Stock© Jordan Sanchez, Some Rights Reserved, Unsplash

Today was the fourth time I substituted for my cooperating teacher. With today being my ninth day Student Teaching, I’ve substituted almost half of the time that I have been here. That’s one way to get experience as a Student Teacher!

Thankfully, today was a successful one. Because my cooperating teacher was present yesterday, we were able to sit down and hash out what needed to be done. Because of the organization, I was able to come in today prepared and calm. Today would actually be a work day for all the classes as they either continued what they’ve been working on for a while now or would be continuing the new lesson from yesterday. Work days are much easier to manage, so I felt way more comfortable. On Tuesday and Wednesday, I needed to give demonstrations and lecture, so today was a nice change.

Surprisingly, the day went smoothly. I was stunned at how well the 2nd Period Art I class was. Without even being asked, the class was nearly completely silent the entire period. At one point, it was so quiet that I turned on music for the class just to break up the silence. I don’t know why the class was so silent, but they seemed to be working. I walked about the class as I managed behavior and helped those who needed assistance. Everyone was on task, working.

5th Period is the hardest class of them all to handle. This was the class that made me question my desire to teach just a few days before. Again, this class was a handful and was the worst class of the day, but thankfully it wasn’t as bad as before. Because I didn’t need to instruct and today was just a work day, I was much more available to walk about the class and keep things under control. It was still difficult for me to handle some students in particular, though. There were students refusing to work, students giving up and announcing that they would take the grade they get on the assignment, students on their electronic devices, students goofing off and being loud, and a few students hard at work. This class is overcrowded, which makes it difficult for me to get to students who need help and hard to see messes at the end of the class period. I felt as if I was tripping over students back and forth as I tried to help people. There were way more students who needed help in this class than in any of the other classes.

One thing that made me uncomfortable today was the fact that one of the EA assistants approached me before 5th Period and told me that she would not be bringing the EA (Special Needs) students today.

“Yeah, we’re just doing the same thing as yesterday, right? They’re just printing again? Yeah, there’s really no point for me to bring them.”

I felt suddenly offended and taken aback after she said that. I’ve tried to accommodate for the Special Needs students all week and thought that we had brought the assignment to their levels. Last week, the Special Needs students had free-draw every day because they were already finished with their color wheels. Now I had them printing with pre-made erasers to learn the 5 techniques of printmaking and to try to fill a page with successful prints. How is this pointless? Is free-draw more beneficial? I’m disappointed and want to know how I can make their time more worth-while. I don’t want to be called pointless again. If I’m not reaching my Special Needs students, then I need to find out how.

Well, today was a success for the most part. I felt as if I managed successful classes and aided students in creating effective work. My cooperating teacher has thanked me for filling in for her and I’m glad that she feels confident in my abilities. I hope that I’m not letting her down. While I’ve enjoyed the opportunity to run the classes myself, I’m still looking forward to her return, though. I’m hoping that she will find peace and rest this weekend and will return rejuvenated and in higher spirits. I’m hoping to find rest, myself. It’s been quite the week.


1 reply
  1. EK
    EK says:

    “I thought that I was encouraging when giving suggestions, but I may need to work on my communication skills.”

    This is how it is when you do not have criteria and students are unaccustomed to constructive criticism and making revisions in their work. You must prepare them that this is the way it will be for everyone – and that coaching in art is just like coaching in sports. That way they don’t feel singled out or inadequate.

    “The “Wow method” is so subjective.”

    “Are students required to bring in supplies at the beginning of the year? If so, what do they bring in?”
    Every school is different about this.

    “I am worried about a student becoming injured and myself doing something incorrect.”
    In ArtT 2371 always advise all art ed students to take a first aid course.

    “I felt as if I was trying to wrangle wild animals into several different pens at once.”
    Yep! But all the observations you have been making about good teaching and rubrics and procedures – when applied to your own classroom will minimize these problems.

    “I hope that I will find that “teacher voice” that my cooperating teacher said she has yet to hear from me.”
    The teacher voice is one of confidence – confidence in your own authority, abilities, knowledge and skills and ability to help students learn – confidence you can get the students to do what you ask – confidence that you are an adult now.

    “I just hope that I’m not the wrong person for the job.”
    I am betting you will feel better about things by the end of student teaching.

    “Being the person that I am, I am not comfortable without a strong plan.”
    Without a plan there is no curriculum, not laying groundwork for knowledge and skills and building on it.

    “I have substituted almost half of the time that I have been here. That’s one way to get experience as a Student Teacher!”
    Very often, you learn a LOT more when the teacher is not in the room.

    “I don’t know why the class was so silent, but they seemed to be working.”
    When they are involved in creating, they concentrate and actually forget to talk.

    “There were way more students who needed help in this class than in any of the other classes.”
    I’ve never had a large class but I think having a video demo so all students can see things up close would be very useful.

    “I don’t want to be called pointless again.”
    When there are rubrics, you can say something like – “they need to work on balancing warm and cool colors today. Last time they were just learning the process.”

    “How does my cooperating teacher handle students who refuse to work? What does she do about electronic devices when students keep using them rather than working?”
    If she handled those things successfully, you would not be having so many problems with it. But no matter how well the teacher manages the classroom, she will not have perfect behavior because kids are not perfect.


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