Associate Teacher Symposium 13 June 2009Beginning Associate TeachersDebora Lee
Introductions • Share a student experience • Role of the Associate Teacher • Identify principles • Learning on practicum • Dialogue and feedback • Managing workload
Share a positive experience of an associate teacher from your teacher education • What have you learned from this for your practice as an AT?
What do you see as the role of the Associate Teacher?
Research findings What and how student teachers learn during the practicum depends upon the learning context and a capacity to manage both self and the complex learning environment.
An important link exists between emotions, relationships, efficacy and learning • Associate teachers can enhance student learning by: • helping students develop confidence • being a competent role model • helping students to interpret what they observe/see and do • allowing opportunity for students to trial ideas, reflect on their practice and engage in follow-up discussion • helping students to make connections between theory and practice • regarding students as adults professional colleagues (Pinder, 2008)
Role of the Associate Teacher Provide opportunities for students to: • gain practical experience • construct new learning, knowledge and understanding • try out ideas and theories to test and modify them in practice
Role of Associate Teacher • observe student’s teaching • model and discuss own assessment, planning, teaching, evaluating and reflecting • introduce student to teachers and families • induct into centre’s policies and programme
provide support and encouragement monitor progress carefully discuss student responsibilities and participation/contributions provide regular verbal and written feedback discuss any concerns with student and VL
regard student as a professional colleague support reflection contribute to the triadic assessment process complete documentation
Principles • Create a mindset of receptivity • Seek different perspectives • Learn from conflicting ideas • Find colleagues to support your learning • Explore the question “why” to challenge thinking (Curtis & Carter, 2008)
Questions? • What questions do you have about being an Associate Teacher? • What potential situations concern you?
Dialogue and feedback Prompts can act to promote reflection and discussion. They are useful for: • Guiding • Clarifying meaning • Challenging • Expressing feelings • Enabling • Valuing Anouk Graav
Guiding • Have you tried… • Would it be a good idea if… • How about… • Let’s look at this particular issue… • How about if we tried to… • I suggest you…
Clarifying meaning • What is your understanding of…? • Just to be clear, are these the main points? • An example of that would be…? • It reminds me of… • What would you really like to do?
Challenging • Are you aware that…? • I have noticed that… • I have a sense that… • I feel uncomfortable when… • We agreed on … and yet… • It seems like…
Feeling • What are the feelings that might block progress? • How are you feeling right now? • Can you own that? Say “I” rather than “you”?
Enabling • Tell me more… • What else do you need to consider? • What are you thinking? • How does that affect you? • What needs to happen for you to feel you are progressing? • How does that leave you?
Valuing • I totally respect… • I value/appreciate your… • I acknowledge… • I understand what it must be like… • I would like to reassure you that you are not the only one experiencing this…
Managing workload • Set specific times to meet with student teacher each week • Early in the practicum give clear guidelines as to your expectations • Weekly written feedback saves time • View small amounts or written work regularly • Be aware that it is not the AT’s role to correct written work • Address any issues immediately they arise
Positives “Emotions are at the heart of teaching. Good teaching is charged with positive emotion. Good teachers are emotional passionate beings who connect with their students” (Hargreaves, 1998).
Positives • Learning new approaches and theories • Gaining experience with assessment • Maintaining links with tertiary institutions • Developing networks in community • Professional development • Fee reduction for BEd • Professional challenge • Personal satisfaction
References Carter, D. & Curtis, M. (2008). Learning together with young children: A curriculum framework for reflective teachers. St. Paul, Canada: Redleaf Press. Graav, A. (2008). www.globalresonance.com Pinder, H. (2008). Navigating the practicum: Student teacher perspectives on their learning. Unpublished Master of Education Thesis, The University of Auckland, Auckland, New Zealand.