for Your Student-Teaching Experience
by Dr. Peter
Manute and Frank Holes, Jr.
This is the third article in our student teaching series,
this time focusing on working with your mentor or collaborating
teacher. Effective inter-personal skills are very important for
teachers, and as a student teacher, you will begin to develop
these as you work in another teacher’s classroom.
Working closely with a mentor or collaborating
teacher can be both rewarding and challenging.
The rewards include developing a positive relationship with a
professional educator and gleaning tremendous amounts of insight and
effective teaching tips and techniques.
The mentor has been working effectively for a considerable number
of years and has perfected both the art and craft of teaching.
In the ideal situation the mentor guides and provides feedback
while allowing the intern to develop style and work through different
situations and challenges. The
intern has the opportunity to make mistakes and develop strategies for
improvement all under the guidance of a thoughtful and caring mentor.
Sometimes an intern is placed with a mentor who
finds it very difficult to let go of his/her classroom.
This teacher remains in the room all day and really doesn’t
allow the intern the flexibility and creativity to develop and refine an
individual style. The
intern loses the opportunity to be on his or her own, a very valuable
experience. Another challenging situation is the mentor who for some
unknown reason decides to try to clone themselves.
This mentor actually creates a situation that is
counter-productive to a positive student teaching experience.
This mentor really inhibits the growth and development of the
intern through constant manipulating and overbearing direction.
There have been some mentors who view the interns
almost as personal servants making them run errands and do menial tasks
not really aligned with the internship.
This situation needs to be reported to the university supervisor
as soon as possible.
|Equally ineffective is the mentor who views the
internship simply as time off.
The intern does not receive the necessary feedback
necessary to process the many situations they encounter.
Consequently the intern struggles and makes decisions
that can actually create additional problems.
interns must always realize that the internship is a tremendous
amount of work that requires vast amounts of time and energy and
they are guests in a classroom; however, they also have many
responsibilities in the learning of the skill and craft of
How does an intern deal effectively with these
challenges? That is not an
easy answer. Ideally,
interns are not placed in these situations; however, we all know ours is
not a perfect world. One
suggestion would be to schedule a meeting as soon as possible with the
mentor. Be prepared with
questions that might provide some insight and if there appears to be a
problem, contact your university immediately, maybe a change could be
arranged. Sometimes true
motives don’t surface until well into the internship, that can create
difficulty and put the intern in a tough spot.
The interns must always realize that the internship
is a tremendous amount of work that requires vast amounts of time and
energy and they are guests in a classroom; however, they also have many
responsibilities in the learning of the skill and craft of teaching. In most cases, the intern will create a strong relationship
with the mentor. The
personal skills learned and practiced during the student-teaching
experience will be invaluable as the intern moves into his/her own
|Be sure to check out our website for more great
information, tips, and techniques for new teachers,
student-teachers, and interns in teacher prep programs. Also be
sure to check out our Who-I-Want-To-Be teacher plan for
preparing yourself to enter the educational profession. Simply
click the following link: http://www.starteaching.com/free.htm
|Want to check
out the other articles in this series? Check out our
special Student-Teaching page through the following link: http://www.starteaching.com/studentteachers.htm
The staff at StarTeaching wish
you a relaxing and restful summer season.
to bookmark this page and to visit our website for more great
articles, tips, and techniques!
feel free to email this newsletter to a friend or colleague!
I remember when my son was in second or third grade that he had to write the
directions to making a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. The goal was for
him to write clearly and specifically enough that his parents could follow
the directions. It is a good exercise to develop writing skills.
But what if you could develop a child’s writing skills while also improving
his/her motor skills and verbal communication, not to mention self-confidence? How?
Substitute the peanut butter and jelly sandwich with an age-appropriate
magic trick. The teacher can perform and teach the trick to the class and
then have the students write the directions to the trick and take it home to
have their parents try and perform the trick based on the clarity of the
written instructions. This way the child is developing motor skills by performing the trick and using verbal
communication to present the trick.
The key is using appropriate magic tricks based on the child’s age and motor
ability. You can look through any beginner magic book for a suitable trick
or use one of the tricks that follow:
|SUPER STRENGTH (for ages 6-8 years old)
|What the students see: A student rubs his hands together to create a “static charge.” He then
places his right hand palm down on top of his head. Another student is
invited to try to lift the performer’s hand off his head but is unable to do
Props/Special Preparation: None.
Routine: There really is no secret to this effect. The performer has a significant
strength advantage in this position. No matter how hard the other student
tries, he is unable to lift the performer’s hand off his head.
Additional Tips: Make sure the instructions are to lift the performer’s hand straight up at
the wrist. This effect is more amazing if you have a smaller student place
his hand on his head and have a larger and stronger student attempt to lift
the hand off the smaller student’s head.
|STRING THROUGH NECK (8-10 years old)
|What The Students See: The performer places a loop of string at the back of his neck. With a quick
pull, the string penetrates his neck.
Props/Special Preparation: A piece of string or yarn 24 inches long and tied into a loop.
Routine: — Place the loop around both thumbs.
