StarTeaching Ideas for Student Teachers
Future Teachers:
"Who I Want To Be" plan
Preparing for your Student Teaching Experience (1) Preparing for your Student Teaching Experience (2) Working with a Mentor    

Future Teachers:
"Who I Want To Be" plan

Free Printable Sheet

It is very important to look deeply inside yourself as you continue on the journey of becoming a teacher.  We've put together this survey for first year teachers, student teachers, interns, and future teachers in teacher prep programs to help evaluate where you currently are and where you want to be.  

Your name:______________________________Your age:______________________

How old you will be when you retire:  ___________________

What school level do you want to teach?  Elementary    MS    HS    Adults    College

Where would your dream job be located?  _____________________________________

 _____________________________________________________________________

If your dream job didn't open up, where else (other schools/areas) would you want to work?

1.  ___________________________________________________________________

2.  ___________________________________________________________________

3.  ___________________________________________________________________

Are you willing to move around to find a job?       Yes      No

Are you willing to take a teaching job until a better one opened up?    Yes      No

What are your Strengths as a future teacher:

1.  ___________________________________________________________________

2.  ___________________________________________________________________

3.  ___________________________________________________________________

What are areas you know you need to improve:

1.  ___________________________________________________________________

2.  ___________________________________________________________________

3.  ___________________________________________________________________

What positive message do I have for my students:

1.  ___________________________________________________________________

2.  ___________________________________________________________________

3.  ___________________________________________________________________

What do I want my students to remember about me in 20 years:

1.  ___________________________________________________________________

2.  ___________________________________________________________________

3.  ___________________________________________________________________

How will I incorporate the local district's curriculum?

 

How will I incorporate the state guidelines and curriculum?

 

 

What fun hobbies and activities can I bring to my students?

1.  ___________________________________________________________________

2.  ___________________________________________________________________

3.  ___________________________________________________________________

What impact can I have on my future school?

1.  ___________________________________________________________________

2.  ___________________________________________________________________

3.  ___________________________________________________________________

What impact can I have on my future community?

1.  ___________________________________________________________________

2.  ___________________________________________________________________

3.  ___________________________________________________________________

How will I use technology in my classroom?

 

 

How will I address different learning styles?

 

What are the 3 best reasons to be a teacher?

1.  ___________________________________________________________________

2.  ___________________________________________________________________

3.  ___________________________________________________________________

What are 3 reasons some people ARE NOT teachers?

1.  ___________________________________________________________________

2.  ___________________________________________________________________

3.  ___________________________________________________________________

Who is one teacher you admire and want to be like?  Why?

 

 

Who is one teacher you know you'd never like to teach like?  Why?

 

 

What are 3 goals you have for your student teaching or first year of teaching?

1.  ___________________________________________________________________

2.  ___________________________________________________________________

3.  ___________________________________________________________________

 

 

 

Preparing for Your Student-Teaching Experience

a special report by Dr. Peter Manute and Frank Holes, Jr.
Educational Consultants

 Your student teaching experience is a very important step in your teaching career.  In fact, your entire outlook on teaching and learning can be affected by your success during this period of your life.  This series of articles will help give you excellent 'insider information' on what they didn't teach you in your college classes.  

There are many questions you'll want to pose to yourself far in advance of your student teaching experience. It is important to think carefully about them, as they will help to guide the actions and decisions you make. What kind of teacher do you want to become? Are there other teachers who have been a positive influence on you? Who have been your role models? Are there teachers you've had whose style you want to emulate? Are there teachers you know you don't want to be like? What has worked for some teachers that you want to implement in your own practice?

Who do you see yourself as? What style will you create for your own teaching? How will you balance the subject matter with the care for kids? How do you want the students to see you? How do you want your students to remember you five, ten, or twenty years later on? Will they remember you as a positive influence on them? Could you potentially change their lives?

