Saturday, 27 February 2016

Welcome a Student Teacher Into Your Classroom

Welcome a student teacher into your classroom.

The Why:

As educators, we have the opportunity and the privilege to elevate our profession. Create a prototype classroom where you and your students can help teachers experiment and improve their skills. Mentor teachers that are new to the profession. Be the person YOU needed (and hopefully had) when you were starting your career.

Teaching can feel very isolating. You are often the only adult in a room with 20 or 30 people for 6.5-7 hours each day. Getting to be part of a team will not only empower a pre-service teacher, but will also enhance your own teaching.

The How:

Make a commitment. Promise your student teacher you will do the following things. Follow through and do them:

  1. I will provide you with ongoing, meaningful feedback in the writing and in person.
  2. I will make sure you know #youmatter and how important you are to me and the students.
  3. I will step back and let you make mistakes.
  4. I will push you outside your comfort zone.
  5. I will celebrate your successes with you.
  6. I will respect you as an individual and give you space to be yourself.
  7. I will share resources and ideas with you.
  8. I will make sure that you create a positive digital footprint.

To get started, feel free to use/modify this letter as you wish (it is a welcome letter inspired by my weird and wonderful friend, Doug Robertson in his book, "He's the Weird Teacher").

Why and how do you work with student teachers? What do you wish you had learned from or with your mentor teacher(s) when you were a student teacher?

This is one of my 330 (not exaggerating, in fact, that's where I lost count. There are probably 400 of them by now) posts in a series I'm calling "Purge the Draft," wherein I attempt to purge my draft posts by completing and actually posting them. Don't expect these at any regular interval. That's too much pressure.

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