Conferencing with your Student Teacher
The following is reprinted with permission from Spriggs and Boggs (2016, 30). Minor changes have been made to fit ATA style.
A good conference after a classroom observation should
- Promote self-reflection on the part of the student teacher,
- Provide positive feedback on teaching strengths, and
- Identify one or two improvement areas for future observations. It is best to limit suggestions for improvements by identifying one or possibly two areas that you feel are most important. Then allow the student teacher time to practise and work on those areas. Student teachers can be easily overwhelmed if they are bombarded with suggestions and seem to make more progress when they can address one area at a time.
Questions to Consider for Conferences
- What was expected of the students in terms of behaviour?
- How did they know what was expected?
- What did you do to get the students ready to learn?
- What materials did the students need for the lesson?
- What was the purpose of the lesson?
- Why is this lesson/learning important?
- What did you do to make the purpose clear to the students?
- How does this learning relate to previous or future learning?
- What did you do to make this relationship clear?
- Why did you choose to use this particular teaching strategy?
- What other strategies might have worked?
- How do you/will you know that students achieved the purpose of the lesson?
- What did you/will you do for students who had trouble with the lesson?
- What did you/will you do to reinforce the learning?
- What did you do to wrap up the class?
- How do you know the students left with a clear understanding of the lesson and any homework they had?
- What are your plans for tomorrow? Where will you take this from here?
- What did you do to motivate students?
- What did you do to help students understand why this learning is necessary?
- What did you do to accommodate differences among the students in the class?
- How do you think the lesson went?
- What would you do differently in the future? Why?
Spriggs, B, and A Boggs. 2016. Mentoring Your Student Teacher: A Resource for Cooperating Teachers and University Supervisors. Boulder, Colo: University of Colorado Boulder, School of Education. Also available online.