Thursday, September 13, 2012

Cooperating Teacher Interview

Cooperating Teacher Interview
1.         How many times per week will you want to meet for planning? When, where, and for how long will
we meet?
 My cooperating teacher and I will be in constant communication throughout the week. We decided to work together everyday for 30 min after school and also an hour on Wednesday. We will also be meeting before class for 10 min to address an last questions that I may have. We will be meeting in his classroom everyday before and after class with the exception on Wednesday after school we will meet in the history department lounge.
2.         What are your requirements for written lesson plans? (Note: Even if your cooperating teacher does not require a written plan from you, you are still responsible for generating them during clinical practice. At the very least, the on-site liaison and university supervisor will want a copy of your lesson plans.)
My cooperating teacher doesn’t require written lesson plans however he said that I need to fulfill the university requirement in regards to my lesson plans. He is more than happy to look over them and help address any concerns that I may have but a PowerPoint presentation is more than enough. In addition he understands that the university may require more and is understanding that I need to follow the directions of the university and he is there to help me in anyway to help me progress through the system.

3.         What are your most important goals for this semester? What role can I play in helping you to
achieve these goals?
 This year I want to be the best teacher that I can possibly be by soaking in a lot of the information and also making myself accessible to students. Furthermore I want to stay on top of my assignments and stay organized so I can limit unwanted stress. By setting up these goals I hope to acquire longterm tendencies to help further my success in the future. I am going to send out a lot of emails and try to stay on top of it much as I can so the only thing is I might get on your bad side and I’m sorry for that but it is just because I am a worry wart. 
4.         What grading procedures do you use?
 Mr. Stampfl has a couple of grading procedures that he uses in his class. If there is class work he puts a stamp on it and then goes back and grades it for their notebook check at the end of the chapter unit. He also corrects the quizzes by having their table partner correct it that way they can see their grade and limit the time that he has to grade. He then goes back through and makes sure that the number correct is the possible number to make sure that they didn’t have their friend correcting it. In addition to these methods he will collect papers after the classwork and grade it to ensure that they aren’t just writing random stuff; he does this to keep them on their toes as they never know when they are going to get graded.
5.         Do you group students during any assignments? How? According to their ability level? Learning
Profiles? Interests? Other criteria?
 In the history course we do a lot of group work. It may be something as small as talk to your neighbor and discuss the previous slide or talk about what we had completed last period. In addition, we have group projects which we let our students pick their partners with the knowledge that everyone is going to get the same grade. We do this to tell them to pick their partners wisely and not just be with their best friend so they won’t goof off and stay busy on the group assignment. Another way we do group projects is group presentations where they work on an assignment in class and then by the end of the class they have a written presentation that they have to discuss in front of the class.
6.         Are there any English Learners in the classes? Where can a get information about each of them?
Are there any students who have special needs I should be aware of? Where can I get students’ IEP’s or 504’s to read?
I have English Learners in all of my classes and in the computer when I take attendance under their name there is a small post to make me aware of their situation or allergies amongst many other various conditions that I as a teacher will need to know. Mr. Stampfl is given written notes from the office and has received phone calls from parents to make him aware of a students need. The IEP’s and the 504’s are in Mr. Stampfl’s box and he has let me know of any students that I may need to know. The information is then put in a folder so we can look back and reflect on them for future lesson plans.

7.         Will you please explain your philosophy concerning classroom discipline? What behaviors do you discourage and encourage?
 As far as classroom discipline I want to be able to take care of the problem by myself instead of sending them down to the assistant principal. I can use various techniques such as proximity or bringing them up to class and read a section of work that we are working on. We also arranged a seating chart to try and keep the side chatter down to a minimum. In addition to these methods we want to keep the class energy and excitement by poking a little bit of fun at those who aren’t paying attention or aren’t doing what they are supposed to be doing. It is all in good fun and very minimal and we have built relationships with these students and we welcome them to poke fun back at us as we are an open book. The first day we said that we want to have a fun engaging environment and that we want everyone to have a fun upbeat environment but not to be malicious or to bully. 
8.         What kinds of bulletin boards or other displays do you prefer to have in your classroom? Which ones would you like me to plan for while I’m doing my clinical practice?
 We are in a history class and we have a lot of visual aids for our students. Our notes are all on PowerPoint and we have a smart board and other means of projecting the information. The class objective is on the board as well as the homework assignments are written on the board. Furthermore, any information that they need can be found in their class syllabus and on the classroom website.
9.         How did you arrive at this particular room arrangement? May I rearrange for special activities?
I was put in the history department at San Pasqual High School and I am very happy and glad to be in my situation. I enjoy working with Mr. Stampfl and I find him to be an excellent cooperating teacher. In addition he allows me to do anything that I need to do as long as I am comfortable. I don’t think that there is anything that I need you to do as far as making special arrangements for me.

