Reflective Student Teaching
Student teaching is an exciting time for aspiring educators. And, it goes by in the blink of an eye.
Use a journal to record the experience
You are going to try some things that work brilliantly and you are going to try some things that don't work out at all. Create a record of your thoughts to remember which was which.
- Every week, jot down the ups and downs you experienced. What worked? Why? How did those things affect you?
- What classroom tasks come naturally to you? What tasks are the biggest stretches? Why do you think that is? How do these change over time?
- Pay close attention to how it feels the first time you step in front of a class. Reflect on how that experience changes over time. What caused the change?
Why is this good advice?
- You will be better able to identify your strengths and challenges to ask for targeted advice from your cooperating teacher.
- Acknowledging your progress helps you remain focused on the big picture and understand how far you've come, which feels amazing.
What is the payoff?
- Evaluating your student teaching experience in a reflective way helps you determine if continuing to pursue a career in education is right for you.
- Master teachers are reflective practitioners who continuously strive to improve their skills; it is a good habit to start early.
- Your foundational stories will be a great resource for future interview success.
Sandra P. Sylvestre, MA, GCDF
Assistant Director, Career Services