Monday, 29 June 2020

Online Student Teachers

Ever since my first day in the classroom I have waited eagerly for the day I would be able to have my own student teacher.

I guess this is because of all the amazing Associate teachers I had and the many mentors who have supported me since then. Looking back I know that each one of those people gave me a gift. From all I have gain curriculum, from some I learned patience from others I learned to have high expectations and from all I learned to be a teacher is so many other ways.

So when the opportunity arose to be an online Associate Teacher for the group of training teachers in the graduate program I literally jumped for joy. This was it, my chance to give back the gift so many wonderful teacher had given me. Little did I know that I would get a much greater gift from my student teacher than I could ever give them.

Before our first meeting I emailed the training teacher to set up a time and shared with them this video that the children in room 21 helped me to create to give the teachers a feel for our classroom.

This movie is movie is just for your Debbie, Karen. Aamel and  Lucy.

Only moments after I sent the email I had response and the lovely ladies had commented on our blog.

Only a few days later we met on Google Meet for the first time. Our meeting was a whirlwind of ideas, information and conversation.  I tried my best to collate all we talked about into a Google Doc so that they could refer back to it. I also gave them their task description, as these student teachers could not be with us in person they were asked to look through the kids blogs, comments and collaborate to create a set of learning activities to meet the students needs.

I asked for, During level 2 we look at position and orientation. This proved to be a challenge for the children. They struggled with the vocabulary of position: in front, behind, beside, under, over etc North, South, East, West and so on. They began using grid coordinates and needed more work on this. It would be great if they could have a learning experience using a range of positional language and working with grid coordinates. This will be with the learner in my class working at and above a year 3 level.

From this we discuss them each taking an area and creating a task for the learners. We talked about games as a way of engaging the children. We talked about the interests of the kids and how these can be motivating factors in learning.

During the two weeks the training teachers had to create their learning activities I had a range of questions from them. However these questions for the most part were content and learner focused and not digital skill focused like I had expected.

Reflecting back I remember 3 days before our second meeting feel concerned that I had not supported them enough when I heard other teachers talking about their training teachers asking for digital support.

What I learned was that if they had needed it they would have asked but they like any great team had been drawing on the resource of each other, the internet and the university and had save only the questions about my learners that no one else could answer for me.

The site they create is exceptional and therefore deserve a blog post all of its own. I feel so privileged to have had three amazing student teacher, who are self driven, hard working, thoughtful teachers  already. They have shown me they take children learning seriously and what to use all they know about a group of children to create content that inspire and challenges them.

Thank you so much Debbie, Karen. Aamel and  Lucy for inspiring me with your passion and commitment to children's learning. 

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