You want to pass student teaching with flying colors while making the most of the opportunity. As such, here are 10 student teaching strategies for success that you can use.
1. Introduce Yourself
Not only do you need to introduce yourself to your students, but you should introduce yourself to their parents, too. Talk to your cooperating teacher about writing a letter to send home with students. Then, throughout your time as a student teacher, don’t be afraid to call or email parents with any concerns or compliments about their children.
2. Set Clear Goals
What do you want to get out of student teaching? What areas do you want to strengthen before you get your own classroom? Now is the time to make the changes that you need to make in order to be a successful teacher. You have a cooperating teacher and university supervisor to offer tips and advice to help you improve. Set clear goals, write them down, and keep the list somewhere that you can refer to on a regular basis.
3. Make a Schedule
Obtain a copy of the school schedule, your teaching schedule, and observation schedule. Then, sit down with your cooperating teacher to plan out your time together. Have a plan in place that you can use when preparing your lessons.
4. Be Prepared
In order to be successful, you need to be prepared. Every time you teach the class, come prepared with a well thought-out lesson plan and plenty of activities to meet the students’ needs. It’s better to come to class over prepared than under prepared, so make sure that you give yourself enough time to prepare every week.
5. Get Involved
Don’t just go to school, teach, and return home. Get involved! Let the other teachers, staff members, and administrators see you around the building. Volunteer for afterschool programs, attend IEP meetings and staff meetings, and use the time to meet with parents and students.
6. Regularly Communicate with Your Cooperating Teacher
When your cooperating teacher is teaching, take notes and write down any questions that you might have. When you’re teaching, have your cooperating teacher observe you. Ask for suggestions and tips. Your cooperating teacher can be a great resource if you take the time to communicate with him or her on a regular basis.
7. Be Confident
Confidence as a teacher grows over time, but that doesn’t mean that you should walk in nervous and shy on the first day. Instead, hold your head high and go for it. Show the students and your cooperating teacher that you’re confident in your abilities and lesson plans.
8. Be Gracious
Remember that your cooperating teacher is giving up a great deal to let you take over the class. They may get a break from teaching, but there is a lot of other work that they need to do. Be humble, teachable, and, most of all, gracious! Let your cooperating teacher know how thankful you are to be there, and don’t forget to write a thank you note when it’s over.
9. Show Your Passion
You probably went into teaching because you’re passionate about education, helping children, or the subject you’re teaching. Show it! Let your students see your excitement. It will be contagious, and they’ll want to learn more from you.
10. Have Fun!
Student teaching is difficult. You’re going to be stressed, and you’re going to have bad days. However, it’s also really fun. I went into teaching because I enjoy it. When I immersed myself in student teaching, it was a lot of fun. Don’t let yourself get so bogged down in the details and observations that you forget to have fun. When you’re enjoying the process, your students will, too.