Tag Archives: intervention teacher

Being the Best Cooperating Teacher I Can Be

I had four student teachers in the first half of my career, which was way before Common Core and Resident Educator Programs.

Now in my 20th year, I am working with a graduate student who decided the career of accounting just wasn’t for him. He’s now committed himself to being an intervention specialist.

He’s already spent some time this school year observing for other courses, and he even taught a lesson before Christmas break.  Now he’s with me full-time, and I’m seeking ways to make this the best experience for him.

I had the custodian bring an extra desk to my room so he’d have his own space and feel official.  I am already self-conscious of how neat and tidy he is able to keep his space! Talk about peer pressure!

I’ve also given him a few small tasks to be responsible for:

  • monitoring the 8th grade students’ progress on their upcoming science project
  • conferencing with students about their upcoming MAP test goal for reading
  • gathering informational text articles for a building wide literacy project

That was all in Week 1!

As I head into Week 2, I’ve found myself making my lesson plans more streamlined and a little clearer as far as the learning goals for the students.

I’m going to be honest, having a student teacher has really made me think about how I am teaching and what I are teaching, because I want to be the best model I can be.  It really requires me to break down the process into smaller steps, and pay attention to the little details…things that come naturally to me with 20 years of experience.

I don’t want to overwhelm him, but I definitely want to make this the best experience for him – allowing him to do as much as possible as soon as possible.

Have you had a student teacher or been a student teacher in the past few years?

What worked well?

What should I NOT do?

Please share your thoughts in the comments!


Total Admiration

I have such admiration for the twenty-one students in my class.

~These students who quietly and apprehensively entered the room, followed my directions, and politely helped themselves to the pumpkin muffins I had made.

~These students who dressed up for this very special day and the students who talked non-stop about Rick D. Niece during homeroom that morning.

~The young man who entered the room and confidently went up to our guest, stuck out his hand for a firm handshake and said, “Hi Mr. Niece. My name is C. It’s nice to meet you.” I wish his mother could have seen how grown up he was at that moment.

~The boy who knew the answers to Rick’s questions, but was just too shy to answer. But finally, with some gentle coaxing, got the courage to raise his hand, clear his throat, and answer in a complete sentence. I am so glad he could leave class that day with no regrets.

~The star-struck girls who raised their hands for every question, who knew every little detail, and remembered things I didn’t even remember.

~The 13 and 14-year old boys with nervous, cracking voices, who showed the maturity and compassion I always knew was deep down inside. They were not afraid to ask questions and share their feelings.

~Those boys who were too shy to speak, but were respectful listeners, and still had a one-on-one conversation with Rick during the book signing.

~The very bravest ones who confidently stood and read one of Rick’s poems out loud to him.

~These students, many who struggle with reading, who stood and read a poem called “Small Towns” in unison and brought tears to my eyes.

I have such admiration for this man, Mr. Rick D. Niece, who let my students call him “Rick” or “Rickie, my boy!”

~ The man who met my students at their level, but never talked down to them.

~ The man who answered every question – even “What’s your favorite color?”

~ The man whose favorite color on this particular day was green.

~ The man who quickly learned their names and praised them for their questions and thoughts.

~The man who spoke personally with each student as he autographed each book and took pictures.

~The man who asked my spunky girl, “What do you want to do with your life?” (Does he know how important that made her feel?)

~The man who spent a few extra minutes with the little girl who had lost her book, but finally found it in time for an autograph.

~The man who fought back tears when my students read his poem “Small Towns” in unison.

~The man who told my class, “You guys couldn’t give me a better gift.”

Taking in every bit of advice from "that man" after our amazing class discussion.

Taking in every bit of advice from Rick D. Niece – as an author, teacher, and friend.

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