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student teacher in spring



Hi everyone,

I was just asked by my principal to take on a student teacher in the spring. This makes me incredibly nervous. I am excited though! I remember my own student teaching experience and I loved it. Does anyone have any words of wisdom for me? I teach 4th all subjects.



Senior Member
I have never had a student teacher but my daughter is just completing her student teaching experience. Her mentor teacher was WONDERFUL. She was encouraging, offered praise when it was due and constructive criticism when needed. She never seemed threatened by anything my daughter wanted to do and gave her license to change and do whatever she wanted. My daughter stuck to the general plan of her teacher, but was able to incorporate lots of technology which her mentor teacher (who was a good bit older) learned from as well. They met together and went over ahead of time what she was planning on teaching and offered her advice and input. The university had everything scheduled out so they just went by that. She observed for two weeks, then began picking up subjects at one a week until she was teaching all of them. She taught full time for two weeks then started, one subject at a time, relinquishing them back to the teacher. Half way through the semester the teacher gave her a wonderful book by Max Lucado called "The Oak Inside The Acorn" and, like the acorn in the book, encouraged her to grow to be all God intended for her to be. My daughter is walking away from her experience confident and excited about her chosen profession. God Bless this wonderful mentor! I was so uncertain about this experience for my daughter because my student teaching experience was so horrific. On day one my "mentor" teacher told me she didn't want a student teacher. She "tolerated" my presence for a few weeks. When the children started to respond to me she began lashing out verbally with whatever discouragement she could come up with. Halfway through she told me that I would "never be a teacher". I was so upset at the end of the day that I packed up my stuff, went home, called my college professor and told him I was quitting and would redo my student teaching the following semester. He calmed me down, told me I was doing a wonderful job, and encouraged me to return. I did return. My "mentor" teacher did not. I spent the rest of the semester with the total responsibility of the class with no guidance. They hired a sub who sat behind the desk and read a newspaper the whole time. (And she got PAID!!!) I had behavior issues with one child who repeatedly disrupted the class. I took her to the principal. The little girl said, "I told her I was sorry." I mentioned to the principal that she was always "sorry" but the behavior continued. The principal quoted the Bible to me - "How many times shall I forgive my neighbor?". THe whole experience was such a nightmare. On my last day the principal did call me in, apologize for how I had been treated, and said that my "mentor" teacher had had many miscarriages and was currently threatening another one (I did not know she was pregnant.) He said that when the children started to respond to me, she got "jealous" because her students were "all she had". Amazingly, I did turn out to be a teacher and a pretty good one at that. At graduation my college advisor pulled me aside and told me that, as a result of my experience, the university had changed their policy on student teaching. They would no longer put a student with someone without their approval. Sorry this is so long. This is just such a sensitive subject for me. 25 years later I still hear those stinging words and have fought confidence issues so often. Just be there for your student teacher. Guide and encourage and let her glean from your experience. When she fails or struggles let her know of mistakes you made and how you learned from them. Again, sorry this is so long.


Full Member

What a touching story. It is such a glaring example of how different our experiences can be. I am sorry you went through such a tough student teaching experience.
At the same time, I am so happy that you are able to experience such a positive student teaching through your own daughter.
I would hope that now you will take on a student teacher. It sounds like you know what a student teacher needs and you would be one of the ones that can provide a rich experience for a student teacher. I hope you will consider it.


Senior Member
Student Teacher

I think a wonderful part of having a student teacher is the infectious excitement of a new teacher! Most student teachers are ready to share all that they have learned in college and it can be beneficial to the cooperating teacher as well as the student teacher! Good luck to you both! <!--sing-->


Current Student Teacher

I agree with URMySunshine...just be there for your student teacher and don't be threatened. It can be a great learning experience for both. It's not for me and I question becoming a teacher. My "mentor" is not available to me and every "strategy" that I would like to try will not work according to him. I have two weeks left and have stopped trying. I just want out. I let him do whatever and I just make up other plans and take my hours. It is so awful. I was so full of excitement and now hate it. I have a child care position that I am beginning in three weeks. I just don't want to do anything with teaching right now. My "mentor" does not hold the students responsible for anything. They can come in late, sometimes by five minutes, and there are not any consequences. Homework in null and classwork is sooooo boring. They finish it in 15 minutes. I have done some work with them that I wanted to put up and he didn't want me to. He was "sick" one day, so I put it up! He didn't say anything. The best advice I would give you is to just ask your student teacher for their plans one week in advance and work together to make them "right." Also, let the students know that your student teacher is a teacher and that the same behavior is expected when she is teaching. Working together can make both of your workloads lighter and two heads can be better than one. Sometimes a student teacher can have great ideas and they are not putting forth these ideas to make you feel bad or don't like your lessons. They just have to find their own style. I gave homework assignments and no one would do them. Then my "mentor" told me I needed to give them four days to make it up. It was awful!