— Put the loop around the back of your neck holding the loop in front of
your neck by each thumb.
— As you talk, secretly slide your right index finger into the loop around
the opposite thumb. Keep hold of the string in your right index finger.
— Release the right thumb from the loop as you quickly separate your hands.
You will end up with the string around your left thumb and right index
finger. The loop will go around your neck, but it will happen so quickly
that it will look as if it penetrates your neck.
Additional Tips: Start practicing this effect in slow motion before you attempt it at full
speed. Practice this in front of a mirror until it looks perfect. A cough or
gagging sound will add to the effect as you pull the string through your
For other ideas how to use magic to improve motor skills, self-esteem, and
create memory hooks for key curriculum topics, visit www.houdiniintheclassroom.com
Michael Kett, a physical therapist for more than 25 years, is an educator,
motivator, and author. His two published books, Applied Magic and
in the Classroom, explore two unique magic applications. Applied Magic
demonstrates how to use magic as a therapeutic tool and Houdini in the
Classroom shows teachers how to use magic to develop creative thinking,
writing skills, verbal communication and self-esteem.
Be sure to check out Michael's website,
in the Classroom
We are proud to offer Michael's
two books. Simply click the links to each (affiliated with Amazon)
for more information or to purchase.
Michael also has an excellent offer
to teachers on
Purchase the illustrated 124 page e-book version of Houdini In the
Classroom... and you will receive 3 additional bonuses valued at $45!
(including a CD-ROM demonstrating the tricks)
Click on his website for details!
Our July WEBSITE OF THE MONTH award is
the International Society for Technology in Education plan of
National Educational Technology Standards. These NETS are
currently being implemented (in some form) in most states, and
they include items that both students and teachers need to know
and be able to do.
The NETS are the National Educational Technology
Standards project started by the ISTE group to give guidance to
educational institutions on how to implement national standards in the
teaching and use of technology to improve education across the country.
It is an easy to use website with many technology
resources for teachers and educators. The site even has the NETS for
students, teachers, and administrators, as well as NETS in curricular
areas of English Language Arts, Foreign Language, Science, Mathematics,
Social Studies, Early Childhood, and Information Literacy.
Check this site out, you'll be glad you did. Simply click the
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Everything begins with the
one, first step.
Foolish people with all their other thoughts, have this one too:
They are always getting ready to live, but never living.
Your success will start when you begin to pursue it.
To reach your goal or to attain success,
you don't need to know all of the answers in advance.
You just need to have a clear idea of what your goal is.
Don't procrastinate when faced with difficult problems.
Break your problems into parts, and handle one part at a time.
Develop tendencies toward taking action.
You can make something happen right now.
Divide your big plan into small steps and take that first step right away.
Everyone who ever got where they are had to begin where they were.
Your big opportunity is where you are right now.
A journey of a thousand miles begins with one step. Take it.
What's New at StarTeaching
Updates to our Website
Be sure to check
out our website by clicking the link below:
It's loaded with
great tips and techniques by teachers for teachers. You can find
articles from the past newsletters, as well as special reports and
A recent page
we've added to the website is dedicated just to
included the three current articles in the 2006 Preparing for
Your Student- Teaching Experience series. There is also
the future teacher "Who- I-Want-To-Be" plan you
can print and fill out.
the link to the right to access the student-teaching page:
"Who I Want To Be" plan
Free Printable Sheet
How old you will be when you
What school level do you want
to teach? Elementary
Where would your dream job be
If your dream job didn't open
up, where else (other schools/areas) would you want to work?
Are you willing to move around
to find a job?
Are you willing to take a
teaching job until a better one opened up?
You can use these articles and the FREE
"Who-I-Want-To-Be" plan and print them out to share
with friends and colleagues. Just click the quick link
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Reports on our website by clicking the quick link below:
Make sure to BOOKMARK our website so you can
keep up with more changes and additions through the year. And feel
free to share our site by EMAILING it to a friend.
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In This Week's Issue
(Click the Quick Links below):
for Your Student-Teaching Experience
Butter And Jelly vs. Magic
of the Month
10 Days of
Book Sale for Teachers
of the Month
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THE PLACE FOR ALL
Do you have a great TEACHING
TIP or ACTIVITY to share?
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TECHNIQUE in your class?
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PROMPTS that you’d like to add to our WEEKLY CALENDAR?
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10 Days Of
important ways to stay cool in the summer.
Why do living things need water
to survive? Give TWO examples.
list of at least 10 activities you can do in a lake.
Why is it important to drink
plenty of water in hot weather?
Write down FIVE
questions you still have about what we covered in class this week.
Why is it
important to Americans to celebrate the Fourth of July?
examples of how different people celebrate Independence Day.
Why are fireworks displayed during the Fourth of
July? What do they remind us of?
What event does
Independence Day commemorate? Why is this so important
to American history?
Create a short, FIVE question
fill-in-the-blanks quiz to cover today's information.
10 days of writing prompts
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BOOK of the MONTH
Designing and Running a Medieval
Technology & Teaching: Setting
up for Handhelds
Discipline Procedures in School
Using Magic in the Classroom