[NOBE-L] Questions about teaching and student teaching

Mikaela Stevens mikaelastevens at gmail.com
Tue Apr 21 14:45:21 UTC 2020

Hi Jackie,

It is okay to have questions and concerns...what matters is what you do about them. I commend you for searching for solutions instead of giving up.

I have been teaching grades 1-3 at public Montessori schools for 3 years. The most important thing is to have core confidence in yourself! I have some strategies that I am willing to share with you. I also believe it is important to be resourceful and think outside the box when new challenges arise-and they will. 

Please feel free to email me off this list and we can set up a time to talk over the phone.


> On Apr 21, 2020, at 5:26 AM, Tara Abella via NOBE-L <nobe-l at nfbnet.org> wrote:
> Hi Jackie,
> These are all great questions, and questions I had going into student teaching. I student taught in first grade with 44 students, and in a special ed placement working with students from kindergarten through eighth grade. I currently teach second grade at a state school for the blind, but I am still responsible for using the technology, setting up the classroom, grading printed papers, and most of what you mentioned. Please feel free to reach out to me, and we can set up a phone call to discuss these questions and any other questions you may have if you would like. There are absolutely workarounds for all of your concerns, and I’m happy to help you in anyway I can.
> Best wishes,
> Tara Abella
>> On Apr 20, 2020, at 11:52 PM, Jackie Larrauri via NOBE-L <nobe-l at nfbnet.org> wrote:
>> Good evening,
>> My name is Jackie Larrauri and I am finishing up my senior year at
>> university and will be starting my MAT in the fall. I have not posted
>> on this list for a long time, but have a few questions to ask. I have
>> been in two preschool placements and one first grade placement. Most
>> recently, I was in a third grade placement that was cut short. After
>> being in these placements, I have more questions about teaching,
>> especially for those teaching in the general education or inclusive
>> elementary classroom, though I would love advice from anyone.
>> I've been having many doubts about teaching as a blind person and
>> while I can find various tips for first year teachers and student
>> teachers, these are all from a sighted perspective. While my passion
>> has always been to teach early elementary in the general education
>> classroom and not students with visual impairments, I have become more
>> discouraged as I have been in these placements. I would love to talk
>> with a blind teacher if at all possible in more detail over the phone,
>> but I have also written some of my questions and doubts below.
>> 1. How do you organize your printed papers--either those you need to
>> give out as assignments, those you get from administration, parent
>> communication, and papers to grade.
>> 2. How do you grade papers from all subject areas? If you teach in
>> kindergarten or first grade, how do you grade handwriting?
>> 3. How do you teach handwriting? Reading? Math? Do you use a white or
>> chalk board?
>> 4. How do you incorporate technology into your classroom?
>> 5. How do you manage fire drills or field trips?
>> 6. I've seen a lot of videos on creating lesson plans, classroom
>> labels, organizing a classroom library, and creating powerpoint or
>> Google slides lessons. How do you create these materials? I have been
>> playing around with powerpoint and Google slides, but can't seem to be
>> able to create pretty labels or slides because the picture is either
>> not in the shape I want, the rotation or size are wrong, or the text
>> is too big or small. If you don't create all of your own lessons, how
>> do you access materials sighted peers make or those off of sites such
>> as Pinterest or TPT? How do you laminate or cut out your own lessons,
>> such as when creating math games or centers? How, if at all, do you
>> incorporate dry-erase activities and know students are not playing on
>> their boards or messing about?
>> 7. How do you set up your classroom on your own, making sure it is
>> visually welcoming and inviting, bullitin boards are straight, and
>> everything is in place? Similarly, how do you create anchor charts or
>> learning targets/intentions to display?
>> I appreciate any insights you might have about these subjects. As I
>> said, I would love to discuss these questions and doubts further with
>> anyone who is willing.
>> Best,
>> Jackie Larrauri
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