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December 29, 2010

7 Student Teaching Survival Tips

Written By: Brandi Jordan
Category: Career Path
X Student Teaching Survival Tips

Student Teaching Survival Tips

Student teaching is a time filled with excitement and enthusiasm.  It can also be a time of nerves and anxiety.  As any teacher knows, once you get through student teaching, you will be a completely different teacher than when you first began.  Check out the seven tips below to start you off on the right foot.

Student Teaching Survival Tips

1.  Be open to suggestions.

The last thing you want to do is think that you know all there is to know.  You can, and should, learn a lot from your mentor teacher and others in the school.  Always teach with an open mind.

2.  Plan.

You may dread making all those lesson plans, but in the end, those lesson plans will make you a better teacher.  Plan ahead for all of your lessons.

3.  Go with the flow.

In direct contrast to planning, is the need to be flexible and go with the flow.  Students antsy and need to get outside?  Move that math lesson outdoors!  Science lab not working out the way you had planned?  Discuss why it may not be going right with your students.  Being flexible will save you a lot of hassle and heartache.

4.  Dress for success.

Check out our article on things NOT to wear while student teaching to get some ideas of things you definitely want to avoid.

5.  Get enough sleep.

You may have stayed up until 2am during the days of your college classes, but student teaching is a whole new ballgame.  Make sure you get to bed early and are well rested.  It will make all the difference during the day.

6.  Eat healthy.

Do not forget your fruits and vegetables!  It is tempting to dash out the door without eating breakfast, or have a bag of chips and a soda for lunch, but your body will revolt.  You will begin to feel tired, sluggish, and your enthusiasm will dwindle.  Keep that from happening by eating a well-balanced diet.

7.  Let your enthusiasm show.

Students respond to positive, upbeat teachers, so let your enthusiasm show.  A cheerful smile, a can-do attitude and a willingness to laugh at yourself as you learn will take you far.

If you are just about to start student teaching, tell us what you are worried about and what we can do to help.  If you have already been a student teacher, share your advice below.   We would love to hear your ideas!

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  • megan12795
    January 8, 2015

    Being open to suggestions is one of the best things you can do.  You don’t necessarily need to let people walk all over you…but when they are determining the outcome of your evaluations, you don’t want to be argumentative.  I received a lot of feedback that I didn’t agree with, but I found success when I smiled, nodded, and agreed that I would apply the advice by doing X Y and Z.  This helped me to build rapport with my evaluator.

  • Stefany
    January 15, 2012

    Going with the flow is crucial! It is unreal how many interruptions and schedule changes can happen in a school! You have to be ready to rethink an entire lesson, or even day, if something comes up.

    Also, you have to go with the flow with students, to a point. Make sure you aren’t so focused on finishing your lesson that you move on and leave students behind. In the long run, that’s only going to cause more difficulties.

  • Kristina
    January 3, 2011

    Open to suggestions is a BIG key to a successful classroom environment and successful relationships with fellow teachers.

  • Karen Greenberg
    December 30, 2010

    I can’t say how important it is to be open to suggestions from others. After my first couple of weeks in student teaching (I just finished in Nov.), I was hurt by a comment my mentor teacher made. He said I needed to relax and enjoy teaching, and most importantly to be more friendly with the students. I thought I was doing a great job and had good classroom management skills. While that was true, I just wasn’t letting my guard down enough for the students to see me as a person and someone who cares about them. As soon as I was able to take the advice given to me my whole experience changed. I went from wanting to be a teacher to being absolutely passionate about teaching and knowing this is how I want to spend my life.

  • Julie
    December 29, 2010

    I student taught last year. The best thing that I did was took the time to get to know the staff in the building. The relationship that I built with my cooperating teacher went beyond the classroom. I was comfortable with my cooperating teacher and could ask her anything, including the awkward questions that you wish you could ask, but don’t feel like you can ask. If you’re going to spend that many weeks with one person it’s helpful to learn a little about them! Good luck to all of the new student teachers! Best advice I ever received was to “be new, you’re only new until you’re not new anymore.”

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