Wednesday, December 12, 2018

A Teacher of Teachers

At our school we host many teacher candidates. These teachers in training are a gift to our school because they bring wonderful enthusiasm, good energy, new learning, and a zest for teaching well.

As hosts it's our job to help these educators learn the craft of teaching. Their universities and our state has create positive paths towards teaching well. It's a rigorous program that includes subject area tests, practicums of varying lengths, university courses, and portfolios.

As teachers of teachers, much of the program is planned including teaching lessons, the take-over week, creating a unit of study, managing transitions, observing teaching, and spending time day after day in the classroom to learn what to do. There are parts of the program that are less managed and left up to the discretion of the teacher. As a teacher who works in a team model, we essentially shared the teacher candidate during the day as they learn to teach each subject area.

As I think about what works best as teachers of teachers, I identify the following activities:
  • Take the teacher candidate on a tour of your school introducing the candidate to colleagues and important school spaces.
  • Introducing the teacher candidate to an overview of the curriculum map and schedule for the time that they will be there.
  • Reviewing expectations.
  • Planning together to fit in the teacher candidates' important expectations such as observations and take-over days/weeks.
  • Discussing with the teacher candidate what they are most interested in learning about and getting involved with.
  • Checking yourself to make sure that you are modeling the best that you can do each and every day and also being honest with the teacher candidate about the challenges the job holds even for a seasoned teacher.
  • Increasingly providing the teacher candidate with more and more responsibility. Coaching the teacher candidate ahead as they teach many lessons and lead projects throughout the term.
  • Meeting with the teacher candidate regularly to review their efforts and schedule upcoming events.
To be a teacher of teachers is a role that requires good organization, time, and care. It's a job that educators become better at the more that they do it. 

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