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What do you do when collaboration fails?



I have been student teaching for about 4 weeks and I can not seem to work positively with my mentoring teacher. Our teaching styles are totally different. ( I am really hands on/she is drill, worksheet, drill again). I have been creating ideas, which I feel can benefit the children and allow me to become a part of the classroom in my own unique way and am almost instantly shut down. I understand that this is my mentor's classroom, but if I am truely going to be taking over the teaching responsibilities full time for the last 6 weeks of my internship, I feel as though I should have some creative control over the planning. My mentor teacher also constantly insinuates that I am a "know it all" and that she has been teaching for over thirty years so she knows best. My real question is how can I as a student teacher work with someone who is not flexible and able to respect my personality and teaching style?


from one student teacher to another

I am also a student teacher and What i have been told is that your mentor teacher has a lot of control over whether you get a credential or not. NOt to make it sound really scary but that's just what i have heard. Also as student teachers we are guests in their classroom so we are the ones who need to be flexible. I know it gets boring doing worksheets but as soon as you make it through this you can do your own thing in the classroom.
And I don't know if you have a supervisor from the college you are attending but we were informed taht if we had major issues with the mentor teacher that you should let your supervisor know and it may be possible to switch classrooms.
also maybe try a lesson which is mostly drill and worksheet with a tiny bit of what you really want to do and slowly work it in. I hope everything goes well and good luck.


Senior Member
not your classroom

Unfortunately, the classroom is not yours. You need to respect your CT's style and conform as much as possible. When you have your own room, you may do what you wish. Until then, she has invited you into her classroom and you need to respect the opportunity. This is obviously not a situation where you will learn all sorts of fun, creative things to do with children, but it sounds like you have a solid handle on that anyway. She has been teaching for a long time so I'm sure she has some things you could learn from her. Stop fighting her and just take each experience as "something I may do in the future" and "something I'll try to stay away from in the future." Your CT really does have a lot of say in if you pass, get hired, etc. so don't burn any bridges. Grin and bear it.