How Having A Student Teacher Benefits Me

This year, I’m very fortunate to be the associate teacher for a teacher candidate from Redeemer University College. Yakira began her placement in our class today. I’ve worked with teacher candidates for many years now, but today, I really realized the benefits of this experience for me.

During AWARD (Applied Writing and Reading Daily) Time today, I started with a guided writing group and then moved on to a guided reading group. As I was working with my groups, I saw Yakira observing my sessions, and here’s what I thought:

  • I really wish that I had the students start the writing activity on their own first. They could have done the first part independently, which would have given me an opportunity to circulate around the classroom and help other students.
  • I should have written out the guided reading instructions on a white board. Then students would have had a place to refer to when they forgot what to do next.
  • I should have started my guided reading session by going over the activity with the group and ensuring everyone understood what to do. I usually do this, but I was a little short on time today, and I tried to skip this step. That was a mistake!
  • I should have given the guided reading group some sticky notes to write down their questions and thoughts while reading. This would have helped them recall their ideas during our group discussion. With a longer text, as today’s text was, this would have certainly been beneficial.

Now I may have had the same reflections even without Yakira being there, but knowing that she was looking to me as a model, made me even more aware of what I was doing and why I was doing it. I was also more aware of my mistakes. And I spoke to Yakira today about these mistakes, and about the changes that I would make for tomorrow. Then we sat down and planned a guided reading session that Yakira is going to do tomorrow, and we made sure to “bump up” my work to make tomorrow even better for her.

Having a student teacher reminds me of best practices. It allows me to reflect aloud on my lessons and look for my own ways to improve, as well as look for suggestions to offer someone else. It shows me the benefits of sharing the classroom and sharing the teaching with someone else, and it makes me excited to think about the possibilities for the next six weeks.

How has having a student teacher benefitted you? I’d love to hear your thoughts on this!


2 thoughts on “How Having A Student Teacher Benefits Me

  1. I would say I have benefited exactly the way you have shared. It reminds me of best practices and helps move me from bad habits. The bad habits usually put my needs ahead of my students. Having someone looking to you for guidance reminds you of WHY you chose this profession. If we want great, capable people in our profession, we need to make sure we SHOW them how to think of students first. We do that by staying fresh and not slipping…….

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