So my first student teaching position starts Monday. I am currently enrolled in my last regular course (MAT 674) for my Master’s Degree  (student teaching, student teaching seminars and Master’s Capstone not included as they are all very individualized) which also starts on Monday. Originally, I thought that my student teaching seminar was going to bump my MAT 674 course off my schedule. However, my actual student teaching seminar does not start until February. So now I am trying to decide if I want to keep the course and juggle my first month of student teaching at the same time or if I should re-schedule the course after my student teaching is done. I am torn. I think ultimately all I can do is wait until Sunday night when the Blackboard for the course opens up and check out the assignments. I do not think that I can really make a clear decision without more information, but it is weighing on my mind.

Student Teaching Seminars Scheduled

Since I live so far from a physical campus (and my student teaching position is about a block from my house) I put in a formal request for an exemption to allow me to take the student teaching seminars online instead of in person. The request was conditionally approved over the holiday break but the notification did not explain what “conditionally” actually meant. Later, I found out it depended on whether there would be an online course available. Today, I was notified that I was (finally) enrolled in my student teaching seminar courses. I checked, they are online and that means that I do not have to commute to a University campus for the seminars. Woohoo!

Meeting with a Master Teacher

I met with my first master teacher today after school let out for the holidays. We went over what the schedule for the school, the weekly schedule for the classroom, the requirements for my program, student testing and scheduled when I will take over the class full time. We discussed my TPA requirements and made a plan for when I will gather the needed work samples from the class that is needed to complete TPA #3 and TPA #4. We talked about what the students will be working on when they come back from break. I came up with some ideas of how to expand the technology portion of the assignment and create a hands-on aspect as well to appeal to different learning styles. All in all it went fabulous and I am super excited!

Student Teacher Orietation

Today, I had my orientation for student teaching. It went well. I got there super early, as usual, so I had a bit of a wait. We talked about who all you need to contact if you are going to be out sick and substituting for your master teacher.  We were informed that we will be observed by our university supervisor eight times total, four during each placement/level periods.

We went over the requirements for:

  1. multiple subject elementary teachers, it is 40 days in a lower elementary placement and 40 days in an upper elementary placement
  2. single subject teachers, it is 80 days in their subject, half of the teaching periods at one level and the other half of the teaching periods at a second level so it could be half freshmen English and half sophomore English

For my university/program, they like to schedule you 45 days to provide you with some cushion in the event you miss any days.



TPA #2: Score Update

I got my score on 11/27/2017 at 10:48am. 2 days! So fast and it was on the Thanksgiving break again. So maybe the holidays do not cause delays. I would still say if you haven’t gotten your score to give it a couple extra days before total panic but at day 15, call your credential program and talk to them.

Oh ya, I PASSED!!!!!

TPA #4

I am doing CalTPA. For TPA #4 my task is Culminating Teaching Experience. It assesses my ability to integrate all three prior tasks :

  •  Learns about students and plans student instruction and assessment activities based on the learning goals
  • Adapts the plans and assessments for English learners and for students with other instructional challenges*
  • Teaches the lesson and administers the assessments
  • Analyzes and uses instruction and assessment results to plan further instruction
  • Reflects on the lesson, the classroom instruction, the learning results and on his/her effectiveness as a teacher

*Focus students must be different than those used on Differentiating Instruction and Assessing Learning tasks. (I plan to use different classes altogether.)

Students must complete the honor code, task form, attach un-editied 20-minute video of this lesson, attach sketch of your classroom with labels of EN and SN students, attach assessment related to the learning goals of the lesson, attach samples of specific students’ work and wait “7-10 days” for scoring.

Before starting, check out the TPA Handbook on this task to get an idea what you are about to tackle. For this task, also read up on the TPA Privacy and Permission Requirements. I will admit, normally I am a get in there and try it all out for myself first and refer to guides at the end kind of gal. Bad idea. I did that on TPA #1, I got started on a few answers and then looked after, I ended up going back for major edits. Save yourself some time and frustration, read first then start the actual task.

Side Note: I submitted my TPA #1 on 11/23/16 at 10:30pm and received my score on 12/5/16 at 2:06pm. The Thanksgiving holiday may have contributed to the long wait time or perhaps they were flooded with submissions right then. I would say take the 7-10 days with a grain of salt, but if you haven’t gotten a reply in 15 days, contact your credential program and start asking questions.