New teachers, and those who are studying to become teachers, are most likely thinking along the lines of, “what on earth did I just get myself into?” You might also be thinking, “Was this a mistake? Do I really want to be a teacher? This is incredibly difficult.”
It has been a very unusual year to say the least. Months later, and we are still in the middle of a pandemic with seemingly no end in sight.
If you are in the middle of student teaching or a first-year teacher, this article was written just for you! I have a few tips that might help ease your anxiety.
1. Recognize that things will look a little different this year, and it is NOT the norm.
If you can get through your student teaching during a pandemic, you are pretty much a rockstar.
Let me repeat: YOU. ARE. A. ROCKSTAR. Please remind yourself that daily and give yourself grace.
2. There will be times of being in “Survival Mode”.
Try to roll with the punches the best you can. Remember, student teaching is not indicative of what real teaching is. It will be very different with your own classroom and without college-level assignments and deadlines.
3. Get VERY Familiar with Tech Tools for the Classroom, Especially Google Classroom and Google Slides
As I mentioned earlier, this year is not the norm -but I say that with a caveat; digital teaching tools are here to stay. If you want to impress your host teacher – be familiar with how to use and assign resources in Google Classroom. Learn how to share your screen in Zoom or Google Meet. Show off your new tech skills.
Want to go above and beyond? For only $10, you can become a Google Certified Educator. You can learn more about that here.
4. Do not dwell…
…on lessons that did not go as planned. Try to learn from your mistakes and consider what could have gone better. Try to reflect on your lesson mindfully. Be kind to yourself. Try to implement what you have learned in your next lesson.
5. Balance your time
Balance your time the best you can. Carve out time for yourself so you avoid getting burned out. There will be times where you must complete student case studies or work portfolios, where important deadlines must be met. Be sure to reward yourself after completing these large projects. Spend time with your friends and family.
6. Take breaks from the screen.
Be sure to schedule in some time for yourself. Take a walk outside and get some fresh air AT LEAST 30 minutes a day.
7. Get to know each student individually.
This may be difficult to do during distance learning, but try your best! See if you can have all their names memorized by the first two weeks. Make sure to differentiate learning for students who need it – EVERY child deserves the opportunity to succeed in the classroom!
7. Get organized and set daily goals
Set daily goals for yourself and try to stick to them. When I was in my program, it was easy to become overwhelmed looking at all the future assignments that were due. A side note – I live in California and I had required CalTPA tasks that took weeks for me to complete. I had to break the task into smaller parts so I would not panic about the enormity of the assignment. What helped me the most is creating my own Student Teaching Binder.
Inside my student teaching survival kit, there are BOTH DIGITAL (Google Slides) & PRINT resources. I had interactive graphic organizer templates that I could add on to ANY existing lesson! This would create more engaging lessons and I always had them as a back-up plan if students finished their assignments early.
My binder was also filled with Classroom Coupons, Brain Breaks, and Digital Stickers to help with behavior management when needed. Even though I implemented the behavior management tools that my host (master) teacher already had set into place, I sometimes needed something extra to motivate the students (especially during the observed lessons!).
Inside my binder, I also had TONS of schedule and planning pages. I would have a weekly planner for my program assignments and a separate weekly planner for my classroom placement. There were binder tabs and divider pages for every subject. I used different sections for student case study assignments, my portfolio, and the CalTPA tasks (a teaching requirement only in California).
The Ultimate Kit for Student Teaching includes all the resources I mentioned above.
This kit includes:
What this resource includes:
– 3 Files – 1 Editable Student Teacher Binder (You can edit all text to fit your needs!) and 1 Non-Editable (270 pages total)
-30 Digital Activities and Graphic Organizers for GOOGLE SLIDES & GOOGLE CLASSROOM
-80 Motivational Digital Stickers for Students and 3 Sticker Book Files
-7 Different Style Binder Covers & Spines, Binder Tabs
-Everything I Wish Someone Told Me About Student Teaching
-The Basics on Student Teaching
-Student Teaching Checklist
-Example of a Formal Lesson Plan Template
-Your Role in the Classroom
-The Relationship with Your Host (Master) Teacher
-Classroom Management Tips
-Tips for Planning the BEST LESSONS
-What to Have Inside Your Teacher Bag
-Cover Pages for Subjects, Classroom Observations, Portfolio, Class Schedule, Student Case Studies
-Lesson Planning Pages
-Fun Story Starters
–Over 30 Pages of Graphic Organizers (Also in a Digital Google Slides Format) to help you create fantastic lessons
-Rainy Day Activities