Audio 6.1: Pam Zornick

Pam Zornick, a pre-K teacher, talks about how student teachers can shape classroom practices, including a story of how one student teacher changed the way an assistant teacher read to the children. (running time: 1 min., 42 sec.)


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It’s really great to have this opportunity to have someone to come in who is studying currently in the field who brings in new ideas and new perspectives.  I think one of the most important things is that it keeps us on our toes. But also, the student teachers just come in with such new ideas, that I learn every time that they come in. I get a new idea on how to incorporate literacy or math into my classroom practices and so I learn from them.  So I think it’s a win-win situation.

We had been watching our student teacher and listening to our student teacher speak on what she was learning, and she’d been bringing new ideas into the classroom. Now the student teacher was gone. It was my assistant teacher’s turn to come and read that day and she picked up the book and the book was about a pig and a blanket. And before she started reading she took the time to show the children the cover of the story, describe what was on there, and then she asked the question to the children “Have you ever had a special blanket or something that you liked to hold when you were tired or sad?” and they had a conversation about their special blankets.  My assistant teacher told about her special blanket that she used to have and the children all talked about theirs. So I thought it was so phenomenal that during this time when our student teacher was in the classroom and all this activity was going on, my assistant teacher was able to absorb this information and then take it and bring it out during a reading time with the children, and have this conversation. Before she would automatically  other times just open up the book and start to read.