Tag Archives: Student Teachers

Great Student Teachers

Being a student teacher is a great responsibility and shouldn’t be taken lightly. I believe it is the best learning experience you will receive when learning to become a teacher. During your professional experience, you will learn things that just cannot be taught in a university lecture hall.

Ultimately, what you get out of the experience, is up to you.

Below are some tips on how to make the most of your experiences as a student teacher.

  • Be positive, friendly and introduce yourself
  • Be punctual
  • Follow the school rules
  • Become familiar with the school by observing and participating in a range of school activities
  • Observe your supervising teacher and other teachers
  • Assist the supervising teacher whenever you can
  • Show initiative
  • Prepare your lessons and any materials thoroughly
  • Don’t be afraid to ask for advice from your supervising teacher and/or other teachers
  • Evaluate each lesson (strengths and weaknesses of the lesson, improvements for next time)
  • Accept constructive criticism – the supervising teacher is on your side
  • Remember that you are there to learn and it is okay to make mistakes
  • Demonstrate commitment to teaching by undertaking all teacher duties
  • Dress appropriately and professionally
  • Be a great teacher to the students, NOT their friend
  • Don’t forget to smile!
  • Learn all the students’ names
  • Provide praise to the students
  • Motivate the students
  • Be confident
  • Learn from your mistakes
  • Develop a presence of authority
  • Respect the students and the supervising teacher
  • Talk to the other teachers and other student teachers at the school
  • Ensure that this is the profession for you
  • Take notes of great ideas you observe
  • Collect and organise resources in a folder
  • Provide morning tea in the staffroom on your last day as a thank you

Further advice from my great PLN:


Good student teachers are flexible, willing to try new things, accept advice and constructive criticism and are willing to work hard.


Regardless of what skills student teachers have, I just love it when they have initiative, commitment to learning as much as they can, willingness to try things and willingness to reflect.

A good student teacher can be a fantastic experience for both supervising teacher and students.


Willing to have a go, match the supervisors’ effort and hours. Ask questions, reflect. Mimic classroom management.


Be friendly with your students, but don’t try to be friends!


A student teacher who has prepared their lessons well! I have had too many that are ill- prepared & their lessons go astray.

 What advice do you have for student teachers?

What has your experience been as a student teacher?

Image: Ambro / FreeDigitalPhotos.net



Filed under Student Teachers

Great Supervising Teachers

 As a student teacher I was really nervous starting my first prac and I know I’m not alone. Walking into an unfamiliar school, staffroom and classroom with a temporary loss of security can be quite daunting. A great supervising teacher can make the experience a lot easier and very enjoyable. So what makes a great supervising teacher?

I surveyed student teachers and found out that they look for someone who;

  • is friendly and welcoming
  • introduces the student to other staff members and the class
  • assures the student if they are nervous
  • provides the student with the lessons/teaching programs he/she would like them to teach in advance
  • suggests and discusses content, teaching and management strategies
  • discusses goals and how they might be achieved
  • shares resources
  • provides a background about the students in the class
  • includes the student in RFF time and planning units of work
  • explains how the roll call book works
  • provides the student with feedback including their strengths and weaknesses
  • is available e.g. communicates via email
  • is committed to the profession
  • has a positive attitude
  • provides constructive criticism – what should we do next time?
  • encourages the student to self reflect after each lesson
  • models effective teaching strategies
  • is up to date on teaching practises
  • allows the student to believe no question is a silly question
  • starts the student with small groups and then builds them up to the whole class
  • provides the student with a photo of the class to learn names
  • allows the student to observe other great colleague teachers you know within the school
  • is organised
  • lets the student know when they are going to be absent
  • lets the student know when they have a duty
  • explains the reward system in place to the student
  • gets the student a chair/place to sit on the first day
  • provides the student with opportunities to gain a variety of teaching and observation experiences
  • gives advice
  • has confidence in the student
  • expresses concerns early and notifies the student
  • encourages the student to be the best teacher they can be

If all supervising teachers followed this list, each student is sure to have a very enjoyable experience.

I would also like to take this opportunity to thank all the teachers who take on students, it is greatly appreciated.

Are you a great supervising teacher?

Are you thinking of taking on a student teacher?

Are you a student teacher?

Let me know what you think.

Image: Michal Marcol / FreeDigitalPhotos.net



Filed under Supervising Teachers

Using Technology To Support Learning

The NSW Institute of Teachers’ Professional Teaching Standards includes:

 Element 4; Aspect 4.1.5 – Use a range of teaching strategies and resources including ICT and other technologies to foster interest and support learning.

