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Student teaching is the last step in your journey to becoming a teacher. It provides real-life experience and prepares you for the time when you'll have full responsibility for a classroom. It's one of the most important stages in your training and the foundation for building your teaching career.
Curriculum and Lesson Plans
It is vital to follow the school and statewide curriculum when designing lessons. Your daily and weekly plans must address the state standards, and you should never deviate from them unless you have permission from the supervising teacher. Keep to the outlined schedule, but at the same time make sure your students grasp the lesson objectives. Be aware of the different learning styles of your students, and vary your lesson plans to include all learners. For example, make sure you include the auditory, visual and hands-on approaches that some students need.
Nothing will make or break you in student teaching more than preparation. You must be familiar with the subject matter you're teaching. You should have lesson plans completed at least a week in advance for your supervising teacher. To truly be successful, you need to be over-prepared. The time a particular lesson takes varies from class to class, so prepare backup lessons or enrichment activities for when you have extra time.
It's important that you communicate effectively with students, parents and the administration. Communicate your class rules, expectations and objectives for each lesson to your students. Strive for a personal rapport with each student while at the same time maintaining a professional relationship. You'll also need to communicate with parents either through notes home, phone calls, email or parent conferences. Always take care of parent concerns in a fair and timely manner. You should also maintain good communication with your supervising teacher. A solid relationship with her will help prepare you to receive praise and constructive criticism from team leaders, department heads and administrators.
Reflection and Self-Assessment
Reflect on both the positives and negatives of each particular lesson. After each day or each week, take time to assess your lesson plans. Ask yourself what worked and what didn't work for the students and for you as teacher. This will help you design and implement lesson plans in your own class later on.
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