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    Re: Suggestions for Student Teachers
    By BooBug

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    I had a very difficult student teaching last semester. I truly love teaching and know that I will be a great teacher (as soon as I figure out NCLB complaince and Cali. licensing!). However, my student teaching was a challenge because I felt I was always playing catch up with my coop. teacher. Here is some advice that would have helped a lot when I did my ST

    1) Go in a few days before you officially begin. Ask if you can help set up the class (if it's before the school year starts). If it's after, ask to volunteer a few days to get to know the students.

    2) Find a time to sit down with your teacher and ask questions. Provide the teacher with a copy of your univ.'s requirements for you and discuss them. Things to talk about is how you start, lesson plans, projects/quizzes/tests, standards, policies & procedures, etc.

    -Do you have to observe for a certain number of days?
    -How many days to you have to be in charge of everything in the classroom (ie the teacher in charge!)?
    -How do you take over the class? Is it one subject at a time or observing and helping, then everything at once?
    -How many days in advance does she want your lesson plans?
    -Is there a major project that the grade will be doing? When?
    -What is required for grades (ie a certain number per week? what kind?)

    3) Get a good plan book and grade book. I would recommend the Waverly 3-line grade book. It's the one talked about in Harry Wong's book The First Days of School. It really is great and super helpful for staying organized. Also, I found the Scholastic Plan Book was really easy to use. Not a lot of "stuff" to figure out and the quotes for each week were really nice to have to help motivate me.

    4) Purchase a great "teacher" bag. What I mean is a big shoulder bag to carry your stuff around in. Make it something you feel attractive carrying. That sounds silly but it does make a difference. It's like a business woman with a really gorgeous briefcase, it's all part of the image. A ratty backpack does not give you the same aura of responsibility that a "grown up" bag does.

    5) Pack your bag with the thing that you need.
    -A binder with all of your univ. requirements.
    -Your grade book, plan book and a FANTASTIC planner (like an assignment planner. Mead's upper class has been my planner of choice for about 5 years now)
    -A couple of mechanical pencils. Nothing is more annoying than the teacher having to sharpen a pencil!
    -A few pens. Try not to use red for grading. Even if you write something positive on a paper students see the red and automatically assoicate it with something negative. Try purple or green.
    -One or two highlighers
    -A permanent marker
    -An organized way to take home papers to grade. A durable, plastic accordian file in a bright color works really well. Designate a slot for each subject you are going to be responsible for. You shouldn't have more than one assignment per subject per night. If you do, that may be too much work for your students AND you!
    -A whistle. This is great in the class to get attention and on the playground. It is a nightmare to try and get the attention of 1 class when 4 are on the playground with you.
    -A snack for you. Pick something easy to eat throughout the day like goldfish or cereal. You wouldn't believe how often your stomach rumbles. Choice flavored water or a sports drink for a drink. Soda will kill you. The sugar high happens then you crash and burn before the day is out.

    6) Wear nice but comfortable shoes. Those heels are great for meetings and interviews but will KILL your feet. Cute flats are wonderful along with those Gellin' insoles.

    7) Be flexible. Do what you can when you can for anyone you can!

    8) Eat lunch with your teacher a few days a week but if there are other interns in your school try and eat with them at least once a week. Shared misery, joy, and experiences are so much more fun and meaningful! You'll also find them a great support system. Sometimes it can be really hard to deal with your coop. teacher and your fellow interns are all in the same boat.

    Good luck and be positive. You're almost a teacher!

    View the original thread this idea was posted on



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