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First day of Student Teaching

Hello EduMagicians,

Welcome to episode 17: First day of student teaching. After this episode check out you will find show notes, additional resources and a bonus PDF (10 must haves for your student teacher bag) .

Someone once told me that student teaching is like a 14-week interview for that school or classroom. You need to be the best teacher you can be in this placement – good day or bad day you need to bring it for the students. Whether you have a sunshine and roses relationship with your mentor teacher or if your relationship is lacking you need to bring your A game.

First thing is first when you meet your co-op thank them for allowing you to be apart of their classroom. Once you thank them get to know them a bit. You may be afraid you may not find someone to click with and gel with. It is important to know that you are not going to get along with everyone. Everyone is not going to like you. That is OK. But, lets work on how we can start the relationship out on a positive and professional note.

Conversation starters
  • Tell me your teaching story (and shares yours!)

  • Why did you become a teacher and what keeps you in the profession?

  • What gets you excited about in the field of education?

  • What are your expectations of me and my time with you from this experience?

  • What are some ways I can use these first days to get in front of students?

  • Finding a way to say during this is what I hope to get out of this experience with you...

  • I have 7, 8, or 9 weeks and this is what my program recommends that I do...


During the first few days you are going to be doing a lot of observing. You will be observing lesson delivery, transitions from one class to another, technology use, procedures (looking for some procedures check out for more info). I encourage you to also try to observe other classes in your grade level and specials. Inquire if you can try to observe special education/ speech/OT/PT etc.

During your observation for each lesson

Make sure you have a place to document your learning whether that be a notebook or digitally record some areas of the lesson that were positive, a way to modify it for learners or improve upon it in some way, and one interesting aspect, question, or takeaway.

If you are observing your host teacher DO NOT go up to them and tell them what they can improve upon, but do ask them questions about why chose to deliver the content in such a manner, why they selected the text, or how they evaluated students. Don’t ask them in a accusatory way but ask for learning purposes.