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Supporting a student teacher

Discussion in 'Trainee and student teachers' started by A_Newbie, Jan 15, 2012.

  1. Hi all,

    I have been teaching for four years now and I am about to have a student teacher allocated to my primary class for a month. I was looking for any tips/suggestions that would make life easier for both of us.

  2. Hi all,

    I have been teaching for four years now and I am about to have a student teacher allocated to my primary class for a month. I was looking for any tips/suggestions that would make life easier for both of us.

  3. I had a brilliant mentor for my placement because she made me feel very welcome and made it obvious she wanted to help me be a better teacher and her advice was to develop my skills. She arranged for me to go to after school clubs and talk to the SENCO etc. She made sure she gave us some time at the end of the day to discuss how things had gone.
    When we were doing the paperwork she suggested things we could down that we had done and looked for ways for us to complete the standards we had not covered.

    Hope that helped
  4. sleepyhead

    sleepyhead New commenter

    I'm the professional mentor in my school, and therefore organise all of the allocations. One of the main things I try to do is achieve equity across all classes - so I have a handbook which all classroom teachers get, which sets out exactly what's needed. Perhaps your school has something similar?
    Mine covers things like:
    • seating plans
    • SEN/G&T/other needs
    • data
    • what's been covered to date
    • what to do next
    Hope this helps.
  5. minnieminx

    minnieminx New commenter

    I think maybe it depends on whether you are primary or secondary. We don't give trainees anything like the list above.

    Treat your student as you would any other teacher in your room. Work with them rather than tell them what to do. For the first week tell them what the outline plans are and ask them what they would feel happy teaching.

    Tell them the rough levels of the class, but no real need for each and every child's sublevels in each subject for a 5 week placement. Same with SEN/G&T, just a quick chat about anything significant is all that is needed.

    It also depends on which placement. The first placement on a 4 year BA course would be very different to the final placement on a PGCE course.
  6. I would say that just giving them a chance to try things out, such as taking groups out for guided reading/writing and letting them 'have a go' is one of the best things you could do. That was the sort of thing that helped me on my shorter placements at the beginning of my course. :)
  7. EcoLady

    EcoLady New commenter

    Introduce them to all of the other staff, by both their 'teacher name' and first name. It's very confusing to meet countless staff, not have a clue who is who, then be told to speak to Mrs X or Jane. Include the office staff too!
    Give them plenty of advance planning - not 'this is what I'd like you to do tomorrow'. Try not to spend an hour planning a series of lessons then announce that it would make more sense if you did it all in a different order.
    Be specific and constructive which being critical,especially if it's about persona or presentation. "When xxx happened, you seemed to respond like this. That had yyy consequences. If perhaps you had responded like aaa, then bbb might have happened instead..." Rather than "You come across as xyz and I don't like it".
    Do fill in the paperwork that their Uni requires, when and how the uni requires it to be done!
    Make sure that they have access to the schemes and resources that you use. Students may not have seen "Letters and Sounds" for example and won't have personal subscriptions to online resources.
    Share your templates, tell them where the flashcards are, otherwise they'll be up all night making their own. Give them the code for the photocopier and be clear about whether they can use the laminator for their own stuff or not.
    If school marks in certain coloured pens - give them the right colours.
    Use their skills - your trainee may have a background in a subject that you are weaker on so you could learn from them too.
    Get them to teach as much as they can, but also give them allocated time to do their other tasks. They need to do specific reading work, meet the SENCO, copy policies, etc.

    [An amalgamation of my own and others' experiences there - not all one person!]

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