What makes you believe a student teacher is going to make an excellent teacher one day?
– J., Ohio

I looked for several things in student teachers to indicate they were on the right track:

  • Cared about their students. First and foremost, remember that you are teaching children and young adults. Be caring and flexible.
  • Thoughtful preparation. Nothing will destroy a lesson faster than a lack of planning.
  • Reflective and self-assessing. Student teachers should ask themselves these questions: How did that class go? What were the students doing? Did they understand my lesson? How do I know? How can I be sure? What is the next step? How could I have done the lesson three different ways?
  • Had vision. They could describe what their perfect classroom looks like. What’s happening? What are the students doing? What are they doing? What’s being accomplished. This vision will help guide all their decision making.
  • Participated in the school community. Teachers have to work together and should become integral parts of the school environment.
  • Would admit when they didn’t know something. Don’t ever try to bluff your way through a question. Model that you’re a life-long learner and find the answers or have the students find the answers.
  • Exhibit passion for the subject and teaching.

Things I do not consider important:

  • Create all their own lessons and handouts from scratch. They still had to do thoughtful preparation by analyzing everything they wanted to use.
  • Be content geniuses.
  • Be friends with the students. Caring and befriending are not the same.
  • Have perfect lessons. Near impossible.

Hope this helps!

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