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Making the Most of Student Teaching

9/12/2011 11:19 am

online teaching certification You’ve dreamed of being a teacher for a long time. You’ve pictured yourself in front of that classroom, all those little eyes and ears focused on you, ready to learn. You enrolled in an online teacher certification program and you’ve learned a lot about being a teacher. You feel ready, excited, enthusiastic . . .

And nervous.

The leap from coursework to doing your demonstration teaching is a big one. You’re on the spot, often standing in front of a classroom for the first time. You’re excited to show off everything you’ve learned, but you probably have a lot of questions: How do I make sure I get it right?

WGU Teacher Success Coordinator Blake Brunson has dozens of tips in the recent Career Café webinar, “Making the Most of Student Teaching.” It’s a half-hour packed with the ABCs of making a good impression as a guest in another teacher’s classroom, from the little details to the big picture of how you present yourself.

Here are just a few of the tips that may answer some of the questions you’re nervously pondering:

  • Be a teacher, not a friend. You need to be seen as an authority figure.
  • Follow school rules.
  • Prepare for your lesson. Practice in the mirror or in front of family – don’t let the first time you give your lesson be in front of the students.
  • Be flexible.
  • Learn all the students’ names the first week.
  • Accept the fact that you’re going to make some mistakes. Roll with them. Learn from them.
  • Dress professionally. When in doubt, err on the side of being too conservative.
  • Eat lunch with your host teacher. Attend faculty meetings. Make yourself part of the team. Make it easy for teachers and staff to see you as part of their faculty.
  • Smile and be enthusiastic. Always appear as if you’re exactly where you want to be, even if you’re having a bad day.

For many more words of wisdom to help you prepare for your demonstration teaching, watch the full, free webinar, “Making the Most of Student Teaching.”

Career Café webinars are a free career-preparation resource provided by WGU Alumni & Career Services.

Teachers and teachers-to-be, we want your advice. What tricks did you use to make your time as a student teacher successful? Let us know in the comments!

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