Student teaching is an exciting time for aspiring educators. And, it goes by in the blink of an eye.
Use a journal to record the experience
You are going to try some things that work brilliantly and you are going to try some things that don’t work out at all. Create a record of your thoughts to remember which was which.
- Every week, jot down the ups and downs you experienced. What worked? Why? How did those things affect you?
- What classroom tasks come naturally to you? What tasks are the biggest stretches? Why do you think that is? How do these change over time?
- Pay close attention to how it feels the first time you step in front of a class. Reflect on how that experience changes over time. What caused the change?
Why is this good advice?
- You will be better able to identify your strengths and challenges to ask for targeted advice from your cooperating teacher.
- Acknowledging your progress helps you remain focused on the big picture and understand how far you’ve come, which feels amazing.
What is the payoff?
- Evaluating your student teaching experience in a reflective way helps you determine if continuing to pursue a career in education is right for you.
- Master teachers are reflective practitioners who continuously strive to improve their skills; it is a good habit to start early.
- Your foundational stories will be a great resource for future interview success.
Sandra P. Sylvestre, MA, GCDF
Assistant Director, Career Services
The opinions expressed in Career Corner are strictly those of the author(s) and do not reflect the opinions or endorsement of Editorial Projects in Education, or any of its publications.