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Student teacher starting soon - first time

Discussion in 'Heads of department' started by gavcradd, Jan 12, 2011.

  1. gavcradd

    gavcradd New commenter

    As the title says, really. I'm HoD of ICT in a secondary school and have agreed to take on a student teacher from a local uni this year - he or she is starting in a few week's time and I'm not quite sure how to approach it.
    On the positive side, if they're great then the new ideas, etc, will help us enormously. However, the horror stories I hear from colleagues about the amount of support they expect and lack of work make me worried. In particular, the ICT course that we run is 100% coursework and getting work out of students is almost an art-form - we get oustanding results and I don't want that to change.
    Do any of you have student teachers in regularly? How do you find the experience, generally?
    I'm thinking of taking a hard-line from day one. You know, along the lines of "this is your chance to do well, I'll support you but I won't carry you through, I'll help you but it's solely your responsibility". Would that be the right way to go? I don't want to scare them off but I do want to make it very, very clear that I won't tolerate any slippage in the high expectations that my department has.
    Any thoughts?
  2. mousey80

    mousey80 Occasional commenter

    You don't need to be hard, just organised. When do you want to see their lesson planning etc, make sure you take time out for them as you will get out what you put in. Do lots of observations, not just marking and think about team teaching, they can take th lead, but you can support with coursework.
  3. The way sleepyhead describes this role is also my understanding of it and the way it is viewed in our school.
    These are trainee teachers and they are still training - we should be taking responsibility for training them not just checking their work and telling thm off if they're not good enough which is what some people (not inferring this about OP necessarily) see the role as.
    If the trainee acts unprofessionally in as much as they are not prepared for lesson or don't listen to advice given in terms of their own progress, then this is something that would need to be taken further.
    I'm glad you're looking forward to it as it's a worthwhile and rewarding role.
  4. I would expect there to be some kind of phased start so you may not be able to start as you wish. Students from my local uni have 3 weeks worth of 2 days a week and then a full week where they're not teaching before they start to take over classes. In that full week I have them observing all the classes they're going to take over, the following week they take over when it makes sense i.e. I might finish a topic before they take over if there's only one lesson to go.
    If you want them to produce lots of lesson plans there's time in this week for them to do it and for you to check them.
    I then tend to be pretty heavy with observations from myself and colleagues for the first couple of weeks. If they're up to it I then ease off and try to let them be as independent as I can. After all the next time they go into a classroom after leaving you they will be a 'proper teacher' and i think you need to give them a chance to develop the skills they need for this role.
    You're right about them bringing in new ideas but only if you allow them the freedom to experiment with their ideas and see what happens.

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