Friday, April 02, 2010
Student Teacher Or Free Labor
I never had a student teacher. One of the reasons is that I am a control freak and the thought of turning my classroom over to another person does not sit well with me. A second reason is that I am too lazy to do the work that having a student teacher entails. The third, and real reason I never had a student teacher is that I know I am not good enough to be a role model for the new teacher. There are so many better teachers for them to learn from. My friend, a teacher in another state, has similar feelings.
Ms. X, a teacher in my friend's school always takes a student teacher. She thinks she is great and the administration has apparently bought into this greatness thing as well. Besides, not that many teachers want a student teacher or even have a program that accommodates one so Ms. X does not have much competition.
Unfortunately, Ms. X is not the role model she claims to be. She is, to be blunt, lazy as all hell. She looks upon the student teacher as someone who will take over a class, mark papers and make any relevant phone calls. In other words, Ms. X has brought back slavery and introduced it to the teaching profession.
K is the poor student teacher assigned to Ms.X. She is struggling and worried about being thrown out of the program at her college. Ms. X never spends any time going over lessons or teaching strategies or doing anything to make K's student teaching experience rewarding.
My friend happened to over hear a conversation between K and Ms. X and he heard the fear in K's voice. He quickly jumped into the conversation, offered advice and model lessons and even offered to spend every lunch period helping K improve. He even helped K rewrite the lesson she did poorly on to create a defense when consulting with her advisers.
Now my friend is caught. She can't drop K because if she does, there will be no one around to help her. Her duty free lunch now became a duty period. Ms. X is still enjoying the benefits of the free labor without any of the strings that go with it. K can't complain because she needs to stay in Ms X's good graces to finish the program. My friend still worries about not being good enough to help K get through this.
Personally, I'm glad that I stick to my own company and avoid situations like this.