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Students in class

Discussion in 'Primary' started by tennyson, Mar 13, 2011.

  1. I am having two students on their first (paired) placement in my Y3 class in the Summer. Has anyone any advice on how best to organise things?
  2. I am having two students on their first (paired) placement in my Y3 class in the Summer. Has anyone any advice on how best to organise things?
  3. Msz

    Msz Established commenter

    make sure they both pull their weight as my only experience of a "paired" placement one did all the work while the other sat back and had an easy ride
  4. You beat me to it Msz! I felt incredibly frustrated for one of my students on their paired placement. She was so motivated and put an incredible amount of effort into the placement while the other student just rode along on her hard work.
    Needless to say one has a teaching job now and the other doesn't!
    Set firm rules in the classroom and expectations about what they are both to do. Make it clear that sitting at the back of the room and having a chat is not acceptable (as mine seemed to think it was at first!)
  5. I also had a placement partner for the first two placements of my PGCE. It's a really nice way of easing trainees in. As insane as this sounds, even at the start of my second placement, I was terrified of taking the register. The register! Of course, by the end of it, I was teaching them German, setting up debating club...! [​IMG]
    I can only advise you from the point of view of the trainee, but be patient with them! Hehe. I mean, if one of them's pratting around, scared to read the story or take the register, you have to make them. But. It's really nice when a mentor involves you - e.g. sitting down together before the placement starts to do a bit of joint planning. My lovely mentor from my second placement told us what the term's topic would be and we brainstormed ideas and he was really welcoming of our ideas; this really built our confidence - and prevented us feeling like we were just teaching stuff someone else had chosen for us. Maybe just start them off giving them guided groups and stuff? It's awful when you feel like a bit of a third wheel at first and it's really nice to feel like you're doing something useful. Really great mentors I've had have had a structure from the start which they shared - e.g. Week 1: guided groups; Week 2: 5 whole-class lessons; Week 3: Take over Maths lessons... Etc. It was good to know where we were headed!
    It's also really, really great when you model something you suggest to your trainee. So, I remember one mentor telling me I should make more of Success Crit., then the next lesson he was teaching, he made a point of showing me exactly what he meant. Very helpful and absolutely no misunderstandings. Because I did have this awful mentor who used to tell me things, and I'd do them, and then she'd say that wasn't what she meant, so I'd ask for clarification, then do her bidding, then she said that still wasn't what she meant, and I'd ask for her to explain it in a different way, and---- nightmare! Just complete communications meltdown.
    It's also really good to give the trainee time alone with the class. Although if they're in pairs in the summer are they PGCE or B.Ed.? I'm thinking: PGCE placement when you take over the teaching. The horrid mentor never, ever, ever, ever, ever left me alone with the class for even 5mins. I had a lovely mentor after her who would just leave me to it for whole afternoons at a time hehe it was great! I really felt like they were mine and I understood what it was to take on all the responsibilities of the teacher - and it showed me trusted me.
    I hope you like having trainees! It can be such a great experience; I am still in touch with several of my mentors. [​IMG] xx
  6. "..and it showed me trusted me." should obviously read: "..and it showed he trusted me". Me no speak like Cookie Monster.
    Yeah, it would **** me off if I had two trainees actually just sitting round all day. But if they are sitting at the back observing (and not just chinwagging), I think you should let them - if there's not something else they should be doing, of course! My lovely mentors did let me just sit and watch on occasion, sometimes taking notes. Sometimes I would be doing a structured observation of a child so I needed to be able to check and note what they were upto every 30 seconds. And, in truth, I thought they were amazing teachers and I was in awe that they did it so seemingly effortlessly, but of course I wouldn't be obsequious enough to say this to them, so yes. It was good to occasionally be allowed to simply sit and watch them work.
  7. Thank you for all your suggestions. I want to get the balance right between support and allowing them to get on with things without me breathing down their necks! I appreciate how daunting it must be for them.
  8. First think back to your own teaching practises and the things you struggled with and found hard. Change it so that they don't feel the same.
    Next, remember what you enjoyed and what made you feel part of the school or the class and do the same for your students.
    Remember that they are students and just because they want to be teachers doesn't mean they know how to be one or what is expected even.
    Be approachable and welcoming Not only give them things that they can do but show them how to do it - even how to fill out the Reading Record sheets/Logs. They are not going to know what is and isn't acceptable or rather professional teacher speak for doesn't understand this book etc.
    Show them how you mark, how you discipline etc. Don't let them make mistakes because they don't know what they should doing.
    Above all remember they are probably dead nervous and even scared of the kids reaction. Allow them to watch you teach (something I actually show very little of during my PGCE placements where I was very quickly taking whole classes in subjects I didn't see the teacher teach first. Do plan together and help them gather resources etc first. Maybe prepare the first few lessons entirely, then team plan and gradually stand back.
  9. Just a some thoughts from my teacher training:
    • On my first day, the normal teacher was ill so the DHT took the session and told me and my friend what a wonderful school it is etc She was really helpful. On the second day, the normal teacher returned and s*****d off the other staff members and HT saying it was a rubbish school with no vision etc. Please leave your personal feelings to oneside - the teacher led us to believe that the DHT (our mentor) was not to be trusted and not a nice person.
    • During the 2nd week we taught our first lesson. I did a maths session. Got the children involved etc. The teachers first words were: How do you feel that went? I felt it was c**p. Then listed a number of errors where I had gone wrong. No positives at all. When I asked if I could have a copy she said no and tore it up. Please try and say advice in a constructive manner rather than 'that was c**p'.
    • My mentor (DHT) was lovely but on my second to last day said, "You should have done X, Y and Z to get a level 2". These pointers were never mentioned until then. Actually in all of my placements, the teacher and mentors were not willing to give praise or advice, I had to ask for it. Let the students know how they are getting on. Praise for the good things, advice for the not so good.
    Up until my moderated observation (half way through my final placement) I felt that I was just meandering through the course. When the uni moderator came in (the strictest out of the bunch I was told!) she told me that my session was good and that I shouldn't doubt myself. She also gave me lots of good constructive comments that boosted my confidence and helped me get through the course :) The head and my mentor also observed me. Whilst I was overjoyed with this, my mentor walked around with a miserable face. This made me feel that I had done something wrong. Be happy when something goes right for your students, even if you already knew that it would work.
    Hope you enjoy your time with the students and I'm sure they'll have a more positive experience than me![​IMG]


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