Create a plan to become your dream. Do it now. Talk with teachers you admire and respect: those you want to model yourself after. Discuss the techniques and ideas that work for them, and use or adapt what you feel is useful. You can also check out the FREE teacher "Who I Want To Be" inventory available on our website. It gives ideas, provides guidance, and helps to create a plan for starting out on your teaching career.

Click here to see the "Who I Want To Be" teacher plan on our website.  

Meeting your mentor teacher as early as possible is very important. The two of you must form a bond, a cohesive unit in the classroom. Your co-op teacher will become the most important contact for this point in your career. They provide you not only with support, guidance, and structure, but also critique. Your co-op teacher's evaluation and recommendation is vital to your resume and to interviewing.

Planning will become very important to every aspect of your life, from school to your personal life. One huge difference is planning for class. Not anymore are you just setting up an activity or a day's lesson plan. Now you must think in terms of the long haul. It becomes a campaign where you must have an overall picture of what you'll cover with your students.

Also within this overall framework, you must have weekly and then daily plans. You'll also have to reflect daily and adjust and (re-adjust) your plans depending upon how each lesson or activity goes (or doesn't go!) The daily grind is often interrupted by school-wide activities, fire drills, and those 'teachable moments' that happen on the spur of the moment. You'll need to be flexible and able to adapt on a daily (or even hourly) basis. But that's a part of teaching!

Another concern many new teachers and student teachers have is becoming involved in extra-curricular activities. There are several ways to look at this. First, it is a good idea to become involved in extra-curriculars at your school. These are good resume' builders, and your involvement shows potential employers you are a team player and willing to go the extra mile for your school and job. Extra curriculars also set you up in a new and different relationship with those students. They are able to see you in a different role too, and many times you're able to create in-roads with students whom you might not otherwise make a connection. Of course, taking part in extra-curriculars means more time and efforts put in, especially when you're already pulled in all directions. However, it is in your best interest to find an activity you can join, even if just as an assistant.

You will also need to carefully plan your personal time while student teaching. In addition to the increased teaching and planning load, your time will be further divided by your college, which undoubtedly has course work or projects for you to accomplish. There are always hoops to jump through. If you have a family, you'll be pulled in even more directions as you find the new balance between home and work.


Preparing for Your Student-Teaching Experience 
(part 2)

 

Being an intern is an interesting position to be in. The university treats you as a student, making you jump through hoops completing projects and meeting deadlines sometimes seeming totally irrelevant to the internship.  The school district you are working in expects you to be a professional educator with all the secrets of innovation and new technologies fresh from the university 'think tank'.  Parents think of you as someone who really doesn't know what they are doing yet and don't understand why you are practicing on their kids.  They are always quick to point out their perceptions of student teachers when a problem arises about grades or behavior.  

Hopefully I will provide you with some practical information presented in a no-nonsense form.

First and foremost, make sure all of your personal chores and plans are in order before you begin your assignment.  Once you start it is vital to focus all of your energy and time into your placement.  Secure your housing well in advance and establish a routine of daily tasks.  Plan to arrive at school early and plan to stay late.  Student teaching is absolutely relentless; you will be exhausted after your first day.  The mental and physical strain is unbelievable .  Make sure all of your details are taken care of in advance;  you don't want anything to interfere with your teaching.  Do create some time for yourself or you will self-destruct.  You need to keep your mind clear in order to make effective teacher decisions.  Plan to have some time each day for your self - it may only be a few minutes, but it is very important.  You may think you don't need it, but all veteran teachers will tell you differently.  

Secondly, be a sponge.  You are new to the profession and regardless of how well your university has prepared you, nothing measures up to being on your own in a classroom.  When the door shuts  for the first time you will know what I am talking about.  Glean as much from your mentor and other teachers as possible, and by all means, don't come across a s an expert.   "Learn from your observations and reflections;  don't be afraid to make mistakes.  As you progress and you become more effective, take risks and try different methodologies and teaching strategies."