Today, I observed a teacher revising fractions with the year six class as they had performed badly in their pre-test. She went over the test on the whiteboard while the students were at their desks. While the teacher had good intentions, she;

– Moved through the questions very quickly

– Did not give the students enough time to answer her questions

– Did not rub off the writing on the whiteboard once moved onto the next question

– Did not provide much praise to the students

– Did not allow the students to write anything in their books

– Did not allow the students to use concrete materials

– Did not use the interactive whiteboard

Unfortunately, it seemed that the majority of the students took very little, if anything, away from that math lesson.

We need to acknowledge that our students have changed radically. The educational system wasn’t designed to teach today’s students.

Today’s students represent the first generations to grow up with digital technology in the last decades of the 20th century. During their entire lives, they have been absorbed by computers, videogames, digital music players, video cameras, mobile phones and many other digital tools and toys of the digital age.

As educators, we need to be thinking about how best to teach our students of today. We need to invent new ways of teaching, but not necessarily from scratch. Adapting materials to the language of this generation has already been done successfully, in particular the creation of games which help teach the content, even the most serious.

I can only imagine how different that lesson could have been if the interactive whiteboard had been turned on. Instead of the students looking out the window, hoping not to be the one chosen to answer a confusing question next, they could have been excited, engaged, learning and participating in a visual and interactive math lesson.

The below YouTube video demonstrates how the interactive whiteboard can be used for a fraction lesson. Get creative and become inspired!

I have also created a Prezi, ‘Learning in the 21st Century and Beyond’ to further encourage educators to grow with the change of the 21st century.



Leonard, L. (2010). Fractions – understanding using visuals [Video File]. Retrieved from http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QQ6UGZ_p0U4

New South Wales Institute of Teachers. (2006). Professional Teaching Standards. Retrieved 4 Februray, 2009 from http://www.nswteachers.nsw.edu.au/Main-Professional-Teaching-Standards.html

Prensky, M. (2001). Digital natives, digital immigrants. On the Horizon. 9 (5).


Filed under Graduate Professional Experience 1, NSW Institute of Teachers’ Professional Teaching Standards, Web 2.0 Applications

My First School Visit

“If you want to feel secure, do what you already know how to do. If you want to be a true professional and continue to grow…go to the cutting edge of your competence, which means a temporary loss of security. So whenever you don’t quite know what you’re doing, know that you are growing” – Madeline Hunter.

I decided to open with this quote because I found it in the opening pages of one of my book of readings and it has stuck with me ever since. In fact, it is now on my study wall providing me with motivation and reassurance.

My first, of six day a week visits, arrived without delay and that morning, I nervously made my way to my allocated school.

I found my way to my allocated year six classroom and was relieved beyond belief to be greeted with a welcoming teacher (yes!). She proudly showed me a box of posters, bottles, lanyards and stickers she ordered from a health organisation promoting drug and alcohol awareness, which we organised into groups for each class.

When the bell rang, the students poured inside. A smile spread across my face as soon as I saw their happy faces, and I knew it was going to be okay – that I could do this.

The teacher welcomed them and introduced me as a prac student who deserved the same amount of respect as all other teachers which was quite nice, however I wished she had let me say hello.

My first day was quiet as the students completed tests for the majority of the day. I was able to walk around and help those with their hands up.

The year six teachers have split up the subjects of health, HSIE and art, with my classroom teacher focussing on health. Today, the teacher displayed posters advertising the negative effects of drugs and alcohol. It was difficult for the students to see the detail in them from their desks. On reflection, to improve the lesson, the teacher could have divided the students into groups, each group having a different poster, and answer questions which could be presented to the class at the end of the lesson.

All in all, it was a good day and I left the school feeling positive.

The NSW Institute of Teachers’ Professional Teaching Standards includes:

Element 4; Aspect 4.1.5 – Use a range of teaching strategies and resources including ICT and other technologies to foster interest and support learning.

Wordle is a great engaging resource that can be used in your classroom. It is a fantastic word cloud generator that the students can use in many different ways for many different purposes. Click on the image for 51 ways to use Wordle in your classroom.


Today, I will leave you with my own Wordle, reflecting my thoughts and feelings about my first school visit.


Feinberg, J. (2009). Wordle. Retrived 4 February, 2011, from http://www.wordle.net/create

New South Wales Institute of Teachers. (2006). Professional Teaching Standards. Retrieved 4 Februray, 2009, from http://www.nswteachers.nsw.edu.au/Main-Professional-Teaching-Standards.html

Tanti, M. (2011). EDFD529 Effective Teaching and Professional Practice (Primary). Australian Catholic University Ltd

Warner, M. (n.d.) 51 Interesting Ways to Use Wordle in the Classroom. Retrieved March 30, 2011, from http://www.ideastoinspire.co.uk/wordle.htm


Filed under Graduate Professional Experience 1, NSW Institute of Teachers’ Professional Teaching Standards, Web 2.0 Applications