Congratulations on beginning your journey towards becoming a licensed teacher!
I wish you the best of luck during your student teaching experience. Student Teaching can be exhausting and stressful at times – but you will also find it very rewarding to work with students. By choosing to read this article, it means you care and you want to enter the field feeling prepared. It may also mean you are feeling anxious and you are uncertain of what to expect.
If you’re looking for help or advice on how to THRIVE during your student teaching experience, read the tips below!
1. Accept that there will be times of being in “Survival Mode”.
Try to roll with the punches the best you can. Remember, student teaching is not indicative of what real teaching is. It will be very different with your own classroom and without college assignments and deadlines.
2. Do not dwell on lessons that did not go as planned. Try to learn from your mistakes and consider what could have gone better. Try to reflect on your lesson mindfully. Be kind to yourself. Try to implement what you have learned in your next lesson.
3. Balance your time the best you can. Carve out time for yourself so you avoid getting burned out. There will be times where you must complete student case studies or work portfolios, where important deadlines must be met. Be sure to reward yourself after completing these large projects! Make sure to spend time with your friends and family.
4. Be over-prepared for your observed lessons.
Have activities ready for early finishers. Be sure to watch the clock and your pacing. Make sure to provide differentiated resources for students and provide opportunities for everyone to participate.
5. Get to know every student individually. Try your best to have all their names memorized by the end of the week. Make sure to differentiate learning for students who need it – EVERY child deserves the opportunity to succeed in the classroom!
6. Don’t be afraid to ask your host (master) teacher questions.
The relationship between you and you host teacher is of utmost importance. It can make or break your Student Teaching experience. Try your best to build positive and professional relationship with your host teacher.
7. Get Organized and Set Daily Goals
Set daily goals for yourself and try to stick to them. When I was in my program, it was easy to become overwhelmed looking at all the future assignments that were due. A side note – I live in California and I had required CalTPA tasks that took weeks for me to complete. I had to break the task into smaller parts so I wouldn’t panic about the enormity of the assignment. What helped me the most is creating my own Student Teaching Binder.
Inside my student teaching binder, I had interactive graphic organizer templates
that I could add on to ANY existing lesson! This would create more engaging lessons and I always had them as a back-up plan if students finished their assignments early.
My binder was also filled with Classroom Coupons
and Brain Breaks
to help with behavior management when needed. Even though I implemented the behavior management tools that my host (master) teacher already had set into place, I sometimes needed something extra to motivate
the students (especially during the observed lessons
Inside my binder, I had TONS of schedule and planning pages. I would have a weekly planner for my program assignments and a separate weekly planner for my classroom placement. I had binder tabs and divider pages for every subject. I used different sections for student case study assignments, my portfolio, and the CalTPA tasks (a teaching requirement only in California).
There is no doubt that my student teaching binder played a large role in my successful student teaching experience. I felt organized and prepared for the journey. It was reassuring having teaching resources, behavior management strategies, and class schedules all in one place.
I kept all my digital files from my binder and created a resource that I felt aspiring teachers could utilize for their own journey!
This kit includes 2 Files – 1 Editable Teacher Binder (You can edit all text to fit your needs!) and 1 Non-Editable (270 pages total!)
-3 Different Style Binder Covers & Spines, Binder Tabs
-Everything I Wish Someone Told Me About Student Teaching
-The Basics on Student Teaching
-Student Teaching Checklist
-Example of a Formal Lesson Plan Template
-Your Role in the Classroom
-The Relationship with Your Host (Master) Teacher
-Classroom Management Tips
-Tips for Planning the BEST LESSONS
-What to Have Inside Your Teacher Bag
-Cover Pages for Subjects, Classroom Observations, Portfolio, Class Schedule, Student Case Studies
-Lesson Planning Pages
-Fun Story Starters
–Over 30 pages of graphic organizers to help you create fantastic lessons
-Rainy Day Activities
More from this resource:
Tips on how to create lessons that will WOW your master teacher!
1 of the 3 Student Teaching Binder covers & spines to choose from!
For those of you who are either currently in the credentialing process or have already gone through it, what would your advice be to aspiring teachers? What made your experience successful? Now looking back, would you have done anything differently? Post below!