You Are a Student Teacher...Now What?

Time for some tough love here.  Being a student teacher isn't for the faint of heart.  It will be a busy semester (or year), but you will learn SO much!  The more you put into it, the more you will get out of it.  Hopefully, you'll even get a job out of it!  Here are some tips to make the most of your student teaching experience.

1. Dress professionally 
I can't stress this one enough.  Student teaching is your "job" right now and you need to dress the part.  
Guys - wear a tie, a button down shirt, dress pants and no sneakers!  
Ladies - clothing shouldn't be too low cut or tight (leggings are not pants!), shoes should be dressy, but comfortable (I don't recommend really high heels).

You are going to be working on the floor with students and walking around a lot, so you need to be comfortable, but you also need to be professional.  You should not have a coffee cup in your hand or a cell phone.  For some of the staff in the building, the only interaction you will have is seeing them in the hall.  You want them to have a good first impression of you.

2. Ask questions
Your cooperating teacher is there to help you.  Ask questions if you aren't sure about something or want to know more.  If a teacher has been in the profession for many years, they may forget what it's like to have never been in a classroom before.  Use this opportunity to learn as much as possible about teaching.  

Sometimes your cooperating teacher just isn't open to helping you (it happens).  Seek out another staff member in the building for help if you need to.

3. Be prepared
Actually, be over-prepared.  Have your lessons ready.  Make sure all your materials are ready to go.  Have a back-up in case your lesson doesn't go as planned.  Because...well...rarely do things go as planned in a classroom!  

You will feel more confident if you are truly ready and it will show in your teaching.  Your cooperating teacher is watching (and possibly your professor or even your principal).

4. Be on time
Always, always be on time.  Maybe even a tad early.  Again, you are trying to make a good impression.  Staff members are aware of when you walk into the building each day.   If you are late once, people don't notice.  If you are late once a week, it's pretty obvious.

Yes, there will be a time or two when you have a flat tire or are stuck in traffic.  Make sure you let your cooperating teacher or the office know.  Remember, when you are a teacher, there are 30 little bodies waiting in the hallway for you to show up each day.  Being late is not an option!

Don't go crazy, though.  You don't need to show up at 6am if school doesn't start until 9:00.  You'll be tired before the day even starts!

5. Get involved!
Go to the book fair.  Take part in the staff basketball game.  Volunteer to join a committee.  You'll have fun hanging out with other staff and your students will be excited to see you. Every thing you do will give you a glimpse into what being a teacher is all about!

*Bonus Tip*
Have fun!  As I mentioned before, student teaching is what you make of it.  It can be stressful and overwhelming at times, but it's also a great experience.  Smile, laugh and enjoy learning about being a teacher!

Do you have a student teacher this year?  I have some tips for you!  Hop on over to this post to learn more.

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