10.        What is your field trip policy? Would you like me to plan a field trip for this semester?
We are going to go through the office and get the proper paperwork done. Looking at the syllabus Mr. Stampfl is going to be planning a field trip to LA Museum of Tolerance when talking about the Holocaust. As far as the semester that I am going to be here there isn’t a planned field trip as of yet as we are more focused on world history. I would love to do a field trip as long as it is still beneficial to their learning process however, looking at the content there is a lot of work that needs to get done and it wouldn’t be plausible.
11.        How do you maintain active communications with parents?
 We are open to any parents’ communication as we make phone calls of the kids that are falling behind in class. All of our grades are online so parents can see the progress of their kids as well as another way to get ahold of us.
12.        What techniques do you use to motivate students?
 Mr. Stampfl is a firm believer in competing and competition inspires growth. He has the classes compete for a higher grade and the winner gets a class party. He has told me that the classes get really into it and they won’t tell other classes what is on the test as they know that they are competing against each other.
13.        What are the special challenges of teaching this subject or grade level?
 Our class is full of 10th graders so they have a lot of energy and they can be all over the place. So as a teacher it is my task to keep them on topic as well as dealing with any students who might be ELL. The problems that arisen so far there are side chatter and they have a lot of outside activities that make it hard for them to focus.
14.        How would you describe your school’s community relations?
 Our school has booster and alum support. There is a great dance program as well as sports that help bring the community to the school. Many of teachers reach out to the community to draw on support from the community through putting on plays, performances, athletic events and other various events to help rally school support.
15.        How important are standardized test scores to your school?
San Pasqual is very aware of their test scores and has placed a high emphasis on their test scores. There is a constant reminder of their scores as they are under school improvement and the teachers have a little rivalry of whose students score higher on the state tests. In addition, our principal, Dr. McCoy, speaks about the state scores at every school wide meeting.

16.  What do you think is going to be the most challenging part of the program?
I feel like the hardest part is going to be the lesson plans as they are very extensive, long and elaborate. There are many parts and sections to the lesson planning that I can see myself stumbling on. In addition, to the lesson plans I will also need to be able to cover the material in a timely manner and be able to focus the material and not go off in tangents.

17. What are you going to do to keep your sanity and not get burned out?
I am going to set an hour aside where I am going to have me time and the idea is that I am going to let my brain relax and just shut it off so I can attack the material at a later time. I will hang out with friends and watch television, anything and everything to get my mind at ease.

18. What are you most looking forward to in the classroom?
I am really looking forward to the day where lesson planning just clicks and that I am starting to settle in to the routine. I look forward to the day that I am going to take over the classroom and be able to have free reign to do what I please. In addition, I am looking forward to having fun learning with the students and seeing how they do after their first test to really see how effective of a teacher I am actually being.

19. Are there any students that you have made a connection with so far?
I was able to find out a little information about all of my students but I have had deeper conversations with some students. It is natural that I am going to have some teacher pets but I don’t want to play favorites and I want to treat them all the same. By being able to share about me I was able to find some common ground with them which was easier for me to open up.

20. Is there anything that you are doing in your classroom that may seem a little different or not required?
Every Friday I read from the Chicken Noodle Soup for the Soul as I want to create warm loving students as I don’t believe they are going to remember every needy gritty detail once they leave my class. It is my hope that they will remember that I used to do something a little different that way they can remember me and my class as they go on to other ventures in their life.

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