Making the Most of Student Teaching

Assumption College Undergraduate

At this point in the academic year, many senior education majors at Assumption are gearing up for their semester-long student teaching requirement — an important step toward licensure in Massachusetts.

As student teachers prepare to begin this new semester, it never hurts to remind oneself that teaching is more than a job, it’s an ongoing commitment to personal and professional growth.

You might want to revisit the basics — such as orienting to an early morning Monday through Friday schedule — and allow yourself a moment of self-compassion. Nobody walks into teaching as an expert.

Soul Pancake and Edutopia asked a few seasoned teachers to write a letter to themselves as a young teacher — captured beautifully in this video.



With that vote of confidence, and the support of your supervising professor and classroom teacher, the experience of the next few months should strengthen your resolve.

And if you would like to review, there are some great resources for student teaching at your fingertips.

One Assumption education graduate details her range of experience in Worcester area schools, both as a volunteer and student teacher.

TeachersFirst suggests scanning back-to-school issues of instructional magazines such as Classmate and Mailbox for ideas on how to bring your personality into a room that you will be sharing with a supervising teacher. Teachers like to know that you appreciate their willingness to share their room and that you want to help and be a part of the room.

According to the report, for classroom teachers to serve as cooperating teachers, three qualifications are indisputable:

  • They must have been in the job long enough that they, too, would not be considered novices;
  • They must be worthy of emulation, meaning that they must be instructionally effective teachers;
  • They must have the insight and ability to mentor another adult about the job of teaching.

The report also offers a comparison to approaches around the globe. In Finland, whose educational system is popularly compared to that of the United States, teacher candidates (all of whom are graduate students) engage in a full year of clinical experiences in training schools associated with a university (whose staffs have proved themselves competent to work with student teachers) serving hundreds of teacher candidates at any one time. For example, a total of about 800 teacher candidates are trained annually in the 990-pupil Norssi School, affiliated with the University of Jyväskylä’s teacher preparation program.

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