Posted in Regular Update

Lessons Learned from Student Teaching

As impossible as it is for me to believe, I am done with student teaching. I finished last Tuesday, and I have spent the past week getting my life back in order. For me, part of getting everything back in order means getting back to blogging. I have been shamefully absent the past couple of months, but I have more time now, and I plan on blogging on a much more regular basis.

To get back in the swing of things, I wanted to take this entry to share some of the lessons I learned while student teaching. I had an amazing student teaching experience, and I learned so much throughout it. It only makes sense to me that I would come back here and share those lessons with all of you.

  • Plan everything.
  • Be flexible with your plans and able to change them.
  • Procedures are everything.
  • Model everything. It’s important for students to see how to do an assignment.
  • Some lessons flop, and that’s OK.
  • Think on your feet and be able to make changes in the moment.
  • Good classroom management is key.
  • Planning a unit is hard. Really really hard.
  • A good team has your back.
  • It’s better to overplan than underplan.
  • There’s always room for improvement.
  • Reflection is of the utmost importance.
  • There will be bad days.
  • Have a backup plan.
  • Students will sometimes be mean to you. Sometimes those are the students you’ll have the strongest bond with.
  • Rubrics are important.
  • You will plan and plan and replan. At least in the beginning.
  • It’s long hours. Really long hours.
  • In the end, you’ll love it, and it’ll be awesome. You’re following your passion and chasing the dream you’ve had since you were fifteen. You’re where you’re supposed to be, and life is good.

My last lesson is, to me, the most important lesson. I have wanted to teach since I was 15, a sophomore in high school! It’s been a long journey to where I am now, but I wouldn’t have changed a single thing. I know that I am exactly where I am supposed to be, and I am doing exactly what I am supposed to be doing.


Posted in Classroom Ideas, Teaching Techniques

Journal Prompts

I like journaling. I think it can be a really powerful and important tool for students. It teaches them the power of words and writing, and it gives them a voice they may not have known they had. I also understand that free writing can be difficult for students, can get them off task or off topic, or simply might lead to results you never wanted. That’ where journal prompts enter the picture.

Here are a few things that are great about journal prompts:

  • They give students something specific to write about.
  • They allow you, the teacher, to control the conversation.
  • They can lead to really great discussion.
  • They’re a great entryway into class and what the lesson will be about.

Chances are, I could ramble on and on about why using journal prompts in your classroom is a good idea. I could certainly expand upon each of the prompts I just mentioned. But sometimes brief is the best way to go, the way to get the point best across.