The Day in the Life of a Multiple Subject Student Teacher

Posted by Gabrielle Cordero on October 13, 2014 11:50 AM

By Guest Author: Jared Candelaria

Editor's note: This guest blog article is one in a series written by students in the Multiple Subject Credential Program, intended to offer a glimpse into the life and work of a credential candidate in our program. Candelaria completed the program in Spring 2014.

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My day as a student teacher starts when I wake up at 6:00 a.m. Immediately, I start to think about the lesson plans I have done that prior weekend. As I drink a cup of coffee, I look over my daily lesson plans and wonder how effective they will be that day. I arrive at my teaching placement site around 7:30 a.m and about 7:45a.m. I start to feel a little nervous about the start of my day. As students trickle into the classroom, I greet them at the door with a smile; and after the bell rings, I say, "Time to begin our day, class".

In the classroom not every day is the same. Obviously, the content of the lessons are different and each student is unique. Because no two students are the same and have individual needs, everyday is filled with new challenges. Teaching multiple subjects daily is one of the many challenges I face not only because of the knowledge requirement but also because I must find ways to relay that knowledge to a variety of learning abilities. Some days these challenges are easy to overcome and other days lessons simply fail. No matter the outcome, each day is a learning experience for me and because I care, these experiences will allow me to grow as a teacher.

When the last bell rings and the students are gone, it is time to reflect. I am sure student teachers are overwhelmed by these feelings. I might feel discouraged, happy, excited, sad, or disappointed; but no matter the feeling, tomorrow is another day. A day you continue with the successes and correct the missteps with the help of your mentors. As a student teacher in the Multiple Subject Credential Program, always keep in mind the reason why you entered it. It was to help students reach their potential; and by remembering this, it will allow you to face the classroom challenges and eventually overcome them so that you can be successful.

To learn more about becoming an elementary school teacher and the Multiple Subject Credential Program at Sonoma State University, read more online or drop by and visit us on the ground floor of Stevenson Hall, Suite 1078.

Math Educator Megan W. Taylor on KQED to Discuss Innovative Professional Development Models for STEM Teachers

Posted by Pamela Van Halsema on October 8, 2014 12:18 AM

Mentor teachers and teacher candidates working together at a table

Today's KQED public radio program Forum with Michael Krasny brought together education experts to discuss the best models and reforms in teacher preparation programs.  Sonoma State School of Education's Asst. Professor Megan W. Taylor was a featured guest on the program along with SFSU's former Dean of Education Betsy Keane, Stanford's Linda Darling-Hammond, and EdSource executive director Louis Freedberg. 

The radio discussion was prompted by a new report from EdSource entitled "Preparing World Class Teachers". This particular report is intended to highlight the most promising reforms to create a more effective teaching workforce. The article suggests that such induction programs could benefit from innovation and reform.

Listen to the Forum podcast from KQED


 Implementing Innovative Models for New Teacher Support

Megan Taylor, Asst. Prof. of Curriculum and Instruction in the School of Education at Sonoma State is a sought-after expert in mathematics education, teacher development, and curriculum design in the Bay Area and beyond. Her recent work with Sonoma Valley School District is notable.  Taylor worked with Sonoma State University teacher candidates and ElevatEd fellows (undergraduate and graduate students in Math and Science) at Adele Harrison Middle School in early September as part of a year-long pilot of a professional development school partnership between Adele Harrison and the Sonoma State University School of Education. 

Megan Taylor

Megan W. Taylor, Asst Prof. of Curriculum and Instruction in Mathematics, SSU

In the program Taylor facilitated teacher candidates and ElevatEd Fellows as they observed lessons across the classrooms of the math teachers at the school, with an eye on rich classroom discussion, then participated in structured debriefs with each other and the teachers they observed. 

Principal Mary Ann Spitzer, Director of Curriculum & Instruction Karla Conroy, and ElevatEd CEO Zach Levine observed and participated in the work as well, reflecting the belief that teacher education "takes a village." 

As discussed on KQED's Forum on October 8, this experience is part of a long-term effort by SSU to strengthen the partnership between the mentor teacher and the student teacher candidate. The strong partnership is formed through key strategies, making the clinical experience for its students more effective and the return for mentor teachers more substantial. 

