Associate Teacher Workshop
8 June 2016
DegreesColumbia University, Ed.D.
University of Chicago, M.A.
University of Michigan, B.A.
ExpertiseJewish education; curriculum and pedagogy in teacher education; learning to teach; mentoring and new teacher induction; professional development of teachers.
Last week, UC held a workshop for Associate and Mentor teachers. It was a mix of people with the majority being from Early Childhood, some Primary and one or two Secondary.
Sharon started by sharing a story and Kathy and Debbie. Kathy was the classroom teacher and Debbie was her student teacher. Kathy was struggling with handing over her class to Debbie for a range of reasons. From this discussion with Sharon, an inquiry which led to reinvent and reimagine student teaching took place. The role of all involved was re thought. Large-scale changes came about it in Michigan teacher education.
The problem with the system prior to this inquiry, was that it asked the most experienced teacher to step aside for the least experienced. Teachers had a certain mindset about what their role actually was. We discussed where this perception comes from?
When thinking about Kathy's case prior and post inquiry, thinking about the role of an associate teacher or mentor looked like this:
Before: Institution & own experiences and expectations.
After: Teach together, learn from each other, approach children together, have many conversations about the why. Model and explain pedagogy.
Kathy's thinking turned from seeing the students as hers, to ours, This led to a more collaborative relationship with the focus being on the children.
'All I see are the actions so I need to break these down and see what the thinking is around this is.'
|Checking out ideas from within the group.|
We need to learn how to talk about teaching in ways that are not judgmental.
We looked at the need to find more precise and descriptive language for when we discuss what we do. Never assume people know why we are doing what we do when in the classroom.
We listed ways we can do this:
OBSERVE RESPOND REVISIT BUILD AND MAINTAIN RELATIONSHIPS BE AWARE OF ALL CHILDREN AND THEIR NEEDS UNDERSTAND CURRENT TEACHING PEDAGOGY QUESTION BE DESCRIPTIVE CONSISTENCY BE VISIBLE BE PRESENT
Although this course was designed for associate and mentor teachers, I think there are elements and ideas that we can all benefit from and help to improve our own effectiveness and that of those around us.
|Lee-Anne, Sharon and Samantha...what a great sport stopping for a selfie.|
Teaching is relational.