Teachers and Students -Roles and Relationships

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The student teacher establishes a routine that students understand and respect. Activities reflect careful thought, take into account student developmental levels, learning styles and diversity, and create situations in which students construct knowledge. The student teacher exhibits respect and consideration toward colleagues, particularly in team situations, supports colleagues' work and contributes an equal share to team efforts, The student teacher encourages and elicits interaction with parents and community and makes herself available to those constituencies when and where appropriate. She clearly demonstrates leadership in the classroom, guiding and directing activities and interaction in ways that contribute to a positive and safe learning environment. The student teacher exhibits a clear sensitivity to issues of diversity, particularly regarding race, class and gender, in her interactions with students, colleagues, and community. The standard is met if the student teacher consistently models appropriate decorum and exercises control without intimidation or domination, promoting a genuinely democratically-based classroomWhile teachers focus much of their energy in planning, grading and the real-time act of teaching, we can't take for granted the underemphasized -- the ever present givens so rarely recorded. One such given -- taken for granted by teacher and student but obvious to a guest -- is classroom community. Without building community, a classroom is a series of distinct voices all too often out of harmony. But a true classroom community is a safe, democratic space in which students not only share knowledge with one another, but actively construct knowledge with one another. Such a classroom must be safe, it must be teacher facilitated, and it must be respectful. But I've found that these rules, rather than emerging as obvious consequences, often are more effective when they exist as vague boundaries -- as the limits against which the known is...
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