Elementary Art Lessons
Hi, I just had a student teacher in September! He was great. I had him use his own lesson plan/project ideas for grades 1-4 and in 5th grade he asked if we could do a particular lesson I had taught that he had seen and really liked. The first week I taught and modeled my class routines and general instructional methods, the second week we co taught, and by the third week he was teaching almost all the classes we me giving him pointers and suggestions in between classes or afterwards. I think it's important that your student teacher be knowledgeable and comfortable with the topics they are teaching and understand the way you run your classroom because they will be using your modeling as a basis for their own teaching. At the same time, its good they find their own resources/write their own lessons, and try out their own ideas too so it's not just a question of copying you but letting them experience the whole process of teaching from the conception of an idea they have to the execution of planning and then delivering the information. Also I found it was important to let them know that mistakes are part of the process and I used to share my mistakes and funny stories from my own experience student teaching and as a new teacher. You're going to love having a student teacher. It's a lot of fun and you learn a lot about your own teaching as well. Good luck and have fun!
I've had a couple of terrific student teachers; I was so lucky! One of the most important thing I have learned from talking to these, and other art student teachers is that they need to have place of their own in your room. Not YOUR desk, but an area that is just hers (or his) where she (he) can do grading and planning, put special pictures or trinkets, park her purse and car keys, talk privately to a student, etc. You can either find a small old desk that you can plant in a corner somewhere, or something similar. The student teachers told me that this was the single thing that most made them comfortable, rather than feeling like they were invading the teacher's space all the time.
One more thing - if they want to try something you know will likely not work, let them give it a try anyhow, and be prepared to work through it with them afterward to figure out why it didn't work. No students will be permanently harmed by an art lesson that is a failure! Don't be afraid to give real critique, real guidance. The student teacher can't grow if you don't point out things that might need improving, but also praise successes, of course. And finally, let the student teacher know your expectations and school rules. For example, one student teacher came in one day wearing jeans. I had to explain to her that jeans were not allowed, except on Fridays if you paid (charitable donation) to wear them. It was like a light bulb lit over her head. She'd been a student for so long, it just hadn't occurred to her. Make sure she knows where to park, where to put her lunch, not to chew gum while teaching, and so on.One more thing - look for little things. One student teacher had a glorious head of long curly hair. When she first went solo, she constantly twirled a piece of it while she was teaching. It was very noticeable, but she had NO idea she did it. After I pointed it out, she started putting her hair up, and the habit stopped immediately. She's now been teaching 1/2 dozen years and the long hair is long gone!
Sorry I'm back one more time. This one is IMPORTANT. Make sure the student teacher does NOT 'friend' students on Facebook!
Hey bud...if you want to call me some time this week...we can chat. I have had 11 student teachers....so I have seen the good the bad and the ugly!!
Thanks you everyone with the info. Big help. Thanks again
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