Starting in your third year of working on your degree in Education, you will likely be expected to begin finding brief student teaching opportunities. Initially, these will be short stints, such as assisting your old high-school science teacher conduct a lab experiment. Eventually, earning your degree will require a full internship.
During all, you will be observed and evaluated on your pedagogical skills. Many student teachers have little fear getting up in front of a group of students, but when they think of being observed by their mentors and peers, they become nervous. Here's four ways you can prepare yourself for teacher observations.
Know Your Lesson Plan
You won't feel confident if you don't know your lesson plan well. Ideally, the topic matter will be something you feel passionate about, but even if it is in a subject matter you are not majoring in, knowing what you are talking about inside and out will help you overcome any fears you may have. It will also give the kids the impression you are knowledgeable and authoritative.
Practice, Practice, Practice
Whether you naturally feel comfortable talking to a crowd or just the idea makes you nervous, practicing will help you. You likely wouldn't give a speech without practicing, would you? Once you have developed your lesson plan, ask a few of your friends to assist you by serving as your audience. You may want to do this in one of the common areas at school so you can adjust to interruptions and distractions as well as the potential for an audience member that you are unfamiliar with.
Pay Attention To Your Wardrobe
Many student teachers are in their early twenties. This is not much older than the teenagers you may find yourself in front of. There needs to be a clear line of separation between yourself and them. Clothing can help accomplish this when you're young. Wear professional rather than business casual clothing. Dressing well can also add to your confidence, as everyone feels better when they know they look good.
Create A Student Teacher Scrapbook
Hopefully, as you work with other teachers and develop your own personal pedagogy, you will see lots of great ideas from them that you will eventually incorporate when you get your own classroom. During these last couple of years of school, a scrapbook where you can record these tips, ideas, and your thoughts will eventually come in handy. You can incorporate some of the best ideas into your lesson plan for observation days.