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my first student teacher



I will have a student teacher in the spring. Do you think its a compliment that my principal asked me and not the other 4th grade teachers? I am excited about this yet very nervous! I am thrilled that he asked me and cannot wait to get started. Does anyone have any words of wisdom for a first time mentor teacher? Ideas and organizing things? Jobs to give her? Please let me know how your experiences went. thanks


Senior Member
student teacher

I am just finishing up. She was my practicum student a year ago, and now my student teacher so I had an advantage in that we knew each other. Unfortunately, she arrived a week early so I had not had time to get a desk (small table) or supplies in for her, but I took care of it the first day. She observed the first two weeks, taking on jobs such as copying, working with groups, etc. Then more and more she took over. She would give me copies of her plans and tests etc. One suggestion I would make is to ask for the plans for the following week by the previous Thurs. The same goes for tests. There were several times when there were changes I would have suggested.

She has taught for about 2 weeks on her own (she was with me only 7 weeks) She developed a discipline plan since mine was not working with the group of boys I have now. It was quite involved, but I let her try. (It didn't work either:rolleyes:) She even had to handle a dispute with a parent over it (parent was a teacher on maternity leave) and that was good for her.

She was part of the parent teacher conferences.
She attended all after school meetings.

Next week she will visit /observe other teachers that I thought would be good.

Towards the end I have tried to be out of the classroom a lot. (spoiled now:D)

My students have brought in donations that we will use to get a subscription to Mailbox magazine as a thank you gift.
Hope this helps.

p.s. I am looking forward to getting my class back....am I crazy?!?!?<!--misspeak-->

I Luv SpEd

Full Member
I really hope it works out!

I have a student teacher now and she is horrible. She sits at a table all day and write down everything I say. She has no classroom management skills. I have tried and tried to talk to her and her famous response is "Okay, thank you, I will try to do better". Her time is almost over and i'm sooooo excited. I hope it's not too late to get my classroom back under control. This has been the worse experience for me. I spoke to my principal and she told me not to give up on all student teachers, I believe another one will be coming in the spring.


Senior Member
Meet beforehand

Invite the student teacher in to meet you ahead of time. This will give you a heads up about her and her personality. You can have an informal chat about how things are going and get a feel for her strengths and weaknesses.

I had my first student teacher last year and unfortunatly it was not a positive experience and I did not pass her. The key was documentation. Her supervisor only came out once and I had to track down the profs home phone number. I had other people observe her in our classroom and by her going to other classrooms. I highly recommend keeping a daily log. It will help when writing recommendation letters or evaluations- positive or negative.

Good luck!


Senior Member
definitely a compliment.
i had a ST last spring and it was great. i made a little profile for each child in my class for her (just basics-disability, age, a little about their personality, any helpful tips on disciplining them). I made a packet about my classroom philosophy, the Love and Logic I use in my room, general info on the disabilities my kids have, a little info about me plus all my contact info, plus my website info, our schedule, why i do things in my room (ie, why do I teach 3 year olds the pledge of allegiance? why do we _______? how come I displine so and so one way, but don't do it with another kid?). She really liked having the packet to read before she met the kids and said it helped a lot.
We had a time to meet each day. I encouraged her to ask questions even if she thought they were silly. I wrote her encouraging notes. If I had something negative to say, I also complimented her on something else. I would surprise her by buying her a coke or something. I asked about her outside life, things like that.


Senior Member
From a student teacher's perspective

I student taught 3 years ago and the best thing my mentor teacher did was have a crate with folders in it. Anything she copied I received to keep as a ongoing file system. Anything I needed she handed to me and if I asked for something I received it and it went into that crate. That crate was full of valuable things for me by the end of my experience. I had the advantage of starting the year with her so I was able to meet her before the kids came and we learned the kids together. She let me take over a little at a time. I think I started by doing reading groups first then moved into math, then science, ss, until I took over completely but I also did the copying, meeting after school and all the little things that had to be done. Just remember that she/he is learning and will want to know everything so there will be lots of questions. I know I asked a lot. I learned more that half a year than I did in school for two years. Be patient and kind and you will have a great year with your ST.:D


Senior Member

This is LONG!

When I did my student teaching 4 years ago, my mentor teacher had me fill out a questionairre every Friday and we went over it together at the beginning of the day the following Monday.

It was a great reflection tool. It had things like "Something that went well this week was...", "Something I'd like to improve for next week is...", "I like it when...", "A question I have is...".

This helped me set goals and work towards them.

I had a fantastic mentor teacher who also gave me copies of EVERYTHING. I student taught in 5th and eventhough I teach 2nd now, I am still able to use some of the things she gave me.

She also had every kid write me a letter and she mailed them to me over Christmas break. Then when I started my internship in January, I knew a bit about each kid- they attached pictures too, so I had a few weeks to look over the letters and get to know my kiddos!

My mentor was very openminded and let me try a lot of things in her room. I established literature circles, worked on helping to differentiate curriculum, and set up a website for the classroom. I started out observing the first week or so and doing jobs for her. The second week, I started teaching spelling, then she added reading, then grammar. After about a month and a half, I did a solo week. Then I taught all math and science. After 4 weeks of that, I did 2 solo weeks in a row. She was out of the room a lot during that. So, for the last two weeks, she was working on taking the class back for herself, so I taught less and less each day until finally, I was back to observing and doing odd jobs for her the last few days of my internship.

I came in after Christmas break and finished out the year, so I didn't have the advantage of being with the kids since day 1. I was nervous about that, but it was "our room" and she made that clear to me as soon as I walked in the door- which was wonderful. I had other experiences in college where I didn't feel like a part of the class... I was just "that girl" who came in a few days a week. But I was definitely a part of the classroom community!

Good luck!