Working with a Student Teacher

Surprise! You’re working with a student teacher for the day! Don’t worry – this is great news! Student teachers are university students who are studying to become teachers, who are doing their placement in a classroom for the B.Ed. They are often very enthusiastic with lots of questions and activities they would like to try with the students! They are also often a great help.

First of all, the classroom teacher has probably left you notes regarding the student teacher, so check out her day plan first. If there is nothing, simply ask the student teacher what they are doing. If it is their first week of their first practicum, they are probably observing. If it is their last week of their last practicum, they are probably teaching most, if not all, of the lessons that week. They will let you know their regular routine.

If they are also unsure of what they should be doing, here are a few things you can have them do: read alouds, work with students who are having difficulty, the morning “routine” if that class has one, play a review game with students who finish their work early, take a student on a walk when they need a break, mark math homework, photocopy, prepare an art lesson for the afternoon.

Lastly, if you are in an LTO and you are offered the opportunity to have a student teacher, say yes!! Even if you feel you don’t have much experience, you still have more than the student teacher. It usually involves allowing the student teacher to teach more and more lessons each day, and giving feedback, with a written report at the end. I also write each of my student teachers a reference letter. I have learned so, so much from student teachers – they often have great ideas! I highly recommend it.


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