Friday, January 13, 2012

Bad News

A while back I wrote about finding out that one of my student teaching placements was at my dad's elementary school. I was really excited about it, partly because I am very close to my dad and it was going to be cool to be placed at the school where he was once a student, and also because I read on the school's website about the cooperating teacher and the students and the types of things they did. I was really looking forward to it!
The other day I went to visit the classroom. I never wrote about it, because I've been a little sick lately. In fact, when I went to visit the classroom, I was in the beginnings of a cold, and was kind of hung over from the cold medicine I'd taken the night before in order to stop sneezing be able to breathe comfortably enough to sleep. 
So I went to visit the classroom, feeling a little under the weather. I'm also shy and sort of nervous around new people by nature, and often seem a little awkward because of my Aspergers issues. I had this feeling that the teacher and aides didn't really like me, but I thought I was just being paranoid. I also had a feeling that the meeting didn't go extraordinarily well. The teacher kept asking me to tell her about myself, and I stammered a little as I told her about what I've been studying and about my previous work as an aide at a special education school. I sat in on an SRA Decoding Strategies lesson she did with two students, (I was surprised the kids didn't pass out from boredom! How dull can you get?!?!?!) When that lesson was over, the teacher asked me if I wanted to stay a little longer and observe, or if I felt like I had seen enough. But since I was feeling so run down, I told her I had to go but that I might like to come back again for another visit. As I left, I just didn't have the best feeling about the whole thing. But I shook it off, figuring that by the time I started student teaching there, I would have more confidence because I would have just completed my first five weeks at the other school.
So anyways.
Today I got a call from my supervising professor at my school. She said that the director of special education at my ten-week placement had called her and expressed concern that I didn't have the background necessary to student teach there. My professor claims that the school usually chose to interview possible student teachers before accepting them but that they hadn't interviewed me because it had been sort of a last minute placement, and that they usually chose to work with graduate students instead of undergrads. She said that they thought I didn't have enough experience using the different curriculums and programs used by the school, and that they actually wanted me to take another class somehow before I started student teaching. My professor claimed that it was her choice to withdraw me from that placement, because she felt that the cooperating teachers had a negative attitude about me and were already expecting me to fail, 
As I heard my professor's voice over the phone I nearly burst into tears! First because I had been so excited about student teaching at my dad's old school. But also because it seems like I did fail already! I was kicked out of a student teaching placement, after one meeting. In all of the orientations I attended and handbooks I had to read, I was told how rare it was for a student teaching placement to be withdrawn, and that if it wasn't a dire emergency you just had to deal with whatever you got. So although the professor makes it sound as if she chose to withdraw me from that placement because of the attitudes of the people at the school, I feel like it must have been my fault. I went in there, and I was nervous and uncomfortable and tired, and I stammered and stuttered and didn't sparkle the way they always tell us we need to do if we ever want to get a job in this economy. 
I feel so dejected! 


  1. Can't blame you for feeling disappointed but don't take it all that personally. I spoke with a friend who is a professor of special educations and she said for the first time in her career they are having a difficult time places students teachers. She thinks its because there is so much accountability these days that schools that were eager to take student teachers now look for any excuse to not take them. Keep the faith - the right program will appear.

  2. Student teaching is a very important experience, and its very important to have a supportive cooperating teacher. So although you feel dejected right now, it might be a good thing to have another placement where you'll be supported in your student teaching experience. Keep your spirits up and you might end up in a much better placement.

    Kaylee's Education Studio


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