Part of the ongoing 1 Thing series.
“I am on your team.” These are the words I often use, as I counsel with and support preservice teachers throughout the teacher education program. I remind them that they are not alone on the teacher preparation journey, but rather they are a team supported member.
Student teacher, your teaching toolbox is packed (there is extra space, of course) and you are ready to move into the student teaching experience. With butterflies in your tummy, you question if you are really ready! Can you fly on your own? Yes, you can! However, the 1 Thing you should know is that your team will support you in flight, too! The journey is not over; it has just begun! Recognize your flight team and add members to your team! These members are present to support, challenge, guide, and encourage you as your journey continues.
Gather your team. Oftentimes, you may reflect and pull from those members who influenced your journey along the way. They are teacher trainers/teacher educators. Connect or reconnect with them. An email may be just the thing! Then, look around and add to your team. Your university supervisor has been assigned to you. He/she brings professional training and insight to your journey. The cooperating teacher is on your team. You will professionally live with him/her during your stay. The cooperating teacher brings first-hand practical experience and know-how. Your cooperating teacher will learn from you, as well. 😉
Take time to wander the halls of your assigned school and be attentive to the school culture. Use your teacher eyes; peek into other classrooms. Find teaching and learning happening the way you want it to happen, then, connect with that classroom teacher. Purposeful conversations (could happen in the teachers lounge) with teachers or other student teachers may enlighten you to rich and successful teaching-learning experiences. Teachers down the hall and on-site collaboration are effective enablers for successful student teaching experiences.
Do not forget the students, both inside and outside of the classroom. Listen and learn from them, with respect. Beware, their “awe” moments may move you to the next step in your journey.
Move outside the classroom. Search the Web for professional teacher blogs and online communities designed to support student teachers. You will be surprised by the reciprocating support you will experience from your e-team members. Be an active participant!
Last, you are a team member. Believe in yourself. You have so much to offer our students and you are well on your way!
Student teacher, intentionally recognize your team, connect with the members, and add new members along the way as you continue to experience the teaching-learning experience. In addition, collaborate often with Your Team, as you become the teacher of your dreams… and fly!