Let’s talk school placement, aka prac!
It is a super exciting and exhausting part of your coursework at uni. But remember, real-life teaching experience is essential to your success as a teacher.
Here are five quick tips that every prac teacher should know before they enter a school!
(Psst: These tips will help you stand out from the crowd. Not only will they impress your mentor teacher, but they will contribute to a more positive prac experience – we promise).
Manners aren’t just for kids
This one may seem too simplistic, but it is essential to remember your manners when you are a visitor in a school. Experienced teachers are putting their time aside to help you kickstart your teaching career. Be grateful for them inviting you into their classrooms (they really don’t have to do it!)
Your manner also extends to the administration staff. The secretaries are the heart of a school, and it is important that you treat them like gold – this will get you far, my friend!
First impressions are a thing
Showing up on time, looking professional and approachable (with a smile) can go a long way. Being proactive and prepared (such as having somewhere to take notes – whether in a planner or device) will make a good first impression and get you started on the right foot.
This doesn’t mean you can’t ask questions, though… ask all the questions! Your mentor teacher will be happy to answer any queries. During prac, ask the questions that are on your mind. Show initiative and strive to be an engaged team member.
Immerse yourself in the classroom environment and show interest. This might look like:
Taking notes while the teacher is explicitly teaching.
Helping a student that is struggling.
Providing an answer during classroom discussion to help spark more ideas and conversation from the students.
Tidying up a previous lesson for the teacher.
Marking a pile of workbooks etc
Build relationships respectfully
Working with people is all about relationships. In a school, this includes the students, staff, admin team and even parents. Also, keep in mind, you are in the school as a professional, so develop these relationships in that manner.
One mistake we see preservice teachers make is wanting the students to like them. You aren’t there to be their BFFs; you are there as their teacher.
Phones need to go away
This one can seem tricky in today’s society, but during the school day is not the time to have your phone out. Place it on silent and in your bag. This is a sign of professionalism, and your mentor teacher will be impressed if they see you engaging instead of looking at your phone (even if it is for prac-related activities).
Take on these 5 quick tips, and you will be off to an amazing start on your prac experience!
Before you go, we have some special things just for preservice teachers. Grab these freebies and get ahead of the game for your next prac:
Grab our FREE Guide
Grab our FREE Lesson Plan Templates
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