Student teaching offers a rewarding opportunity for those starting out in the educational field, but there are no guarantees that it will go smoothly. From disrespectful students to miscommunications or conflicts with faculty members, there are certain situations that can make student teaching unpleasant at times. Those who have one of these experiences can use the following ideas to handle it effectively.
- Consider it a learning experience. Every setback provides a chance to learn something new and grow from that experience. With student teaching, those who have setbacks can examine what happened and think about how to prevent them from occurring again. This offers an opportunity to gain a better understanding of what is needed in order to have a successful teaching experience.
- Remember that experience helps build respect. Dealing with disrespect from students or faculty can occur due to nothing more than inexperience. Student teachers should keep in mind that they have a chance to earn respect as they gain more experience teaching, as long as they are open to examining their methods and making changes as needed.
- Seek advice from a trusted mentor. Student teachers can get reassurance and valuable advice from a mentor. This can be an experienced teacher that they respect and trust. By talking to a mentor, student teachers can gain insight into teaching and learn more effective methods to use in the classroom.
- Look at each day as a new opportunity. Student teachers should consider an unpleasant experience as a chance to start fresh the next day. Each day that they enter the classroom should be looked at as an opportunity to avoid repeating mistakes that might have led to the bad experience and to apply new insights when teaching.
- Be willing to adjust as needed. One of the most important parts of student teaching is being able to recognize when certain methods or techniques are ineffective and being willing to modify them or try something new. Student teachers should be open to changing plans as often as necessary. This helps ensure a rewarding experience for student teachers and their students.
- Find social support. While talking to a mentor can provide support, student teachers should also have a support system outside of work. An outside social support system can give student teachers a new perspective on their situation, which can end up leading to unexpected insights into how to make student teaching a better experience. Relying on non-work-related sources of support also offers them a chance to step back from work and focus on other areas of their life, rather than dwelling on what happened.
- Keep in mind that starting any job is a challenge. Student teachers are not alone when it comes to having a bad experience as newcomers in the workplace. As with any job, student teaching can be difficult for beginners. It takes time to adapt to this new experience and become comfortable with it. Student teachers should try to avoid focusing too much on negative experiences that occur and focus more on creating positive experiences as they gain more confidence on the job.
Teachers will see increased student participation and help students stay focused by taking advantage of these seven suggestions. In addition, focused students will learn new concepts faster, which helps both teachers and students move forward in educational goals.