Today, my kiddos and I said goodbye to our student teacher, and I found myself thinking back on these first thoughts.
Did I share enough? I sure hope so. Sharing is so important so share, share, SHARE!! Teachers-provide as many collaboration opportunities as possible with your student teachers. Share your knowledge. Share your KIDS. Share the work load. They need the resources, the insight, and the experience. Share the good...yes! But, share the crazy and the "not-so-good" moments too like the student who gets sick in the middle of an observation or the moment when the lesson totally flops. Ask for their advice. Offer them suggestions. Show them that there is always a way.
Never underestimate yourself. As a teacher, there is a lot that you now do that you don't even realize is important. For many, our daily teaching has become second nature. Don't think that those random parts of the day such as how you give a student positive feedback, your expectations for filling out the name and date on a paper, or your field trip tips and tricks are not important. They are valued skills that student teachers won't know about until they see you do them!
Support them. They won't walk in knowing everything, and we can't expect them to. Guide them. Celebrate their new teaching successes and help them when they struggle. They look forward to our guidance and support. It is what they are here for!
Having a student teacher has been a great experience. My kiddos adored our ST, and we are so grateful that she has been able to be a huge part of our classroom this year. I don't think she has realized just how much she has also helped me grow as an educator, and I am forever grateful for her.
To show our support, my kiddos made this cute picture for her. I loved it so much that I almost kept it for myself. But really----I love their little thumbprints. It was a broken link Pinterest find, but just search for "student teacher gifts" to find some ideas similar to this one. The students were so excited when they handed our ST her picture and a basket of goodies to help her when she gets her own classroom.