One of the things I'm very excited about in the coming months is that I will be welcoming a student teacher into my classroom for the spring semester. She came in and did some lessons with my class last spring and we got along so well that she changed her student teaching placement to come out our school! (My school always gets really good test scores and has very successful students in all grade levels and so we typically get a lot of college students that want to come out and see what we do.) I had a wonderful experience with my own cooperating teacher and I've actually hoped that I would someday be able to (hopefully) provide the same experience for someone else. Well, that time has come!
I had a talk with my class about our ST and how things will be a little different next semester. I think some of the kids aren't quite sure about this idea yet, but I explained to them that having two teachers in the classroom opens up some new opportunities for us. In my experience I did the traditional block where I was in charge, but my CT and I also took on a "divide and conquer" attitude and worked with the kids in smaller groups. I'm hoping to do the same thing as we prepare for state assessments.
I was also offered the opportunity to take a mentoring workshop since I'll be hosting a student teacher and was able to talk with a lot of other CT's about their experiences. I think the biggest thing that works to my benefit in this is that I was in that same position exactly 5 years ago. (My ST is actually a few years older than me! LOL) I feel like I'm still fresh enough in the game to relate to being new, but I'm also seasoned enough to know how it goes. I hope that all of those things help me to be a good mentor for her. I'm excited to share my own wisdom and experiences as well as get new ideas and someone else's perspective on teaching. I think my class this year will provide her with a great variety of learners (I have gifted, Autistic, LD, and some with ADHD in my class). They're a great group of kids to work with and I think she's going to be a wonderful personality match for them as well.
If you've welcomed a student teacher into your classroom, I'd love your feedback and advice. I got a lot of great insight at my mentoring workshop, but I know there's so much more to know and share! Please give me your feedback!