Should your teaching style match the classroom teachers? Not exactly...and perhaps not at all. What are the critical considerations?
As a student teacher, should I try to follow the style of my master teacher?
I don't want to be a copy-cat in the eyes of the children, but the regular teacher does have a good way of getting kids to learn. On the other hand, I'd kind of like to be my own person and maybe go my own way with the lesson plans at least once in awhile.
This one can be tricky depending on the situation.
First...read my page on why classroom teachers want to work with student teachers. Then ask yourself a question: Is this teachers' style one that I should be using?
Second...consider that there is tremendous testing pressure on lots of teachers now, so if they are doing something that is really working for student learning, then deviating just to experiment can really have consequences if things don't work out...especially if it occurs during the lead-up to test time.
Remember that no matter how closely you might try to mimic someone else, you will still come across differently to an observer. So you'll be doing things your own way to a certain degree the moment you stand up in front of the class.
Teaching style is based on who you are, as much as it is based on what you do.
So, all things considered, I recommend doing what I did when I was becoming a teacher: start by following the regular teacher's style, then gradually branch out.
"Branch out" with intention, though.
For example, it's okay to be sillier with students than the master teacher, but...
Being sillier is just one example, but you get my point. Don't pursue style for style's sake. Pursue style so you can feel natural and comfortable while teaching with the greatest effect possible.
TIP: Kids can tell if you are faking a style. Be true to yourself.
Don't hesitate to ask for regular input from your master teacher. Tell her up front if you have an idea you want to try out for a day. Ask her after a lesson if she thought you came across effectively.
Be open and honest and put away your hurt feelings...this is about getting better day-by-day, and you'll get better a lot faster with feedback.
It's hard to go wrong if you keep in mind one thing as you begin your career as a teacher:
It's all about the kids.
If you talk to experienced and successful teachers, you will find that many of them feel they are "on" all day. I agree. On what, though?
Whatever it takes to get
(and hold) their attention
When you are a classroom leader, you have tremendous influence on the children in your care. They are watching you constantly for cues on how to act and what's important.
So I have found that the best teaching style is somewhat equivalent to being a stage actor. If can picture sitting in the audience at a live performance, you'll understand what I mean when I say:
This becomes natural over time as you learn how to gain and hold the attention of children.
But it never stops being exhausting!
It's a price I willingly pay, however, because...once again...
It's all about the kids.
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