As a student teacher, you have reached an exciting point in your
career. Having finished most of your training, you are now ready
for some on-the-job experience. However, it can also be an awkward
time, since you may be unsure of what type of authority you have,
or how you can best help your supervising teacher. Here are some
ideas for navigating your new teaching environment successfully.
1. Be punctual.
While your college professor did not mind what time you arrived
for class, this is not true in the real world. Punctuality is
important, and arriving late repeatedly can leave a bad impression
with your teacher. Your supervising teacher may need you there
earlier than the start of school to review teacher worksheets
and class information. If you must be late for circumstances outside
of your control, be sure to call in.
2. Watch your wardrobe.
Even if your school has a more relaxed dress code for teachers,
remember that you should look like a teacher, not blend in with
the students. Over dressing can help lend you authority that your
age does not. It can also give you an air of professionalism.
3. Be adaptable.
The veteran teacher that you are working with will also have
his or her own scheduling issues, and thus, things may not always
work out according to plan. You may be asked to come in earlier
than normal or stay later periodically to help in the classroom.
It will leave a better impression if you are willing to accommodate
4. Know the rules.
As a teacher, it is important that you follow and enforce school
rules. If you are unsure of the policies, many schools have printable
worksheets detailing school and classroom rules. For example,
if it is against the rules to chew gum, make sure yours is thrown
out before entering class.
5. Be prepared.
Knowing what you will need ahead of time can make the process
much smoother. For example, if you need copies of the homeschool
worksheets, make sure that you obtain them ahead of time. Discussing
lesson plans with your supervising teacher before class can help
you determine exactly what your role throughout the day will be.
6. Be kind to others.
If you are hoping to obtain permanent position at the school
or the same district, it is helpful to stay on good terms with
the other staff, particularly those in the head office. First
impressions do make a big difference. The office staff can also
assist you with situations that may arise throughout your student
7. Keep student information confidential.
You will most likely need to submit notes regarding your experiences
in the classroom and with the students. Remember that you should
not use names in these notes; if you do, change the names to protect
the students' identities.
8. Watch what you say.
Office gossip in the teacher's lounge may be interesting, but
it is also a good way to get into trouble. You could make a comment
that you regret, offend someone important unintentionally, or
create bad impressions about yourself or a fellow teacher. Remember,
if you are hoping to stay in the school system once you are certified,
these teachers will eventually become your coworkers.
9. Maintain professionalism.
Make sure that you treat all the other teachers at the school
with professionalism. Avoid interrupting classes whenever possible,
and treat the faculty with respect. Not only is this a professional
courtesy, but it can make them more willing to share tips and
experiences with you.
10. Do not call off at the last minute.
There is a high probability that during your student teaching
career you will encounter an illness or emergency. Remember that
your veteran teacher is relying on you, and may need worksheets
or information to cover your part of the class. Always give as
much notice as possible if you will not be able to attend class.
Your student teaching time should be one that is of learning
and excitement. By learning how to manage yourself in the workplace,
you will enjoy more success both as a student teacher and beyond.