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How To Prepare for Student Teaching - Frequently Asked Questions

Drexel University School of Education

As with any skill, teaching takes practice. A practicing student teacher is allowed to get hands-on experience teaching. But since student teaching is also a fairly rigorous process, it helps if you know how to prepare for it.

Are you interested in learning more about Drexel’s School of Education and student teaching opportunities? Take a moment to request more information.

Why Is Student Teaching Important?

Learning to become a skilled educator can take years of practice; student teaching is necessary and helpful to gain the skills and experience required to be a teacher. Student teaching provides future educators with the pedagogical tools and experience necessary to connect practice and theory. While working closely alongside their teacher mentor, student teachers receive ongoing feedback about their performance.

This allows student teachers to become more proficient at instructing students, implementing adaptable curriculum, and performing accurate student assessments. Student teaching also provides numerous chances for self-reflection and personal growth.

What Is the Student Teaching Experience Like?

Student teaching involves full-time placement in a teaching position, spanning at least 13 weeks. During this time, student teachers will gradually assume all of the responsibilities of teaching a classroom. Because student teaching is a full-time commitment, teachers need to be careful about managing their responsibilities during this time. Along with feedback and assistance from a teacher mentor, this can make the student teaching experience equal parts rigorous and rewarding.

Additionally, student teachers attend a weekly professional seminar, where guided discussions allow them to reflect on classroom experiences and set goals for improvement. This also gives student teachers the chance to collaborate with other teacher candidates, and to share advice or strategies. Student teaching seminar assignments may include journaling, reflective papers, creating rubrics, building lesson plans, and so forth.

What Is the Role of a Student Teacher?

A student teacher will learn to manage a classroom along with daily procedures, lesson plans, and student behavior. The first week of being a student teacher involves interactive observations. That may include working with individual students, or even assisting the teacher with lessons. In the following weeks, student teachers gradually assume all of the responsibilities of running a classroom. This includes creating a formal lesson plan, practicing instruction with students, and the responsibility of maintaining an organized, safe classroom environment.

How Do I Prepare for Student Teaching?

Aspiring student teachers can prepare by obtaining the background clearances relevant to their state, and then providing copies to the field placement office. It may be necessary to get a tuberculin test, however, this varies by district. Additionally, student teachers will need to need to complete the pre-service academic assessment (PAPA) exams to receive placement.

Student teachers need to manage their other responsibilities and time commitments in a way that never interferes with attendance; teachers must not be absent or late to assigned classrooms. In the event of an emergency, student teachers must notify the placement office and their mentor teacher as soon as possible.

How Do I Get Student Teaching Experience?

Once all requirements for placement have been met, the placement office will find a student teaching opportunity near you. Teacher candidates can then reach out to their mentor teacher to become acquainted. As a student teacher, you’ll be teaching five days per week for the entire school day. By the end of your education, you’ll have at least 13 weeks of experience.

Though student teachers work closely with their teacher mentors, teacher candidates quickly take over the full responsibilities of running a classroom. In addition to teaching experience, teacher candidates also attend weekly seminar related to their field.

How Do I Put Student Teaching on a Resume?

You can add student teaching on in the “relevant experience” section on your resume, as opposed to the section about your educational background. Like any job or internship, include the name of the institution where you worked, and the dates you worked there. To make yourself stand out from other student teachers, you should include specific examples of your accomplishments in the classroom, i.e. a unique unit plan. You could also include information about the age of the students, or about the subjects that you taught.

Can You Get Paid While Student Teaching?

Student teaching is unpaid because the experience is a large part of your education. Additionally, it’s inadvisable to pursue full-time employment while working as a student teacher. However, student teachers are often able to find part-time work as tutors, or in after-school programs.

There is one exception to this rule. Sometimes a shorthanded school will hire a student teacher with a temporary or emergency teaching license. These exceptions are sometimes available to people who expect to receive their teaching license within a year.

What Is the Student Teaching Dress Code?

Student teaching dress codes will vary slightly from school to school. However, teacher candidates are not only representing themselves, but their entire institution. Consequently, candidates are urged to dress professionally and conservatively. Student teachers should dress in a way to appear highly mature and professional.

Questions about student teaching? Request more information and get started with a degree or certificate from Drexel School of Education.