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Hey, Teachers!!!


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Nope, not a Floyd line here...

Teachers, I'm looking for some friendly advice!!Next week I start my first school practicum and I'm a wee bit nervous (crazy, I actually havn't been nervous about something in this way in many years...). Basically I'm just looking for any words of wisdom, nuggets of information, and the like. Ill be going into a Junior High this semester and a High School in the winter. Anything will help I'm sure!

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Don't sleep with your students. A girl I did my B.Ed with at Western did that (you may remember the story - she got busted nailing her 14 year-old student over in England about two years ago?), and became famous... but not in a particularly good way.

(She was from a place called - and I swear I'm not making this up - Beaverton.)

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yo... i'm in my first year as well, but... i have been doing practicum and classroom work for 4 years (i was in a concurrent education program at Trent)... well, i just got back from Nero... so let's see about teaching (i have class at 9 tomorrow...).

The only advice i can say is don't get on your accociate teacher's bad side: they will be filling out your evaluatoin and you only get one... also, your associate teacher usually has a wealth of information and experience, so don't be shy about asking questions. ummm... don't go really hungover like i did a coupole times (never very fun)... jeez... what else... avoid making friends with the kids. this may sound stupid, but -especially in middle schol (7/8)- your authority in the classroom wont last long - ie. the kids may stop taking you seriously (i once had a grade 8 kid ask me to buy him beer after class...)... wash your hair now and then (maybe)... other than that... all you really need to know is just from exerience - that's probably the best advice... anyway... if you teach art class, do an activity called "drawing to music": make a mix tape of different kinds of music and get the kids to draw whatever the music makes em, only rule: sneak in at least 1 Nero tune! cheers

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I started my practicum two weeks ago at SWC in St.Catharines... and my only advice to you is don't sweat it... and I mean that literally... I had a difficult time teaching in front of my peers at D'youville, but, once I got into the classroom, I am fine... other than that, just be yourself, I wouldn't worry too much about the respect thing as long as you are true to yourself, the kids will pick up on that, and they will respect your honesty in character. There will be some bumps, for example, my vocab, and grammar, geez, some of the kids know more than I do...hehehe... anyhow, we had parent teacher interviews for grade nine last evening and one parent approached me---"heh, you are the new guy right? Well, our son Kevin just loves Twelfth Night." His wife approaches and tells me that this is all he is really interested in at the moment, and that was the best encouragment anyone could give me right now... So, just be yourself, and I guarantee you will be fine.

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i agree with number 2 mostly... although in my case, 'being myself' is not tough enough!! they're great kids, and they love being chatty, but it's getting a little bit annoying. today i have to be a bit stricter... but as long as they understand that you're not pissed at them, you just need them to be quiet, it's all good. other than that, for sure be yourself, just be relaxed, they really do want to learn in many cases. i also agree with don't worry about being their friend, in the sense that you shouldn't be afraid to lay down the law when you need to. if you care about your students, it will show! i was sooooo nervous starting my first practicum, jeez, i remember standing there looking at these 30 grade 10 kids who were just bursting with energy, thinking "sweet jesus! they're going to eat me alive!" and all i wanted to do was run out the door of the classroom and keep on running... seriously... the thought crossed my mind, heheh!! but here it is less than a year later, and although it's true i went in there less aggressive than i planned, most of the nervousness is gone. you will do great!!! ::

PS the last day of my last practicum was after a nero show and i got zero sleep... heh... i survived but it's not really recommended unless it's right before a weekend and you can throw on some makeup!! ;)

PPS read 'the first days of school' by harry & rosemary wong if you haven't already, it's kinda cheesey but it's also got lots of good tips! one major one for classroom management: be prepared, especially starting out. once you're an old salt at this stuff you can wing it, but for the first while, for me anyway, i like having a detailed plan for the lesson as well as knowing what to do when i need to discipline, before the situation arises. again: you'll be great!

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Don't try to reinvent the wheel. When I did my B.Ed. sooooooooooo many teachers did their lesson plans from scratch (I'm shaking my head now.....and NOT in yes yes yes type manner) that takes SOOOOOO long.......I don't know but some people get off on it.....but I'm lazy and unmotivated so give me the easiest way!!

Like Nelles said use your associate as a resource....and the internet. For every lesson you want to teach there's probably already 25 of those lessons on the web waiting for you to press "Print"

Good luck......and remember when you scratch yourself you'll have chalk marks all over your crotch ::

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ditto to most of the above with a couple of tips:

-grab any and all resources your associate teacher has to offer. You'll thank yourself down the road

-don't try to be your associate teacher. That being said, be aware not to do anything the associate wouldn't do (nice, double neg!)\

-this one's tough but true. No matter how much the kids like you, you're still a student teacher and in the grand scheme of things, you may not be as important as you feel. I remember going back to visit my first school and being really hurt that I wasn't remembered/had made a smaller impact than first thought.

-have fun. Go to shows. My second practicum I completed a rigorous Thurs -Phish/Auburn Hills >Fri Teach> Saturday>Birthday Celebrations> Sun Actual Birthday/Drive to Phish Rochester>Monday Teach - trust me, the pressure's off

An aside: I met Hamilton in teacher's college and hit it off the first or second day. You may want to take that into consideration before listening to a word I've said! Good Luck.

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Just got back from a really great Diesel Dog / Harvard Mouse / Drum Club show and actually spent more than a few moments at the show thinking about this school year ... especially when Diesel Dog played Another Brick In The Wall in the middle of Chico!!!

I can't really offer much more than what's been said above I don't think, but here are some random thoughts on the subject, from the perspective of a 12 (or is it 13?) year teacher and someone that has been an associate teacher a number of times.

- be yourself, not your associate ... I've heard a few horror stories about student teachers having a totally different style than their associate and it not working out, but most associate teachers appreciate the fact that there is no one best approach to teaching

- be prepared, it makes the class go so much more smoothly, have a fun backup activity tucked away in your back pocket for one of those moments when your lesson flops or doesn't take you nearly as long as you thought

- be honest

- love what you are doing

I am having a great school year so far this year, and I think the main reason is that I am following the above 4 points.

As an associate teacher, I was always impressed when a student teacher left me an organized copy of everything they did. In exchange, I encourage student teachers to raid my files. Don't be shy about asking your associate for help or advice ... my philosophy as an associate was if the student teacher didn't ask for advice, I'd just let them do their thing. But asking me for advice was totally cool ... not a sign of not knowing what to do. Your associate teacher will probably love to show off some of the cool stuff that s/he has created or used.

All the best to you!

Peace, Mark

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how awesome would it be to have mark tonin as your teacher [or associate teacher]?!?


I was just thinking to myself as I read his post: "damn, Tonin would be an awesome associate to have!!"

Anyhow, we make the best out of our own situations. I met my teacher yesterday and he seems to be a great fit for me. Thanks for the encouragement!!

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