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Student Teaching Advice & Resources Guide

Drexel University School of Education

Learning to become a great teacher can take years of practice. But learning to become a great student teacher doesn’t take nearly as long. With the help and guidance of your teacher mentor, it’s possible to learn how to be a great student teacher within the span of your semester.

In this guide, you’ll receive student teaching advice and tips for taking your experience as a student teacher and applying them to a fulfilling teaching career. You’ll also learn more about the requirements for becoming a teacher.

If you’re interested in learning more about becoming a teacher in K-12, request more information from the Drexel School of Education.

Student Teaching Requirements

Teachers require a Bachelor’s degree in education from an accredited institution that will prepare them with a theoretical pedagogical framework to put into practice. Earning an accredited degree is also the first step towards achieving all necessary state and federal teaching certifications. This process includes passing the Pre-Service Academic Performance Assessment (PAPA) exams.

Due to the regional nature of American educational standards, student teachers must become acquainted with their own region’s student teacher standards and practices. For example, depending on your host district, you may be required to have a tuberculin test.

Student teachers will also need to obtain a state background clearance and provide copies of those clearances to placement offices.

Various educational certifications are also required. For a full list, please see our certifications page.

How to Be a Great Student Teacher for Elementary, Middle and High School Students

Great student teachers are able to demonstrate their leadership, use culturally responsive pedagogy, continue to improve themselves as educators, and persistently demonstrate a strong mastery of the content that they teach. These educators strive to motivate students, encourage positive social interactions, and to promote continued self-motivated learning.

The best student teaching advice is subjective and will often depend on the level of education you teach. Other times, tips and resources may be useful at all levels of education. For example, it’s always a good idea for student teachers to work closely with their teacher mentor to gain a better understanding of not only state and district policies, but also for guiding their path and learning from their experience in educating young people.

Resources for Student Teaching in Kindergarten

Student teachers in kindergarten should be particularly conscious of the developmental ability of their students. In order to best support the intellectual and personal development of very young children, curriculum needs to be approachable, yet challenging enough to feel rewarding when students manage to master it.

When working with kindergarten students, it’s important to be aware that even young students may learn in different ways. This requires good student teachers to adapt lesson plans to better match their students’ exceptionalities and cultural backgrounds.

Tips for Student Teaching Elementary Students

It’s easier to get elementary students to engage with hands-on exercises. Young children are often impressed with technology, and being able to directly engage with technology in the classroom makes curriculum far more absorbing.

If you have access, tablets or similar devices can provide numerous opportunities to present age appropriate educational information, creative exercises, cooperative games, and a number of other learning aids. In the absence of technological aids, cooperative learning activities are a good substitute.

Skillful Strategies for Student Teaching Middle School

As children age, their developmental needs continue to change. Student relationships become more important during middle school, including both student-student and student-teacher relationships. Rather than working against social impulses, you can direct them to help students become more immersed in the curriculum.

Embrace the social needs of students by pairing them into groups. You might group one student who’s mastered an idea with a student who’s struggling with it. You may also intentionally group students with their friends if it helps them remain engaged with the project. Social impulses can be a helpful aid for student teachers when they’re directed in the right way.

Student Teaching Tips for High School Students

Staying organized is always among the most important qualities of a good student teacher. But organization can be particularly important for instructing high school students. Since many of these students are being prepared for college, student curriculum tends to become more challenging, and formal testing more frequent.

Improving your organizational setup can be as simple as having the right binder with the right dividers. But for the best personalized insight you can find, you should consider asking your teacher-mentor about the ways they manage organization.

As with any good teacher, it’s important to have a mastery of the subject you’re teaching. However, if students ask questions you can’t answer, don’t hide your lack of knowledge. Students also benefit from knowing that even educated people don’t have the answer to every question, and that learning is a lifelong process.

Get The Most Out of Student Teaching Resources from Drexel School of Education

Please see a list of other student teaching resources including: