What Do You Say To A Student Teacher? The feedback student teachers receive can help them become more effective teachers. This author makes some suggestions regarding the use of feedback in student teaching.
Two Exceptional Feedback Sources • The cooperating teacher who sees the young the young teacher everyday and has more experience in the gymnasium the student teacher will be using than anyone. • The supervising teacher who also sees the student teacher on a regular basis and has thorough knowledge of the young teacher’s undergraduate preparation. • Both of these sources are very useful and have different views of both the student teacher and the class that is being taught.
What Feedback Should Be • Meaningful and specific • Taught skills through a set of tasks to be performed in the class room. • A very task oriented view of student teaching. • Positivist?
Two Major Functions Performed by Teachers • The first function is composed of tasks which focus on the social order of the classroom. (Teacher’s Managerial Function) • The second function incorporates tasks which focus on student learning. • Managerial function a greater concern.
Feedback for Effective Management • Young teachers want to be liked. • Can prevent teacher from being an effective classroom manager. • Early establishment of rules and procedures. • Underestimate the importance the establishing themselves as a teacher in the social order of the gym.
Management Function • “If I had it to do over again, I’d have enforced the rules sooner”. • Clearly establish what is acceptable and unacceptable behavior. • Must develop procedures for reacting to acceptable and unacceptable behavior. • Reinforce the rules and procedures.
Rules and Procedures • Student teachers should articulate their rules and procedures before assuming responsibility for the gymnasium social order. • Discuss the rules, and offer the young teacher experiences you have had and see how the student teacher would handle the situation. • Having the student discuss the rules and procedures helps them think about why they are doing what they are doing and take ownership of the classroom.
First Few Weeks of Student Teaching • Cooperating and Supervising teachers should focus their feedback on the student teacher’s management skills. • The student teacher should make conscious attempts to practice and refine the skills of clear instruction giving, early detection and termination of disruptive behavior, consistency in rule enforcement, and reducing the amount of time necessary for management. • Theses are basically the classroom management skills young teachers are trying to develop, especially in the early stages of their career. • Cooperating and supervising teachers should be willing to offer suggestions and discuss techniques for reinforcing good behavior.
Feedback is Important for Confidence • Feedback and reflective discussions can be fruitful, lively, and result in significant improvements in classroom order. • The feeling of competence and confidence experienced by student teachers in establishing themselves as teachers will encourage them to improve other teaching skills.
Effective Teaching • It has been found that effective teachers are effective managers, but effective managers are not necessarily effective teachers. • The term “effective” teacher is used rather than “good” teacher because it can be debated as to what a “good” teacher is or does. • Effective teachers are easy to spot---just look at their students. The students of an effective teacher leave the gym knowing something they did not know when they walked in.
Identifying an Effective Teacher • Students in an effective teacher’s class do more than try or just participate. • The students show improvement in their motor skills and demonstrate a greater understanding of sport and movement. • Simply put, effective teachers teach and their students learn.
Student Teachers Can Be Oversimplified • It is not meant to be implied that teaching is a matter of mastering and applying a few generic teaching skills, but rather that effective teaching is predicated on conscious and reflective action of what one does as a teacher. • Identifying, discussing, and refining the many functions is just as important. • All this is saying is that teaching can not be simply learning by checking skill off a lists as you accomplish them but that teaching is an ongoing process.
Ways to Monitor Effective Student Teaching • Feedback should include not just broad suggestions but actually recording specific time spent in the classroom on different tasks. • Student teachers should also keep a journal so that they have specific reflections to look back on. • Things that may not seem important at the time can come back later and it is nice to be able to remember specifics. • Asses progress, establish goals, and discuss strategies in the quest to become a better teacher.
Conclusion • No one leaves student teaching a master teacher. But on can leave the experience a better teacher. • Teaching is an ongoing profession. • The first thing student teachers should focus on is classroom management. • Students should get specific feed back from the university and school supervisor.