Student Teaching Wrap-up
The end of student teaching is definitely bittersweet. By now you will have grown to love your students and will be wondering how you are going to be able to leave them. I still remember the names and faces of most of the kids in Mrs. Bence's 5th grade class at Penns Manor Elementary! Those kids are probably about 35 now, which is impossible for me to believe, because I remember so much about their sweet little notes and faces.
There are some definite MUSTS that you should accomplish before you head out the door:
1. Go to the principal's office! If you have not already had the principal or assistant observe you, see them right away to schedule a visit so that they can see you teach. When they come into the classroom make it your best work! You don't have to do cartwheels, but they should be able to see you teaching relevant content using higher-level questioning and rigorous tasks. After your observation be sure to talk to the administrator about what went well and how you can improve. Receive their feedback gracefully, even if it is not what you are expecting. Remember they have seen hundreds of lessons!
2. Writing assignment: I advise all college level school visitors to write thank-you notes. If you have been a guest in a classroom for any amount of time, it is essential to thank the staff. If you have spent more than three weeks in a school it is also appropriate to write a thank-you note to others who helped you. The secretary who told you how to get to the room, the principal who set up the visits and hopefully gave you some insider advice, and other staff members who assisted you in any way. A simple line or two will suffice in most cases.
3. Cancel drama class. During your student teaching time you have probably become a little attached to your students. On your last day, even if it is ripping your heart out to leave, keep it chill. Save any tears for the car, and dramatic speeches for in front of your mirror at home. A heartfelt thank you or general note of appreciation to the class is fine, but emotional overloads are inappropriate. DO frame a picture of the class for your classroom! You will always remember those kids (Penns Manor class of 1999!).
4. SUB! Where ever you will be living from graduation until the last day of the school district getting out, get an interview to substitute teach. School districts
are desperate for subs, and this is a chance for you to get your feet wet and make an impression during the hectic last few weeks of school.