Hosting a student teacher is a great way to share your love of teaching with impressionable learners and to share your craft. Student teachers are teacher who are in college programs who come to real classrooms to learn from real teachers. It can also be stressful if you have never hosted a student teacher in your classroom, so lets break down the Must Dos for Hosting a Student Teacher.
Know Their Needs
Hopefully you will be given your student teachers name and start date. Sometimes you have a meeting to discuss the student teachers placement and requirements. Here is a breakdown of what you need to know what stage of learning to teach your student teacher is in.
– Is this their first experience in a classroom or are they about to graduate?
– How long and when they will be visiting your classroom. Some may come for a few hours at one time of day. Others come for set days of the week. Other are full time interns for months!
– Learn about their school requirements. How many lessons are they required to teach? What classes are they taking that require them to write a lesson plan and teach?
Before A Student Teacher Starts
You should be provided form of contact for your student teacher.
– Give them a heads up on being early. They may not be aware of how hard roads can be to travel on with BUSES or car rider lines.
– Remind them about dress codes. This is specially true for Kinders because we have to be comfortable enough to interact with our students but keep our bodies fully covered.
– Ask what they would like to be called by the students. Let them know what you are called as well.
– Let them know where to park and where to enter the school. Give them a time specific time and location to meet them so you can get them inside the school and to your classroom.
– Just in case give them your room number and easy directions to get to your classroom from the front office.
– You may want to provide them with a class schedule.
On the First Day
– Greet them and have a place for them to put their things down. Some teachers have a small desk ready or a work area. (I don’t have a teacher’s desk but I show them where I put my things and share with them.)
– Let them know what you want them to do the second students enter the room. For example, they can observe or they can interact with students.
– Provide them with anything you can to make their first day a success such a class list, newsletter, or even a copy of the lesson plans.
– I also tell them to make sure they make notes of things they like and love and take pictures of ideas at the end of the day. (Most if not all the teaching programs has strict rules about cell phone use with students present.)
– Write down ANY questions you have so we can talk about it.
– Tell them how excited you are to have them and that you want to make this experience amazing for them.
– Give them a tour of the school at some point. It may not be in the morning, but make a point to show them the school. I usually do this at the end of their first day.
Teach Them The Basics
Remember your first year teaching and how many times the most time consuming tasks are the things you just don’t know HOW to do? Use this time to allow your student teacher to learn how to do MANY basic tasks. Make sure you let them know you are doing this for them not for you. I can run copies quickly and efficiently, but I want to teach YOU to do it so you will know how to make this happen when you have your own room.
– How to make standard copies, two sided copies, collated or sorted copies, and more!
– Laminate without air pockets
– How to cut out lamination without breaking the seal
– Die Cut
– Create and/or edit a classroom newsletter
– Email distribution lists
– Lesson plans and your system for prepping and planning
– Prep art projects
– Reset the room for new activities, new days, and even new weeks
– Grade level meetings
– Parent Teacher Conferences (if you are comfortable with this and the parent is okay with it. Also use your judgement based on your student teacher’s experience and the sensitivity of the conference.)
Explain to Them
The truth is that when you are hosting a student teacher, they are a huge asset to your classroom. It is always nice to have an extra set of hands to prep and another person with the students. BUT it takes time and effort to train the student teacher to do things! And we have to explain a lot. Your role is still to teach your students BUT also teaching this person to be a teacher!
– Standard break down
– Classroom management and all its glory
– Transitioning from activity to activity
– Classroom set up and daily clean up
– Parent Communication
– Using assessments to drive instruction
– Grouping students
– Spiral Review
When to Start Letting a Student Teacher Teach
Give your student teachers a day to see how you run thing and how the classroom flows. I usually have them interacting with the students and working with them often. Watch them and see how the relationship flows. Let them know you want them teaching soon!
– On their first day, I put them at a small group with students for reading and math. They also help check off students during centers.
– Next, on their second day, I have them teaching calendar.
– More so, on their third day, they take over phonics.
I let them do these three activities each time they come to my room unless something comes up. As their build their teaching confidence, I give them more things to teach. When they get observed by their college, they have been teaching so much and so often, it is normal for them.
Moreso, if they are an intern and need to do a full classroom take over, we make a plan based on their readiness and desire! (I have had some interns who love kindergarten and are excited to take over. Additionally, I have some interns who don’t favor kinder and struggle with this grade level. Both are fine and real. My job to help them at their level and build them as a teacher!)