I remember the excitement and anticipation surrounding my first day of student teaching very well-though I’m home with my own three daughters now, I still look back on student teaching very fondly. The classes I took in college prepared me for teaching, but there’s more to education than the lessons you teach. As you prepare for your own student teaching experience, here are some tips and tricks that can help you get the most of the experience and prepare you for your first year of teaching.
1) Listen to what your lead teacher says.
No matter what you learned in classes, an experienced lead teacher will have more to share. Some you’ll like and take for your own, and some you won’t.
2) Listen to how she says it.
Tone of voice is everything when setting the tone and mood for your classroom.
Especially in the early days, it can be difficult to know just how long something will take. Until you know your kids, your teaching style, and have the feel for the classroom, plan more than you think you’ll need for every day.
4) Respect the lead teacher’s classroom.
At the end of the day, the lead teacher is ultimately responsible and accountable for the students in their classroom. Respect the rules and schedule they have in place.
5) Remember that you are an adult.
Be professional with students, your lead teacher, and other student teachers in the building. This is work-treat it as your first “real” job and not as a class.
6) Take notes or keep a journal.
If you see your lead teacher do something interesting, educational, or that strikes a chord with you, write it down. You won’t remember everything and meticulous notes about your student teaching experience can help during your first year of teaching.
7) Take criticism gracefully.
Listen carefully to the feedback your lead teacher offers and try not to take it personally. This is a growing and learning experience-you won’t be perfect.
8) Be confident.
Show your students no fear. Act like you’ve been teaching for years.
9) Be on time, every day.
Unless you are ill, be at school every day you are required. Be there on time, without fail.
10) Enjoy yourself.
Done right, student teaching can be one of the most exciting and enjoyable experiences. If you stay on top of things, work hard, and learn from your lead teacher, you’ll have a great time and be ready to conquer your own classroom as a first year teacher.