Dear Future Student Teachers,
You have made it to the final semester in your journey here at UAB! You are beyond delighted to see the light at the end of the tunnel as you look forward to student teaching.
But then, panic sets in as you consider all the unknowns of student teaching! Never fear! All you need to know is right here!
Check out these tips for surviving student teaching this fall!
Surviving Student Teaching 101
10. Don’t have a fixed mindset. Focus on persevering and that failures are new opportunities for growth. Reflect on those moments to help you and your students.
9. Be kind. This not only applies to your students, cooperating teacher (or teachers, if you are working in a departmentalized classroom), but to yourself as well. We all have good days and bad days, so there’s no reason not to be kind. You should also understand the difference between being nice and kind. They’re not the same. Check out this article http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/marcia-sirota/too-nice_b_946956.html
8. Ask for help. Don’t be stubborn and think you’re an island. You have plenty of resources to help guide you: your field supervisor, former professors, classmates, and your cooperating teachers.
7. Be FLEXIBLE! You’re still a guest in someone else’s classroom, therefore, you must find a way of balancing their methods with your own. This can be challenging! Remember, even If you end up doing things more to suit their needs, reflect on how you’ll do things differently once you have your own classroom. It won’t be much longer.
6. Always have a plan. This is not to say that you should not be in the moment. You most definitely should. This is where the magic of learning happens when things are organic and lead to discovery for both you and your students. However, you should always have lesson plans ready to guide yourself and your students to that magical place. It’s a plan not a treasure map.
5. Once you’ve planned, you should make certain you know the content you will be teaching. Do your research, read, and ask yourself possible questions the students may ask. There will be times that you will not have the answer. That’s okay. Let your students know that you don’t know everything – YOU DON”T!
4. Be genuine and get to know your students. Don’t patronize them or speak to them in cutesy voices. Have real conversations. This demonstrates how much you really care. Yes, there will be students you don’t like. GET OVER IT! You can still share a mutual respect and model kindness (see number 9).
3. Know yourself. As the saying goes, “to thine own self be true.” You may have a great cooperating teacher. You may not. Either way, you must know yourself and incorporate your beliefs regarding teaching into your daily routine. This is especially important when it comes to classroom management. Establish your rules early on and the students will follow your lead.
2. Prepare. Prepare your lessons, your mental outlook, your daily timeline, and your weekly goals.
1. REFLECT! REFLECT! REFLECT! Did I mention that you should reflect?