My student teaching experience was a wonderful experience where I was able to work with various levels of learners. My student teaching experience was completed in a sixteen week program, spending eight weeks in Howard Elementary Recourse Room and eight weeks in a 6th grade classroom also at Howard Elementary. My experience in Howard reassured me of my ability to become a successful teacher.
The first eight weeks of my student teaching was in the completed in the resource room. This experience was very unique and like something I had never experienced before. In the resource room twenty students are divided amongst two resource teachers three full time aids and two part time aids. My cooperating teacher taught 14 different students and was responsible for writing IEPs for 12 students. Along with the responsibility of writing IEPs and lesson plans for twelve students came extra time patience and encouragement.
My cooperating teacher was wonderful she gave me the opportunity to help with goal writing, scoring tests, observing and speaking at IEP meetings along with writing lessons checking students charts at the end of the day for a reward system and many everyday activities. My duties included writing and teaching lesson plans based on Individualized Educational Plans and behavioral plans. Some of these lesson were designed for small group work and one on one work. I taught a wide variety of curriculum ranging from math, spelling, dyslexia training, reading, social skills and behavior management. I also helped with students who were fully included into the regular education classroom.
After school, I was able to participate in various IEP meetings, multidisciplinary evaluations, monthly faculty meetings, and various meeting with parents based on behavior situations with their child.
I also had the opportunity to shadow my cooperating teacher and write my own copy of a multidisciplinary report and IEP based on a student who I worked very closely with. My cooperating teacher and I went over the detailed reports and discussed the meaning and importance of the report. I was also included on the 3 year evaluation of several students and was given the opportunity to help score several tests and determine if the student still qualified for special education services. My experience in the Howard resource room was extremely helpful and I gained a lot of helpful information regarding special education. After leaving the resource room I feel confident in my ability to teach special education.
The second eight weeks of my student teaching was completed in a 6th grade classroom also at Howard elementary. The class consisted of 23 students 4 who had special needs. Prior to my student teaching I had completed my level III's in the same classroom and had worked two of the students with special needs in the resource room. I was aware of the students abilities and difficulties and had a general idea of the class potential as a whole. Knowing this I spent extra time on my lesson planning integrating the multiple intelligences into my daily lesson plans. When I began my experience I was a little nervous since my first eight weeks went extremely well and I thoroughly enjoyed my time in the resource room.
When I began
teaching I integrated several types of learning into the classroom. I had
the class work individually, in pairs, and in small groups. I also incorporated
technology into several lessons including a English unit requiring the students
to write their own fairy tale and then make it into a power point presentation.
I also introduced wild and wacky trivia. This consisted of me posting a
wacky trivia question each week. The students could use any source they
wished, besides me and another student to find the answer. The students
then had to fill out an answer sheet and place it in the trivia box. Each Friday
I checked the box and gave the students with a correct answer a token and a
sticker which they could use for various things in the classroom.
Prior to my student teaching, I completed my level III field experience in the same Howard 6th grade classroom. Having that opportunity, I came into the classroom aware of the class’s structure, routine, and the students. I feel this was an important part in me taking over the majority of the daily routine after just two weeks.
Overall my student teaching experience was great, I learned a lot and really enjoyed working side by side with two cooperating teachers. I feel prepared for when I have my own classroom and am very excited to incorporate several of the ideas I learned during student teaching into my classroom.