This Goes Out to the January Student Teachers

By. Teresa Marchant

My future daughter in law is beginning her student teaching immediately after winter break. This is an exciting time for her.  She has been assigned to first grade. I remember with eagerness my student teaching experience 26 years ago. I loved it and the anticipation of getting a job after I graduated was something I looked forward to.

I feel like over the years, I’ve become “that” veteran teacher that has lost some excitement for trying new things. Here are the things I learned in my first official classroom which was in first grade as well.  This is to all the new student teachers this coming year.

Never use glitter– unless you want to see it the rest of the school year. The janitor will thank you later!

Scissors are tools that some students can’t handle. It wasn’t fun calling mom about her child coming home with less hair that day. 

Watch where you step. Because 1st graders don’t know that their glasses are meant for their faces. Yep- stepped on my students’ glasses that were on the floor. Same goes for gum. 

Bodily fluids are gross! I had a student vomit all over the end of semester tests. Nothing can prepare you for this. Oh yeah, wetting their pants and snot are a daily occurrence, too.

Putting on snow gear should be their homework. Unless they prefer to stay in it all day long.  This is an option to help them to be ready for recess.  PS.. don’t forget to add shoe laces, zippers, and buttons to this list.

You can’t contain spontaneity. Kids will fall off their chairs and burst out singing at any given moment. Seriously, there is no explanation for this.

Lastly, remember to soak up every moment as a student teacher. It will be one of your cherished memories as it was mine. As a veteran educator, I am grateful that I took this opportunity to reflect on my past experiences so I can help you feel that you are not alone in this adventure. I can’t wait to hear about your experiences that will shape you into an amazing teacher, which I know you already are. Good luck and we are rooting for you and to all the other student teachers!