Expectations and self-esteem-A A +A
Wednesday, January 23, 2013
WE ALL have our own expectations of things around us. Some people have high expectations that can have a positive effect; people need a high bar to stretch towards. But I think many of us take it too far. I find this a sad reality in my workplace.
It would be good if some teachers make adjustments on their counter-productively high expectations of student teachers. Have a look at your own expectations. Observe the areas in your life where you are frustrated and upset. You will probably realize the only time your expectations can be too high is when your self esteem is too low.
Practicum students and interns are students. They do not have the same amount of training and experience, thus do not expect them to have the same standard of work as you have. Never assume that your student teacher knows everything that includes the content they are going to teach.
I believe education interns or practice teachers need role models more than they need critics. The role of the cooperating teacher is to serve as model, guide and instructor for the student teacher. While the primary responsibility is always to the student in the classroom, know that the student teacher is someone who is growing in competence and needing assistance while gradually assuming an increasing amount of responsibility. Though student teachers will make mistakes and need the benefit of constructive criticism, cooperating teachers should avoid making criticism publicly in such a way that impairs the relationship between student teacher and students in the classroom. As cooperating teacher you must provide an open environment in which your student teacher is able to make mistakes without fear of judgment.
Since internship is a new experience for the practice teachers, instances of difficulty and misgivings are likely. But putting yourself in the student teacher’s shoes would make you less critical of their flaws. Being able to see things in an improved light, you can create better opportunities to work towards.
As cooperating teacher, you are the most important participant in a student teaching program. Without mutual understanding and respect any program would be ineffective. Practice teachers expect a positive relationship with their cooperating teachers. Without an encouraging environment, practice teachers will not be as inclined to engage in learning. Practicum or practice teachers appreciate being treated in a collegial manner by the cooperating teacher and others in the placement school. They greatly appreciate constructive feedback, both verbal and written, from the cooperating teacher. They are willing to complete many helpful errands and paper work. As cooperating teacher you are expected to provide the opportunity for interns to complete assignments and to become active participants in the life of the classroom. You should make every effort to prepare them both academically and psychologically, for the task ahead.
I’m sure you will have much success as a cooperating teacher if you make the experience worthwhile. Just remember your own experiences and how well everything went, or didn’t go. Your love for teaching will always come through to the student teacher. You will then look back and realize that you have helped shape another successful teacher.
Published in the Sun.Star Baguio newspaper on January 24, 2013.