I am in the middle of the second week of student teaching, and I am probably more tired by the end of the day than I have ever been in my life. I am learning two key things from this experience: 1) I love teaching so much that it doesn’t feel like work for me, and 2) excellent teaching requires 110% of your whole self in action for the entirety of the day.
I am working so hard on giving my all to my students, on keeping up with them from moment to moment as they all call out “Ms. Holllllleeeesssssss” when they need my help. It is immensely gratifying, and dang do I need to drink a soothing cup of tea every night before bed these days. So, curious about what the student teaching schedule looks like? Well, you’re in luck because I’m totally going to share it with you RIGHT NOW!
Student teaching takes place roughly over 15 weeks of the spring semester of the second year of the program. From the first day of the semester until the week before finals, you are in your class Monday through Friday for full school hours. At Boone, that means I arrive around 8am and leave around 3:30pm every day. I am up at 5:45am these days and usually am up finishing work until around 10pm at night. Student teachers also have classes once a week from 5:30pm-8:30pm at Columbia, along with five classes where we meet with the Director of Student Teaching and work on aspects of teaching as a career (resumes, cover letters, interview skills, classroom management, etc).
The first week of student teaching is all about learning the teacher’s routines along with the routines of the school. A lot of work is also done with students on an individual or small group capacity. I spent a good deal of my first week pulling out students to do concrete math work. In the second week of student teaching, you typically take over one subject and teach it every day of the week. I have taken over Social Studies, for example. Then you continue to get slowly phased in by subject each week until you are teaching roughly 2/3 of the day. You are the primary teacher for 3-4 weeks, and then you are slowly phased out the last couple weeks of school so that it’s not a total culture shock for the kids. While it may seem like an awful lot of planning, most cooperating teachers have lesson plans in place and work with you to adapt them however you see fit.
Each student teacher has a supervisor from Columbia who grades and observes six lesson plans over the course of student teaching. These observations typically happen every other week. My first observation is tomorrow, and this one in particular will be graded both on the written content and the actual delivery of the lesson itself. Student teachers also go through a “mid-term” and “final exam,” although those happen on site while you teach. It’s a multifaceted and complicated but very rewarding process! As always, email me if you have specific questions about it, and I’ll be happy to give more details. Now, back to lesson planning!
I am in the middle of the second week of student teaching, and I am probably more tired by the end of the day than I have ever been in …