the positives and make sure you are respectful and caring. This way it should be a very successful experience.
    Hope all goes well,
  2. modgepodge

    modgepodge Established commenter

    God, I had an awful paired placement. The placements I had which were unpaired were sooo much better than the paired one.
    Like your situation, my partner and I were very different. It was ok as long as we didn't try to team teach, which incidentally is a completely different, and not necessarily easier, skill than teaching by yourself. The one time we tried to team teach was assessed by our uni tutor, and it was a disaster. We planned the lesson together, but you'd never have known. It was like we were carrying out completely different lesson plans - at one stage she set them off on activity identical to the one they'd done the day before (and found really easy) which was not really related to the LO!
    However, when we just went through each week and said "Right, you'll teach maths on Mon & Tues, I'll teach in on Wed, Thurs and Fri" (for example) it worked far better. The teacher gave us the LOs, we chatted about what we'd do, then went off and planned by ourselves.
    I spent most of the placement feeling pretty rubbish that I was finding it so hard to get on with the girl - I get on with most people! It was only half way through my second placement (same school) in the pub on a Friday when most of the staff admitted they couldn't stand her! So it wasn't just me.
    Anyway, the post above suggests paired placements can work really well. I have to say most of the people on my course found them largely negative, for reasons such as not getting on with the other person, having completely different teaching/behaviour management styles, having a partner who was really "needy" and having to spend all weekend with them planning when they'd have got it done in a couple of hours themselves.
    I would say, see if you can teach seperately (avoid team teaching) and discuss plans, but plan your own lessons yourself if possible. Discuss issues you have with the class teacher and/or the person you're paired with.
  3. Hi
    Reading your post I thought it was something I could have written myself!

    I was exactly in your situation in my first paired placement. I was lucky though that the tutor teacher made it VERY clear that we were both great students but in very different ways and she went out of her way to ensure that I concentrated on what I was good at and din't try to emulate my partner. My TT hadn't had a paired placement before and we had some frank discussions about how it was affecting me and she then was able to to take control a bit more.

    I still found it very stressful and came very close to to speaking to the University. In the end though I just tried to be true to myself and got through it by going out of my way NOT to compete but to find areas at which I was good at being myself and making sure the tutor teacher knew where my strengths were and how to work to them

    Good luck
  4. minnieminx

    minnieminx New commenter

    When we have pairs and one is more dominant than the other it is often easy to see that the less controlling one will flourish in their single placement later.

    I wouldn't worry about how you seem, as long as you meet all the standards you need to, the amount you control things doesn't matter.

    Though if I was in your position a fellow student such as you describe would drive me nuts. But then again you will probably work with a colleague as a year team pair later and they can also drive you mad. So coping with and working closely with a colleague who is very different to you is a good skill to learn.
  5. keepthespirit

    keepthespirit New commenter

    I agree with minnieminx. The ability to relate to others is a valuable, possibly essential, quality for a teacher. Schools need people who can work together and accept differences. In response to modgepodge, as a head I would have been concerned about staff in the pub on Friday. As a tutor I would make it clear to students that they should have more important things to do. Nor would I be happy that staff are being negative about one student to another. Obviously she didn't go to the pub. I repeat paired work can be very positive and the two very different students I supervised both gained from each others qualities. It's what you both choose to make of the experience.
  6. minnieminx

    minnieminx New commenter

    It does totally depend on who you are paired with and how you get along together. But that is the same in schools generally. If I share a year group with someone who works in a similar way to me and has a similar work ethic we both do brilliantly. If I work with someone who is totally different and drives me nuts, then I don't do so well. It is easier to give advice to other though, and at least your placement is fairly short.

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