101+ Tips for Student Teachers

Student teaching can be daunting! That’s why advice and tips for student teachers from veteran teachers are always welcome!

If you’re going to be starting student teaching any time soon, or if you’re already in the trenches, here are 101+ tips to help you survive!

Advice for Student Teachers

1 – Listen.

2 – Work hard.

3 – Be kind.

4 – Ask questions. If you’re unclear about instructions, what to do, or why something is done the way it’s done, ask.

5 – Ask for feedback and be open to it. Feedback helps you grow and improve.

6 – Be teachable. If you’re willing to learn and open to feedback, you can grow so much during your time as a student teacher!

7 – Practice anything and everything you can.

8 – Never be alone with a child in the classroom without your supervising teacher present.

9 – Try to get plenty of sleep.

10 – Write things down. Keep a notepad or notebook with you at all times and jot down every idea, question, or observation.

11 – Be hands-on. You’ll struggle as a teacher if you’re not willing to get into the thick of things.

12 – Take time to get to know your supervising teacher.

13 – Get to know your students.

14 – Be on time.

15 – Be where you say you’ll be when you say you’ll be there. Your word matters.

16 – Stay ahead of your assignments.

17 – Communicate with your university supervisor.

18 – Be firm and fair with your students.

19 – Communicate with your supervising teacher.

20 – Plan for assessments in advance.

21 – Go out of your way to participate.

22 – Don’t be afraid to try new things. New things can be intimidating, but it’s the only way you’re going to figure out what works for you and what doesn’t.

23 – Stay organized. Color coding things can be super helpful!

24 – Prepare your lessons ahead of time.

25 – Make lessons fun and interactive.

26 – Dress appropriately.

27 – Don’t try to be your students’ friend.

28 – Follow your supervising teacher’s lead.

29 – Create systems to help you stay organized.

30 – Take notes of things you want to try, observations, etc.

31 – Stay humble.

32 – Be conscientious.

33 – Don’t yell, but project your voice.

34 – Take charge when it’s your turn to take charge.

35 – Take the initiative.

36 – Take care of yourself.

37 – Wear comfortable but appropriate shoes. If you’re not able to run in them, you probably shouldn’t be wearing them to school.

38 – Always do what you say you’re going to do.

39 – Get a color printer.

40 – Pay attention to classroom management strategies. Figure out which ones work for you.

41 – Try to make some connections with parents.

42 – Be willing to be wrong and learn from it.

43 – Get a personal laminator for home/dorm.

44 – Never post pictures of students online.

45 – Think of every day as a potential job interview.

46 – Plan for student-led activities for older students.

47 – Observe as many different teachers as you can.

48 – Be consistent.

49 – Figure out what works for you.

50 – Learn students’ names as soon as possible.

51 – Don’t do things halfway. Give them your all.

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52 – Enjoy the journey.

53 – Don’t ask to leave early.

54 – Introduce yourself to the secretaries, custodians, principals, and other teachers.

55 – Stay off your phone.

56 – Don’t take criticism to heart.

57 – Learn which battles to fight and when to laugh.

58 – Take pictures of things you want to remember for your own classroom.

59 – Use a vertical filing system if you don’t have a lot of space.

60 – Always look for the positive in students, your mentor, and your situation.

61 – Smile.

62 – Remember that your attitude plays a huge role in how your students react and behave. They pick up on your signals.

63 – Take time to exercise every day.

64 – Over plan.

65 – Be prepared for long hours and hard work. Student teaching is not a 7-3 gig. You need to put in the hours and the work.

66 – Hold students accountable.

67 – Always have a plan – and then a backup plan!

68 – Give yourself grace. You’re not going to do everything right all of the time – especially at the beginning. Learn from your mistakes and move on.

69 – Remember that you are the student in student-teacher.

70 – Always be approachable. A smile goes a long way!

71 – Realize you will not be the best teacher when you begin.

72 – Focus on your teaching skills, not the lesson plans.

73 – Observe different grade levels to get an idea of what grade you’d like to teach.

74 – Give yourself and your students a clean slate every morning.

75 – Make your mental health a priority.

76 – Give consequences without anger.

77 – Attend every meeting and every event you can.

78 – Fake confidence until you feel it.

79 – Don’t procrastinate.

80 – Laugh loud and often.

81 – Stay hydrated.

82 – Pack snacks and water.

83 – Learn to set boundaries.

84 – Keep a journal for yourself of what happened each day.

85 – Don’t take yourself too seriously.

86 – Never drink alcohol when out with the staff.

87 – Watch your language around students and staff.

88 – Get to know the curriculum as much as possible.

89 – Make sure the principal knows you enough to write a letter of recommendation.

90 – Take it a day at a time.

91 – Don’t judge or pre-judge others.

92 – Remember the hierarchy of needs and use it to help you understand your students.

93 – Don’t skip meals.

94 – Keep a planner.

95 – Stay as healthy as possible.

96 – Don’t become too friendly with anyone. Be professional.

97 – Be respectful.

98 – Ask the principal to observe you and get feedback.

99 – Never base your career on your student teaching or first-year experiences.

100 – Say good morning and good night.

101 – Your mentor teacher might be reserved when you first start. It’s a big responsibility for her to have you in her room, and it may take some time for her to warm up. Be professional and respectful.

102 – Hold yourself accountable and accept your mistakes. Owning up to things you did wrong goes a long way in establishing trust and professionalism.

103 – Breathe. You can do this.

What is your best student teaching advice? What has worked well for you or your student teachers? Share with us below!




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