Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Bidding Farewell to an Amazing Experience

I am entering my last week with my amazing student teacher, and I feel like I am going to be absolutely lost without her.  We have had such an incredible dynamic that it felt like a true co-teaching experience.  I was so fortunate to get paired with someone so like me in both personality, lifestyle, and philosophy.  I expect we'll be friends for long to come.  Today was her final evaluation with her faculty supervisor.  When she conferenced with us after the lesson she told us how obvious it was that we enjoyed working together and what a great experience it had been for both of us.  She then proceeded to tell us about the other student she is supervising who is having a terrible experience - the teacher has no passion for the profession, has little to offer her in terms of philosophies or advice, and essentially has the students doing worksheets all day.  This leaves the student teacher with little time or ability to interact or to form relationships with the students.  It angers and disappoints me on behalf of all teachers who get a bad rap because of the ones like this.  This person is "mentoring" a future educator?  The profession will be lucky if this girl doesn't run the other way after her experience.  Luckily, it sounds as if she is taking it as a learning experience and is looking at this situation as a way she does not want her classroom to be run.  Learning comes in all forms I guess, and she is taking what she can from the experience.  What a responsibility it it to introduce someone brand new to the classroom to this incredible world that we all get to live in every day.  It is so important that we instill in new teachers the survival skills that they will need in the classroom, and the very basic principal that is not taught enough in their own colleges - learning cannot occur without a safe, supportive and relationship driven classroom.  You can read every textbook there is, but if you cannot build meaningful relationships with your students which then gain trust and earn motivation, then no true learning is going to occur inside your classroom walls.  I hope if nothing else, that I have been a living example of that to my incredible student teacher so that I am setting her up with all the tools she will need to be successful as she begins her own amazing journey into the magical world of education.  :)