In order for your student teaching experience to be effective, consider setting student teaching goals before you start. When you set goals, you have something to work toward. You know where you want to improve and can make a plan for how to get there. As you set goals, consider the following advice to help you.
1. Decide What’s Important to You
Before starting your time as a student teacher, you may have a good idea of what you need to work on. Do you struggle with speaking slowly and clearly? Are you unsure about classroom management techniques to use? Think about your teaching philosophy. What can you do to help align your teaching methods closer to your philosophy? Create teaching goals that will help you become the teacher that you envision yourself being.
2. Consider Different Types of Goals
When setting goals for the new year, I always think about different types of goals, such as financial or physical ones. You can use this idea when making your student teaching goals. Some of the areas to consider include interpersonal, intrapersonal, time management, planning, assessment, behavior management, or personal education.
For example, with interpersonal goals, you could think about ways to develop relationships with other teachers, staff members, administrators, and students. With students, strive to be friendly without being their friend. You want to show that you care while demanding their respect.
3. Make Measurable Goals
The best type of goals are measureable ones. Instead of saying “improve time management skills”, you could say “I will only spend X amount of time on social media every day” or “I will spend X minutes planning my day every morning.”
4. Take Time for Reflection
After student teaching starts, write in your journal every day. Many teacher education programs require student teachers to do this anyway. During your journaling time, don’t forget to reflect on your goals. Ask yourself:
- How have I been doing with my goals?
- What do I still need to work on?
- What can I do differently to improve?
- What experiences have I had lately that exemplifies how I’ve been working on my goals?
As you reflect on your goals, you can consider different things that you can do to improve and accomplish your goals.
5. Continue to Update Your Student Teaching Goals
The goals you make at the beginning of student teaching won’t necessarily by the same goals that you’ll have when you complete student teaching. Throughout your time as a student teacher and while you reflect on your goals, you may discover that you’re actually really good at developing assessments or creating positive relationships with students.
On the other hand, you may discover that you struggle speaking slowly and clearly for students. Or maybe you have a hard time writing on a chalkboard. Whatever the case may be, you don’t have to stick to the goals that you made originally. Feel free to revise your goals in order to help yourself continually improve and become the teacher you want to be.
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