I’ve been in university for 6 years now. The first four years were dedicated to my biomedical biology degree and the last two to becoming a teacher. Last week I wrote my very last exam of teacher’s college. Tomorrow I start my last placement. So far I’ve done three placements. One in grade 5, one in grades 7 & 8, and one in grades 9 & 10. The high school placement has by far been my favorite. I feel like that’s where I really belong… teaching science (biology and chemistry) to students who are getting ready for post secondary.
I don’t have much experience under my belt but here are a few key things I’ve learned during my placements …
1. Always be prepared. I know this sounds like the typical boy scout rule but it’s true. Showing up ready makes your day much easier. Kids have a way of knowing when you’re improvising and they thrive on that. Do yourself a favour … do extra work the night before to make sure you’re ready the next day.
2. Don’t be so serious. Kids are kids and they will do kids stuff. In my experience (and I know, I don’t have much experience yet at all) kids really connect with you when you stop to laugh with them once in a while. Classroom management is key, but it helps when the kids enjoy being in your class. It also makes your day go by easier too when you laugh and turn the ‘bottle flip’ into a math or science lesson instead of immediately telling them to cut it out.
3. Don’t be afraid to try new things… especially during placements when you have a qualified and experienced teacher by your side. Take the opportunity to test out different strategies and don’t be afraid to make mistakes because that’s how we learn!
4. Be ORGANIZED! I’ve always been a very organized person and it’s sure paying off in the teaching world. So much paper work, lesson plans, student lists, grade lists, calendars, to do lists,… Find an organizational system that works for you and stick to it!
My last placement is in grade 4, which will definitely be a change of pace from my last placement in high school. I’m having a hard time finding the motivation required to get through the next five weeks. I’ve already gotten offers from both school boards I’ve applied to and I just can’t wait to get teaching!
If you have any advice for a noobie teacher who is just on the verge of jumping into the teaching world, let me know! I’d appreciate any tips and tricks you may have up your sleeve!
Until next time,
Goodnight, K ❤