You’ve completed your course work, passed all of your tests,
and finished all of your paperwork, and now the time has finally come. You are
about to begin student teaching.
A million different emotions are probably swirling through
your head as you begin anticipating and daydreaming about what this experience
will be like. What will your students be like? What will your master teacher be
like? What will your routine be like? And most worrisome of all: Will you
thrive or fail?
More than likely, you will probably find your student
teaching experience a little anticlimactic. While being a student teacher will
help prepare you for your career as an educator, there really is no substitute
for learning on your own two feet the first few years in your own classroom.
So how can you make the most of your student teaching
1. Get as involved as you can. Attend meetings. Go to school
functions. Help with any extracurricular activities, clubs, organizations, and
sports that you can. Like so many things in life, student teaching will be the
experience that you make. The more you put into it, the more you will get out
2. Observe as many different teachers as possible. Every teacher has
his or her own unique teaching style, and your master teacher’s teaching style
may not mesh well with the type of teacher that you want to be…and that is
okay! That is why it essential to observe as many different teachers as
possible. Additionally, observing many teachers lets you figure out exactly
what kind of teacher you want to be.
3. Do your homework. In order to do well during your student teaching
experience, you will need to take time to prepare your lessons and become
familiar with the content. If the students are reading a novel, you will want
to read it (multiple times) ahead of time. The more time you spend preparing, the more prepared you
will feel. Having that extra bit of confidence will help get you through those
first few lessons.
4. Ask questions. Your master teacher is there to help guide you and
prepare you to the best of his or her ability. However, your master teacher is
not a mind reader. Something that is second nature for an experienced teacher
might be a bit complicated or confusing to a beginning teacher. Don’t be afraid
to ask questions, ask for clarification, or ask your master teacher to slow
5. Become a substitute teacher in the district. If you are a
substitute teacher in the district, you can occasionally get paid to do your
student teaching. If you are able to take over the classroom for the day
whenever your master teacher is out sick, you will get more of an idea of what
it is like to have your own classroom.
Following these five simple steps will help you make the
most of your student teaching experience.