Advice for student teachers - Part 2

Hey EduMagicians!

Welcome to episode 21 of the EduMagic Podcast. This episode is the second part dedicated to providing advice for preservice teachers, focusing on those in student teaching. Although you can take this advice and work into a field placement! Sit back and enjoy! If you haven't checked out part 1 click here.

Lisa Dabbs


  • Be well planned. Lesson plans, materials, in-to-through-beyond parts of lesson prepared, follow-up prepared, assessment prepared

  • Begin to build relationships. Get to know your master teacher, students, potentially student parents, colleagues of master teacher, people in main office. Introduce yourself to and shake hands with the principal, and get to know secretaries, custodians, school workers.  Don’t come and go in a stealth manner. Make an impression by building relationships. 

  • Have a classroom management/community plan in place before you’ve even spoken to master teacher. Do the background work, look at potential strategies. Tell master teacher you have strategies intact so that you have a plan. You will set yourself apart because you’ve brought something to the team without relying solely on master teacher. 

  • Make sure to make time to meet with master teacher to be assessed. Don’t wait until assessment paper is presented. Consistently say “I’d love some feedback today on the lesson”. Get quick tips of feedback throughout the day. Consistently receive feedback before formal assessment. 

  • Have hand-written thank you notes prepared. Master teacher, colleagues, principal, secretary, nutrition staff, custodians.  Let them know how grateful you were for the experience and how glad you were to participate in school community.  Ask for a letter of recommendation if there is a particularly positive experience. 

  • When you receive formal feedback, ask questions. Don’t leave confused, seek clarity. 

Elissa Frazier

  • Be personally reflective. Take notes on how you feel and response to students, what the teacher is doing with the student. Recognize your humanity and note how you feel, find source of discomfort (student needs, process, needing support to understand, not your style, core values). Tune into yourself. 

  • Be aware of batch interventions. Don’t prescribe same supports across the board just because they’re comfortable and functional. Assess what works. (Ex. Don’t just give every kid extra time, assess on an individual basis.) Not just what works, but who it works for. What is implemented and how it’s implemented. Intervene for student needs, not teacher needs. Intensity, frequency, and consistency need to be noted. Make sure students are comfortable and challenged. 

Erin Krieger (undercaffeinated podcast)


  • Build solid relationships with students. Go out of your way to know students, be and emotional and academic support. 


Hannah Turk


  • Constantly ask for feedback and advice from co-op. Ask in casual moments. Show that you’re self-aware. Own up to mistakes. Stay humble. Self-reflect. View it as what the classroom can teach you. 


Jacie Maslyk


  • Get yourself on the map. Reach out to building principal, somebody in central office.

  • Reach out - invite people into what you’re doing in your classroom. Invite observations.

  • Make connections face-to-face and through social media tools. 


John Martinez


  • The way you interact with students. Look into their eyes, listen, be concerned, tone of care and concern, select words that demonstrate that you’re locked into student.

  • Show student they are seen, cared for, believed in. 


Jon Craig


  • Be prepared. It’s okay to be nervous. Every first day is nerve-racking. Be on time. Know your content. Be ahead of the kids in your knowledge.

  • Remix lessons. Show co-op something new. Lean into knowledge. New technology, new strategy. Teach your co-op something new! 

  • Be you! Don’t worry if you see your co-op do something with ease, transition, grace.  It took them a long time to get there. Don’t try to force a new tool or technique. Take risks but be who you are.

  • Reach out online, to professors.  Invest, be open, put in the work. 


Kristen Nan


  • Bring your professional best to the classroom. Dress professionally, always be there before your co-op. Show that you care. Make your first impression your personal best. Find approachable topics to speak about with colleagues. Get rid of gum, limit phone time, engage and build relationships. Go above and beyond the checklist/expectations.

  • Take the opportunities to go further as a chance to shine. All learning, including your own, starts with relationships. Be in the game, not on the sidelines. Never underestimate your impact. Build relationships from day 1. 


Kyle Anderson (BEER EDU Podcast)


  • Take risks. Don’t do exactly what your mentor teacher does. Present them with new things.

  • Work with mentor teacher and present them with new ideas. 


Rodney Turner


  • Be a person that others will look up to. Work hard to discover potential. Take time to build relationships. Take time to listen to and engage with students. Be sincere. 

  • Follow your mentor teacher around. Listen to how they interact with other teachers. Ask them questions (which helps them to reflect). 

  • Take over small groups of students. Run with it. Take every moment that you can to understand how a classroom works and the situations of the students. Grow in empathy and build relationships.


Todd Nesloney

  • Make sure you meet the principal. Ask if you can have their time to share your passions. Get to know them.  Build relationships 

  • Be actively involved in learning. Don’t miss this opportunity! 


Valerie Sousa

  • Spread kindness. Get involved with every piece.

  • Eat lunch with teachers.

  • Look for the positive.


Friends, you got this. Take these tips and pieces of advice into your student teaching and I know that you will be able to dig into the learning experience even more. Don't forget to check out for bonus advice!

Finding a teaching job is tough. And finding the right teaching job for you can be even harder!

But don’t worry; AAEE has you covered! Attend our Education Career Fair on Thursday, October 24th, 2019 from 1 - 5 pm at the Norfolk Waterside Marriott in Norfolk, VA to find your perfect match. Districts from the local area and across the country are ready with jobs to offer. Whether you’re looking for your first teaching job or just want to see what options are out there, you’ll be sure to make great connections that you won’t regret, and you may walk away with a copy of our trusty Job Search Handbook for Educators too! Candidate registration is always free, so go online to now.

Remember, you have the EduMagic in YOU!

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