Having a student teacher is always an interesting experience. It's so wonderful to have more hands on deck to help with students, but it is also an exercise in patience...you have to be willing to give up control of your students and your curriculum. It's certainly easier when you get a good one--but it can be a real challenge when you have one who isn't quite ready for prime time! Fortunately, I haven't had to deal with very many of those...but it certainly does happen.
No matter what, you will find your students will bond with this person who you share your space with, and having the student teacher leave can be just as much of an adjustment as when s/he first arrived. Today was my last day with my student teacher this year, and I know many of the students were sad to see her go; she did a wonderful job connecting with them. She had planned a poetry celebration for the day so it was a fun and special way to end her stay with us.
To send her on her way, we did a little project so she could remember her time with us--and take a little bit of us with her! I made a template of a page that let my students give her some advice for her first year of teaching. I had the students talk a little bit at their table groups to brainstorm ideas for what she SHOULD do and should NOT do during her first year! It was hilarious to listen to them...and after a few minutes, they got to work on their pages of the book. I didn't do ANY spelling or grammar corrections...I wanted her to get their "real" writing!
I laminated the cover, bound it, and then bundled the book up in a gift bag with some candy and a "World's Best Teacher" insulated cup...and I think she was really touched. She read it over and over and laughed at some of the interesting ideas the students came up with. I thought I'd share the cover and template with you in case you might have a student teacher coming soon...just click the image below and it's yours!