Another new innovative initiative, the CalCorps program strives to be the "gold standard" in teacher education and professional learning for secondary STEM teachers in California, guiding new teachers for a full 6 years from pre-service to in-service teaching. (much longer than the standard one year credential program plus two years of induction that most teachers experience) 

CalCorps focuses on creating the first, research-based, practice-focused, long-term program for the recruitment, education, support, retention, and development of outstanding STEM teachers. CalCorps is different from other models because it provides a cohesive trajectory of professional experiences for new a teacher that spans the moment they choose the profession to their 6th full-time teaching year. Find out more at: http://calcorps.squarespace.com.

To learn more about professional, university and research based teacher credential programs visit us at www.sonoma.edu/education

How to Talk to Parents About the Common Core Standards in Mathematics

Posted by Casey Sears on September 30, 2014 4:11 PM

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Are you an educator wanting to know the best way to talk to parents about the new Common Core Standards in Math? Well you are in luck because Bill McCallum, a distinguished professor of mathematics at University of Arizona and author of the Mathematics Common Core, came to Sonoma State University and addressed this topic recently.

Bill McCallum spoke at the Student Center Ballroom on September 3, 2014. His presentation covered the basic facts about the Common Core State Standards in Mathematics that parents might want to know. McCallum discussed strategies on how to answer questions they might have. There is a plethora of misinformation about the Common Core Standards being spread by traditional and social media. McCallum was able to put some of the misconceptions about the standards to rest and show educators how to address the positive attributes in a way parents will understand. McCallum's visit was very interactive with the audience. He made sure to give a solution to the questions that people wanted answered. 

This event was organized by the Sonoma State Department of Mathematics and Statistics in collaboration with the School of Education as well as the SSU Math Club and SSU Statistics Club. A special thanks to the NSF Noyce Scholarship Program who made this event possible.  

Below is a video of the speech in case you missed it!

The Day in the Life of a Student Teacher as Told by Indy Luis

Posted by Gabrielle Cordero on July 23, 2014 4:05 PM

By Guest Author: Indy Luis

student teacher Indy Luis teaching a lesson

As a student getting started on the Multiple Subject Credential (Elementary School) CORE track at Sonoma State, you get to spend two days getting hands on experience as a future teacher. Although, with 5 on campus courses at SSU your focus is more on learning the fundamentals for creating lesson plans, being familiar with the theories behind what you are seeing in the classroom, content knowledge, etc.

But when you transition to your semester as a full time student teacher the focus is more on your time inside the classroom 4 1/2 days a week. You truly get to feel what it feels like to get to school early, prepare your classroom, and then spend the day teaching children. You will spend time getting to know your students, learning your classroom management style, your philosophies on teaching, procedures that work best in primary and upper grades, etc. The learning that can be accomplished in one day is endless, especially if you take advantage of every opportunity.

Mondays during your full time student teaching are the days where lots of caffeine is needed. You are inside the classroom from 8 to 12, business as usual. By 12 you're on the road heading towards SSU where you will attend two courses. These courses are re doable, and they are full of useful information, but having full concentration for 6 hours can be challenging.

Not only is the hands on experience at your school site challenging, but it is also extremely beneficial, and is the most important piece of this program in my opinion. I thoroughly feel like my work in the field was the most important part of my journey to being a credentialed teacher.

The most stressful time of your full time student teaching will be the works prior, during, and after you create, teach, film, and reflect on your PACT lessons. PACT stands for Performance Assessment for Credentialed Teachers, and fulfills a requirement from the State of California's Commission on Teacher Credentialing. To earn a credential, there is a series of skills that you must be able to show. You must design some sort of literacy lesson, film it, and submit all your work to be evaluated by the university. It is something that most all student teachers are able to accomplish and do a fantastic job, and from what I understand all the student teachers in my class did well and passed.

Overall the process during your full time student teaching will be hard, and it will test your strength. Even though it was the hardest thing I went through in relation of my education, I feel like it showed me that I was made to do this. As I was stressing about my PACT lessons, and nervous beyond belief teaching them, I was also nervous about the outcome in my classroom. I wanted my students to learn the literacy skill I was teaching them SO bad. This realization showed me how much I truly was made for educating the members of our future generation. I know that my passion for teaching and learning clearly showed through my work as well, because the entire class was able to succeed in my lessons.

