Becoming a teacher can be a rewarding career within itself and there will always be a demand for teachers at any grade level.
A student teacher is basically like being in an apprentice program where you get hands on learning and experience prior to becoming a full-fledged teacher. We asked five professors and education faculty members what they wish that student teachers would understand.
1. Jill Burkert
Associate Professor of Education – University of Alaska Southeast School of Education
The most important thing for all teachers, especially new teachers, to know is …. their students. Know who they are, how they think and feel and be open to their ideas.
2. Elizabeth A Hartley
Assistant Professor of Education – University of Alaska Southeast School of Education
How to balance personal lives and the demands of student teaching and first year teaching. How to REALLY ask questions of their host teachers – they are their closest and most important mentors. (Of course, it helps to know what questions to ask.) How important it is to REALLY finish your other course work before you start their student teaching.
3. Mary Curcio
Student Teaching Supervisor – State University of New York OSWEGO
I think most important is for students to understand what good instruction looks like, how to personalize learning, how to differentiate and make learning relevant to students. It is a big challenge for all of us.
4. Dr. R. Endo
Associate Professor and Chair of Teacher Education Department – Hamline University
As a student teacher, the children and youth you work with will look up to you as a trusted mentor and role model. Be very mindful to always model what you expect of your students, and treat them with respect including during your most challenging moments. Also, the students and families you interact with will be some of the most valuable teachers in your professional journey, so listen to them carefully, and consider each interaction with them as a new learning opportunity.
5. Dr. Tracy Meetze-Holcombe
Associate Dean, School of Education – Francis Marion University
Teaching is much more than academics. There are social and emotional components that have to be accounted for when teaching. Not only do students have to be guided socially and emotionally, strong social and emotional characteristics have to be modeled. Academics are the primary reason students are in school, but never ever forget that all three areas must be intact for a student to be successful. We must view what we do as a stool. All three legs need to be stable for the stool to stand.