Help A New Student Teacher Out With Resources

KMB writes:

I’m starting student teaching this Spring and would really like some advice, tips, and resources to help me out. I’m sure 12th graders are very bright, and I don’t want to bore them. I also want to appear knowledgable and professional. Anyway, please contact me if you have any suggestions. Websites with lesson plans, blogs, the latest technology, etc. would all be helpful.

As a middle school band director with limited experience coming up with lesson plans and really has lost touch with edublogs lately, I’m throwing this one out to my readers. Leave links and answers in the comments.

About Joel Wagner 522 Articles
Joel Wagner (@sywtt) began teaching band in 2002. Though he had a lot of information, his classes were out of control. He found himself tired, frustrated, disrespected by students, lonely, and on the brink of quitting. He had had enough. He resigned from his school district right before spring break of his second year and made it his personal mission to learn to be a great teacher. So You Want To Teach? is the ongoing story of that quest for educational excellence.

8 Comments on Help A New Student Teacher Out With Resources

  1. I just recently completed my student teaching experience and have posted an article on my blog about words of wisdom for student teachers: Be sure you ask a lot of questions. It is a learning experience so don't expect yourself to be perfect because no one else thinks you are going to be perfect either, not even the students.

  2. Develop a relationship with the students as quickly as possible. You can do this very quickly by making an effort to learn all their names and letting them see that you are in the same boat they are. You are a student who will receive a grade for your student teaching. Let them know you need their help to become a good teacher. I have learned most students have an amazing amount of advice about what makes a good teacher. Just ask them. . . you'll see. Also ask advice from everyone. PIck as many brains as possible about everything. Learn how effective teachers handle their seating charts, make-up work, grading policies, etc.

  3. Spring and seniors… ponder this for a minute. This is my first year teaching high school and I was not prepared for the senioritis. It hasn't been THAT long since I was in high school but I totally forgot about that feeling…can't wait to get out of high school, can't wait to just be done, thinks they know everything. Don't get me wrong, I love my seniors. But, be prepared for their senioritis. Be prepared for non-excitement some days… they're just ready to be done and it's not personal. has some helpful stuff. I have found asking others and creating things are more helpful than searching the web for perfect lessons, although it's a GREAT place to get ideas. When I student taught and observers came, my students liked to be introduced and talk about themselves and they liked knowing that I was getting graded.

    They like showing off for people – invite others to come in and watch them do things.

    What subject are you teaching in?

  4. Enter student teaching with an open mind. Be prepared to learn what your supervising teacher is doing and try to learn what other successful teachers are doing. Beyond this, recognize that you are a guest in the cooperating teacher's classroom and that this teacher will have quite a lot to say about what you will teach and perhaps how.

    You are concerned about challenging your students, but I think the larger concept under your question is "engagement." Engage your students. The more they can do, the more engaged they will be. Don't engage them in simplistic projects, engage them in projects that require real intellectual effort and which, if possible, have a real-world application and a tangible product.

    There are a number of great resources out there, but I hesitate to list them because I don't know what subject the student teacher will be teaching. My science and math resources won't help an English teacher, for example. A few good books include Wiggins and McTighe's "Understanding by Design", Daniel T. Willingham's "Why Don't Students Like School", and Stigler and Hiebert's "The Teaching Gap" among many others. I continue to use books and journal articles to improve my practice.

    But the best thing you can do is walk into that classroom with humility and an eagerness to learn. Unfortunately, student teaching will be your only chance to work closely with an "expert" practitioner in the field. Learn from your supervisor.

  5. I love what waski_the_Squirrel said – "But the best thing you can do is walk into that classroom with humility and an eagerness to learn." that is FANTASTIC advice! I so agree. I also have a book – more of a reflective journal matched with practical and academic advice about those first few years of teaching…. aimed at seeing more teachers stay in the profession and truly THRIVE as they do it – not just survive. ( I will also say – be careful about overload. There so many books to reads, philosophies and so forth – it can be overwhelming and difficult to process. There's always lots to read regarding ed reform, new ways of doing curriculum planning and so forth – but remember above all else – what it is really all about is building relationships with your students, and inspiring in them a love of learning. All the best! – Cheryl

  6. Critical lesson in this 2.0 world: Keep a daily blog. Vent your frustrations (without naming names) and your successes, every day at the end of school. Write for you. It can be your diary of your teaching experience, and you can attach materials that worked well to it. When you seek employment, you have an innovative reflection on your experience. Even better, record your teaching, and load it up to This brings a new dimension to your portfolio. Humility is key. Good luck.

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