I also feel fortunate to have made this journey through Sonoma State's program with a dedicated staff who were extremely understanding throughout the entire year, as well as a wonderful group of individuals who were also in this journey. Not only do I recommend getting to know your professors, but I also recommend depending on your fellow student teachers at your site and at SSU to get you through this. We should be in this together as a group of future teachers, and helping each other should be part of the deal. It sure was hard at various times during the year as I battled through this program, but anytime I didn't think I could do it, I knew I would have people behind me telling me I could.

Overall I feel that I have learned to become the best teacher I can be in Sonoma State's Multiple Subject Teaching Credential program. I almost gave up multiple times, and it was an extremely difficult process, but I am proud to say I made it. One thing you must remember about this program is that you can and you will get through it, just like many amazing student teachers before you who were also meant to be educators.

To learn more about the Multiple Subject Credential Program at Sonoma State, read more on our website, or attend one of our monthly information workshops!

A (Tues)Day in the Life of a Multiple Subject Credential Student Teacher at Sonoma State

Posted by Gabrielle Cordero on June 30, 2014 11:55 AM

By Guest Author: Jessica Hernandez

Being a credential student at times can be challenging, especially if you are a mother and a wife as well. Being a credential student requires discipline and commitment. But, knowing you're making a difference in the lives of children validates everything.

For part-time student teachers in the Multiple Subject Program like me, you usually have two days at the university taking classes and two days at your placement site. In one of those site days you have a seminar class. On the other days you have an option to spend time substitute teaching during the day and in the afternoon doing homework if you want more experience. The following is a snap shot of a typical Tuesday in my life this semester.

quote from blog: Being a credential student takes hard work and dedication.  But, knowing you are helping children validates everything

On Tuesday, up at 6:00 a.m get ready and everything ready for my twins for Day Care. At 7:30 I head to my school site. It's a 30 minute to and from the site in Santa Rosa to my home in Cloverdale. Arrive at 8:00, sign in at the office and drop my reflection sheet for the week for the site supervisor to read. Class starts, for the first half hour students come to my desk for help. Teacher opens the class each morning allowing students to work on things that they may need to catch up on. After my mentor teacher starts the class. The full-time student teacher and I (the part-time student teacher) sit and correct papers for the teacher. From time to time I will stop and take notes on what I observe. Later I take a group of students to the library for reading. After reading we go back to class. The full-timer student teacher is doing a lesson. I help, in whatever she wants me to help her. During recess, our mentor teacher has study hall and the full-timer and I take turns going to the restroom since students cannot be left unsupervised.

From 12:00 -1:30 p.m we have our site seminar, this seminar will be different depending of which school site you are in. For us it was on Tuesday and typically between this time. In seminar we learned about different things we wanted to learn about teaching. At the beginning of the semester we brainstormed ideas and decided on the topics. Some seminar days were exclusively about PACT (Performance Assessment for California Teachers) for the full-timers, one was about CWS-1 (Candidate Work Sample) for the part-timers. But, most of the time the seminars were in teachers' classrooms where different teachers talked to us about topics like; classroom management, back to school night, Common Core Standards, etc. Most of the time, it was during upper grades' lunch, so we had to eat our lunches during that time as well.

After seminar, we went back to class, assisted our mentor in whatever she wanted us to do. Sometimes it was correcting, copying, taking down projects from the wall and displaying new projects on the wall. Sometimes, I would leave the class to observe other peers doing a lesson in different classrooms.as a part-timer you're required to do four peer observations After we would have a debrief session where we talked about what we observed about the lessons. Then I would return to my class and walk around helping students and observing. Then we head to the gym for P.E. before school ended. I always participate in the lesson. I believe it's important for students to see you as the teacher willing to do what you want them to do. Plus, it's fun to move around and play with your students. Class is dismissed at 2:54 p.m.

We went back to the classroom to plan for the next day and next week. Sometimes we would have auto duty in that case we would be doing that for at least 40 minutes. After school is your opportunity to ask questions about anything you saw or anything you have questions about. During this time I would plan with my mentor on anything she wanted to let me teach for the next day or what I could teach next week. Sometimes we would leave this planning for the next day. Usually I would stay at the site until 3:30. Headed to the university for a class from 4-6:40. Then head back home.

When I got home I attended to my parental duties. Once my twins were in bed. I finished doing homework. Work on my lesson plan for the next day or for the following week. Usually this was a two hour deal on a good day. Then off to sleep I went.