Student Teaching Success- First Contact

I’m starting a new mini-series on the blog this summer!  I was getting all ready for student teaching last summer. Follow this series for some advice/tips for student teaching success! 
First topic: Initial Contact
If your school works anything like mine, you probably know who your cooperating teacher will be pretty early on.  Starting initial contact can be tough but needs to be established early.  It is not their job to contact you- you should take the first step.  Student teaching is just like one super long interview, start off on the right foot!  (Do not let this scare you- its AWESOME!)
DO – get in touch early !
  • Email or call (we all know school schedules so that can get pretty hectic).  State why are contacting, a little bit about yourself, possibly show some enthusiasm…can’t hurt!  Set up an initial meeting in person – short but informational.  
  • **** Make sure they get email! My teacher didn’t get email from me because my email was sent to spam! This happened to the principal as well so if you don’t hear back this could be the issue.****
  • Talk to the principal as well! Make sure you meet them at your initial meeting even if it is just to introduce yourself.  My principal liked to give me information and get to know me a better, it makes the transition into the school building easier. 
DO- prepare for meeting

  • Do your research on the school and grade level.
  • Come with questions! Whether about the school, curriculum, students…etc…
  • Make sure to ask if there is anything you need to do to prepare.  My school started Daily 5 last year so I read the book she requested to help prepare to implement the following fall. 
  • Arrange for next meeting.  Make sure if its beginning of year to ask if you can help set up, or when you go to meetings – it is always safe to assume you are suppose to go! 
DO- be organized!
  • There are some great teacher binders out there.  Make yourself one or at least have a binder ready for your meeting and/or first day.  Personally I used these dividers – here – and put them in my own binder. Worked like a charm, funny my teacher used them too and we saw we both had them on the first day – how cool!
  • Make sure to include: 
    • Class info
    • curriculum papers /information
    • Contact info – professors #s, teacher #s, principal….if you have to call in sick
    • school schedule – they are usually up WAY in advance mark all the dates and ask any questions if you have any. 
    • Notes- with student teaching you usually need artifacts for your portfolio.  Notes are a great artifacts either from meetings or on special students, interventions, etc..
  • I had a teacher bag (31 rocks!) that I kept all my supplies in.  My binder, any manuals, papers to grade, grading pens in front pockets.  It also fit my lunch and emergency snacks + it was so cute.  I didn’t usually carry my purse into the school.  

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  1. Stephanie on July 9, 2013 at 12:00 am

    Amber this sounds like it's going to be a great series, very informative. I can't wait to see more. Are you going to do an entry about how cooperating teachers should prepare or approach different matters? I was lucky & had pretty good cooperating teachers, but I know not everyone is that lucky. Excited to read more.


  2. The Polished Teacher on July 9, 2013 at 3:37 am

    Can't wait to read more about this series! As I am getting ready to student teach in the fall, these tips are perfect! Thanks so much for hosting!

    The Polished Teacher

  3. Teach*Pray*Love on July 9, 2013 at 4:57 pm

    I can't wait for the rest of this series! I am beginning my first of two years of student teaching in the fall so I can use all the tips I can get.

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