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Student Teaching Advice Request

I am an undergraduate student studying music education, and I will be completing field experience soon. What advice do you have for a young female to successfully manage and teach a classroom. What do you suggest when the students see a difference in how matters are handled by their student teacher in comparison to their "real teacher".  
on January 31, 2014 7:38am

Mackinzie: Congratulations on reaching this important stage of your teacher preparation. Although you didn't mention what level you will be teaching, your success during this experience will largely depend upon your classroom supervisor, i.e., not your college supervisor. If he/she has had previous intern teachers that could be a plus because most likely s/he will recognize what experiences you need to improve as a beginning teacher. The experienced classroom teachers do not use interns as “gophers” but assign opportunities in front of various classes that will ensure success. Do not be worried about taking a class by yourself at the outset; that usually doesn't occur until later in the semester. Classroom supervisors generally tell their students that when student/intern teachers speak it is the same as if they were speaking, i.e., no tolerance for misbehavior. Finally, you should learn early on to talk with your supervising teacher about your concerns and be willing to volunteer for just about anything that comes your way. This is your experience so make the most of it. Remember, too, that they often are asked to evaluate (grade) you and they are very good resources for a letter of recommendation to your placement folder. Very best wishes for a great experience!

on January 31, 2014 2:06pm
I second Robert's advice and would go further.  Make sure beforehand that you will be working with a teacher who will give you opportunities daily in front of a variety of classes.  If your program uses contracts, get it in writing.  If not, at least have a prior meeting with your cooperating teacher, saying you want to know exactly what he or she expects of you.  THEN, explain politely that daily time with the whole class is very important to you..... and ask for it.  When I got my MEd (in elementary education, not music), this was a constant complaint among my fellow graduate students: not enough opportunities to practice teaching with the whole class. 
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