Friday Five: Lessons Learned During Student Teaching

Today’s post is by Shannon Trozzo, a year-long intern/student teacher at the State College Area High School.

As a student-teacher, I feel that I learn something new or find something surprising every single day. This is what I love most about my chosen profession– no kid is alike and every student is a walking, talking lesson on how to become a better teacher. Being in the classroom as a teacher allows me to understand certain things that I would never be taught sitting in a lecture at college. These lessons range from seemingly insignificant moments to mind-blowing realizations. I could name at least 1,248 lessons that I’ve learned in my short three months of teaching, but I’ve picked five solid lessons that resonate the most right now:

1. It’s okay to not know the answer to everything. Sometimes, letting your humanity show allows your kids to relate to you and respect you even more.
2. Your enthusiasm will be one of the biggest factors in getting the students to be excited about a lesson. When you get fired up about how much of a prick Tom Buchanan is, your students will absorb that energy and discussions will explode.
3. Being in the same social world as your students is a good thing. When they say Raskolnikov is “throwing shade” at Svidrigailov, you know exactly what they mean.
4. Transparency in your thinking is the easiest way to get your students to trust your teaching. When they understand the reason behind a lesson, they can focus on learning instead of being upset that they have to write yet another paragraph.
5. Take every moment of silence and solitude that you can get. It’s tough to be in the spotlight for 8 hours straight and to constantly be answering questions, emails, phone calls, etc. Find your sanity in those sparse moments– you’re going to need it when you ask your students to take out their homework that they’ve had a week to work on and they look at you like you have three heads.

Friday Five: Lessons Learned During Student Teaching

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