You have not paid your dues and therefore you are really not an expert at anything.  Learn from your observations and reflections;  don't be afraid to make mistakes.  As you progress and you become more effective, take risks and try different methodologies and teaching strategies.  By all means keep in close contact with your mentor and always remember - no surprises.  Ask questions before you do something;  your mentor knows the ropes and will offer excellent advice.  Make it your responsibility to learn the routines and specifics of the district and building you are working in.  Don't rely on someone to tell you; find out on your own, take the initiative.  You can learn many things from both effective and ineffective teachers.  Unless asked, keep your opinions to yourself, being new and having all the energy of youth will be a threat to some, so tread lightly.  

If there is any down time in your room, ask your mentor for tasks to accomplish.  Help out anywhere you can.  Ask to take on something difficult and work with your mentor to accomplish it.  Save as many artifacts as possible and use them in your professional portfolio.  Creative lesson plans and examples of student work are excellent things to have.  Ask for feedback and listen and process.  Create an open dialog with your mentor;  remember that is the person who will be called first when a district wants to know about you. Your mentor will be able to talk about strengths and weaknesses, so what do you want to them to say about you?  

Finally, enter the internship with the idea there will be a teaching opening that you will be qualified for in the very building you are student teaching.  Create positive relationships with staff, parents, and students.  You do that by demonstrating professional behavior.  When your internship is completed you want everyone to say - "We would really like to have you become part of our team!"  Prove to people that you are the type of teacher that would be a perfect fit for their district.

School districts are looking for candidates who are 'low maintenance' - teachers who can come into their buildings and have an immediate impact.  Confidence, solid work ethic, and exemplary professional dispositions are words you want people to use to describe you.  Your internship is an excellent place to begin!

Preparing for Your Student-Teaching Experience 
(part 3)

Working closely with a mentor or collaborating teacher can be both rewarding and challenging.  The rewards include developing a positive relationship with a professional educator and gleaning tremendous amounts of insight and effective teaching tips and techniques.  The mentor has been working effectively for a considerable number of years and has perfected both the art and craft of teaching.  In the ideal situation the mentor guides and provides feedback while allowing the intern to develop style and work through different situations and challenges.  The intern has the opportunity to make mistakes and develop strategies for improvement all under the guidance of a thoughtful and caring mentor. 

Sometimes an intern is placed with a mentor who finds it very difficult to let go of his/her classroom.  This teacher remains in the room all day and really doesnít allow the intern the flexibility and creativity to develop and refine an individual style.  The intern loses the opportunity to be on his or her own, a very valuable experience.  Another challenging situation is the mentor who for some unknown reason decides to try to clone themselves.  This mentor actually creates a situation that is counter-productive to a positive student teaching experience.  This mentor really inhibits the growth and development of the intern through constant manipulating and overbearing direction.

There have been some mentors who view the interns almost as personal servants making them run errands and do menial tasks not really aligned with the internship.  This situation needs to be reported to the university supervisor as soon as possible. 

Equally ineffective is the mentor who views the internship simply as time off.  The intern does not receive the necessary feedback necessary to process the many situations they encounter.  Consequently the intern struggles and makes decisions that can actually create additional problems. "The interns must always realize that the internship is a tremendous amount of work that requires vast amounts of time and energy and they are guests in a classroom; however, they also have many responsibilities in the learning of the skill and craft of teaching."

How does an intern deal effectively with these challenges?  That is not an easy answer.  Ideally, interns are not placed in these situations; however, we all know ours is not a perfect world.  One suggestion would be to schedule a meeting as soon as possible with the mentor.  Be prepared with questions that might provide some insight and if there appears to be a problem, contact your university immediately, maybe a change could be arranged.  Sometimes true motives donít surface until well into the internship, that can create difficulty and put the intern in a tough spot. 

The interns must always realize that the internship is a tremendous amount of work that requires vast amounts of time and energy and they are guests in a classroom; however, they also have many responsibilities in the learning of the skill and craft of teaching.  In most cases, the intern will create a strong relationship with the mentor.  The personal skills learned and practiced during the student-teaching experience will be invaluable as the intern moves into his/her own classroom. 

 

 

 

 

 
 

 

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