Have you ever been challenged by student teachers and the methods they bring to the classroom that differed from yours? Have students ever favored your student teacher over you? How did you react?
— R., Ohio
On a few occasions I did learn some new activities or labs which I would gladly discuss with the student teacher and look at employing myself. I think because I dedicated myself to keeping current on new ways of teaching and tried many different techniques throughout my career, there weren’t really too many times that a student teacher came up with a completely new way to teach something. In fact, even though I and many other teachers have switched to student-centered approaches, some preservice teachers still start in a teacher-centered manner, much in way they themselves had been taught in school!
It was quite a blow to my ego whenever students preferred my student teacher and moaned when I took over the class again! I would brush it off, justifying it as their attraction to someone younger (and better looking). If I only had to teach for five weeks with a reduced workload I could be a rock star, too, I told myself. However, I also had to face up to the fact that some were better than me and that there will always be teachers better than me. And that’s a good thing for everyone. If teachers don’t improve then our education doesn’t move forward. And that means that we stop progressing.
Better said by John Dewey:
“If we teach today’s students as we taught yesterday’s, we rob them of tomorrow.”
Hope this helps!
Sound Attribution via Creative Commons 3.0: “Sad Trombone Sound” by Joe Lamb. Released: 2011.