IT IS in student teaching that the student is permitted the chance to try and tests his educational “know-how” in a practical situation. The pre-professional training challenges the ability of the student teacher to work with children. His duties should be discharged as efficiently as any member of the faculty.
The student teaching experience provides an opportunity for professional growth and the ability to maintain harmonious relationships with colleagues and children. The association of the student teacher with the administration and the faculty members of the school should be friendly, courteous, and professional. The relationships with the children should be the same respect and courtesy that the supervising or cooperating teacher gets. Good judgement should be exercised in the relationships with older children so that such relationships will not misinterpreted.
A student teacher should related with his pupils like a regular teacher. This requires judgment because some pupils try to take advantage of inexperienced teachers. A friendly reserve, outside of school as well as within the classroom is desirable, until the student teacher learns “how far to go.” A common mistake of student teachers is to try too hard to get pupils to like them. This result in indecisiveness, which confuses the pupils, most of whom expect and desire positive control procedures. The student teacher should have an immediate understanding with the supervising or cooperating teacher about proper control techniques and then adopt a role and stick to it.
The objectives of the student teacher are to gain insight into teaching skills and to develop professional integrity; therefore, it is necessary that he should accept these responsibilities.
The following are some suggestions for the student teacher:
- Be punctual in attendance and in carrying out responsibilities.
- Show interest, initiative, resourcefulness and industry in attacking problems.
- Demonstrate a professional attitude toward the total teaching experience with particular stress on the practice of professional ethics.
- Assume responsibility for the maintenance of constructive discipline and democratic leadership in the classroom.
- Prepare thoroughly and adequately for any assigned activity.
- Study individual and class needs; have a thorough working knowledge and understanding of child nature.
- Practice cooperation and courtesy in school relationships.
- Set clear purpose, make effective plans, make content meaningful, use appropriate methods and materials and provide a good environment for learning.
- Any principles of good classroom management.
- Help supervising or cooperating teachers in planning and in supervising extra-curricular activities of the class and school.
- Evaluate self-performance periodically; be willing to correct weakness and work for greater proficiency in expression and communication skills.
The importance of student teaching as a part of the professional preparation cannot be overemphasized. It is here that the student teacher gets full-time experiences in working with children and have the opportunity to use, under guidance, the knowledge concerning child development that have been accumulated throughout the college work. Student teaching should be regarded as a privilege and a responsibility. It is a privilege because supervising or cooperating teachers are willing to contribute their time and effort to assist the student teacher in becoming a professional teacher. It is the student teacher’s responsibility to make the most of this privilege and to utilize every opportunity to gain proficiency in working with children. The student teacher can best pay the debt of gratitude which he owes to his supervising or cooperating teacher of whom he can be proud to say, “I am glad that I had a part in the professional development of that teacher.”
Photo Courtesy: Margiewen Orguino