Student teaching is a rite of passage for educators. It's an exciting but stressful time. After all, you get a chance to spread your wings and try out some of the things you've learned in your classes. Not only is it critical to make a great impression, but it is also critical to take advantage of every learning opportunity so you can grow as a teacher.
In some ways, student teaching is not unlike indentured servitude. After all, you are going to work hard and your reward will not be a paycheck. Many student teachers struggle to make ends meet because they are working a full day that leaves little time for part time employment. The rewards for student teaching will not necessarily be tangential, but they are crucial to your future success. To that end, here are a few things to remember.
First, always be on time. In fact, be early. Nothing makes a worse impression than a new teacher who just couldn't get to work on time. There are very few excuses for being late and even the good ones only work once. Set as many alarms as you need to, but be sure to be ready to greet the students when they get off that bus.
Second, watch everything the veteran teacher does. Hopefully, you get a great role model, but even if you don't love the teaching style of your supervising teacher, look for things to learn. Ask questions but don't make any judgments. After all, we can learn something from everyone we meet.
Work hard at this job. Offer to do extra work when you see a need, make connections with other teachers, and take every chance you can get to learn.
“…I retreat into my fictional world where everything makes sense—but even there I can’t even control what people do…”