1. You are there to learn

Going into placement you have two what might seem like mutually exclusive goals. On one hand, you want to show what an awesome teacher you are to your Associate Teacher/School and get that elusive permanent teaching job. On the other, you are there to learn. Here’s my advice, stick with the former and the latter will take care of itself. Soak in as much as you can, ask questions, make mistakes. Lots of them. The most important quality student teachers need on placement is to be able to learn. Nobody expects you to be perfect when you arrive. Being able to show improvement and take on advice is what will impress your associate teacher.

2. Building relationships with your students

There’s a fine line between being liked and being respected. Often student teachers try to be buddies with the kids and then find classroom management is a challenge once they take full control. By all means be friendly with your students but remember that this different from being their friend. The kids will test the boundaries just by your mere presence. They’ll want to know if the no-nos with their own teacher are a yes with you. Make sure you find out from your associate how behaviour is managed in your school and if you are unsure in any situation, ask your associate teacher.

3. Never say ‘no’ to an opportunity to teach

If a teacher is handing over control of the classroom to you, it means that they trust you. Even taking the roll will help you learn and grown into a better teacher.

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