I recently got a student teacher in my class. It was a last minute thing with the student having been placed in a class (in another school) that just wasn't working out. She came to me at the beginning of the 2nd week of her 13 week practicum.
My principal came and asked me to take it on and (I won't lie) I really wasn't sure. However, having my new principal say that she wanted the student teacher placed with an exemplary educator was very nice to hear!
Between my daughter finishing school, my Mum and her illness, trying to maintain a marriage while living in two houses and just the everyday stuff of my life, I wasn't sure I had it in me to take on this important task.
Plus, the last time I had a student teacher (very similar situation with mid-practicum placement) it was HORRIBLE!!!! I was a bit worried about history repeating itself.
But, I talked it over with my hubby and co-worker, and decided to go for it.
And...I am so glad that I did!!!!
She is awesome! She has a lovely way with the students and is both firm and kind. I have a really good feeling about the next few weeks!
It helps enormously that she worked as Special Ed Assistant for the past number of years (in fact, all of the student teachers in her cohort are coming to the teaching profession after years of being support to teachers and students in classrooms!) because she has so much knowledge already (and can share it with me!)
I know that the students are going to benefit greatly from having her in the classroom. She will be teaching a number of the lessons in coming weeks and that will also free me up to work more 1-1 with a few of the kids who need the extra support. Plus, I'll be able to get more books inventoried for the book room which means more books out of the boxes and in the hands of readers! Yay!
One of the best things (so far) about having her in my class is that it is causing me to do a lot of self-reflection about why I do things that I do. What is my philosophy? How do I believe children should be treated? What should a classroom sound like? Feel like? I feel like I am growing as an educator as I talk to the student teacher and answer questions she has about how or why I did something.
It's a win-win. She gets to start her career in a placement that is working and I get to learn from her as much as she learns from me. Love it!!!!