Gaining Classroom Experience
Once you are on your way to becoming a teacher, you’ll want to get out and get field experience. Look for situations that you might fit in best. What students do you work best with?
1. Schools Visits
Over the course of a degree program, you should have many opportunities to observe and research at local schools. Many programs require that you choose a school to volunteer with each year. This provides a great way to see different age students in different settings. Visit as many different grades and schools as you can. These experiences will be great references to guide your future teaching as well as help guide your path when looking for a job.
2. Student Teaching
Most degree seekers don’t student teach until their last semester of school. By this time, your field experience should have helped you narrow your student teaching choices. Find school situations that you can learn from and enjoy. Don’t choose to student teach in a middle school if you have no intention of teaching in one! Get a feel for the school culture by eating in the teacher’s lounge and attending faculty meetings.
3. Talk to Other Teachers
While visiting schools or student teaching, the best insight to school culture is through talking to other teachers. Some teachers you’ll find will give you gems that you’ll remember for years to come, while others might show you how not to behave. There are positive and negative people in every work environment, and choosing to be a positive teacher goes a long way for career longevity. Find teachers the exhibit positive behavior and see what keeps them dedicated to the teaching profession.