Student Teaching Blunders (and how to avoid them)


Student teaching is NOT for the faint of heart.  In fact, it can be one of the most emotionally intensive times in our teaching careers.  There are great successes, epic failures, and constant rounds of trial and error...and since it's all so new, it's very easy to make mistakes.  That's why I'm highlighting some common student teaching blunders and sharing tips on how to avoid making each of them.  

BLUNDER:

Try this instead:

It's very likely that you will spend the early days of your student teaching assignment observing your supervising teacher.  This does not mean that during his/her instruction you should become just another student in the classroom.  Instead, get up and rotate around the classroom, help students, offer to assist the teacher, take a very active role.  This will help you build rapport with students and your supervising teacher.

BLUNDER:

Try this instead:

If you want to show your commitment to your student teaching assignment, then it's crucial that you arrive to school early to organize for the day and stay late to set up the classroom for the next day.  Just being on time and leaving when seasoned teachers in the building leave won't cut it.

BLUNDER:

Try this instead:

It's a good idea to err on the side of dressing too formally each day.  Even if you see that the school has a relaxed dress code, you should restrain from casual dress.  Dressing professionally will set you apart and gain you the respect of students, other teachers and professionals, and parents.

BLUNDER:

Try this instead:

 Remember that student teaching is like an extended job interview.  While you may never become employed at the school you are student teaching in, it is important to conduct yourself in a professional manner at all times.  Therefore, refrain from complaining, making negative comments, or gossiping.  Speaking poorly about staff, students, administration, or parents is a definite no!

BLUNDER:

Try this instead:

Network with teachers, staff, parents, and the school community while you're student teaching.  Create units that allow you to collaborate with others.  Working cooperatively with others to help your students be more successful will definitely set you apart!

BLUNDER:

Try this instead:

 There's a very important line between building positive teacher-student relationships with students and building inappropriate personal relationships with students.  That's why you'll want to be careful with how much you reveal about your own life.  Remember that you are the teacher in the classroom, not a peer.

BLUNDER:

Try this instead: 

Don't wait for your supervising teacher to ask you to do something.  Instead, show initiative.  Get busy helping to improve the classroom.  If that means creating a new bulletin board, grading papers, organizing bookshelves, writing a letter to parents, then get busy doing it.  And don't forget to make helping students your priority.  Oh, and put away the phone!

BLUNDER:

Try this instead:

 You'll be getting a lot of feedback while student teaching - some good, some not so good.  Don't let criticism or advice crush you.  Instead, listen openly to the words of other professionals.  Student teaching is all about learning and improving.

BLUNDER:

Try this instead:

Student teaching is the perfect time to transition your social media posts and content to a more professional representation of you.  Don't use social media to vent about your student teaching experience.  In addition, refrain from making or accepting contacts with students on social media. 

BLUNDER:

Try this instead:

Rather than just planning for each lesson, you should over-plan.  You can't be too prepared to teach. Spend time creating the most engaging and educational lessons for students.  Consider the expression, "if you fail to plan, plan to fail."  

And, if you're looking for more ways to have a successful student teaching experience, you might want to check out this resource...
CLICK HERE


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