A Practicum experience can be exciting, overwhelming, challenging and inspiring. As a pre-service teacher your role involves wearing many different hats:
Teacher / Facilitator
Being provided professional experience is a fantastic opportunity to develop your craft and skills as an educator outside the lecture theatre. Once you have finished your study, it is rare for teachers to have the chance to experience a wide range of classrooms with different setups and routines, along with alternative approaches to teaching. This is what makes a practicum experience so special. You will get to see education from many different perspectives which will help you grow as a teacher. Use this time to learn as much as you can!
Being organised is one of the key skills you need to be a successful teacher. We have put together a few tips here that will help you get organised before your prac begins:
1. Get familiar with the Graduate teacher Standards (Aussie teachers). Use these as your guide for what you need to be learning and achieving while on prac.
2. Research the school address and where you will be able to park or how to travel there by public transport.
3. Book a meeting with your mentor teacher to discuss your class, schedule and requirements while on prac.
4. Create a ‘prac planner’ or folder that you can begin to file and store all the relevant information for your prac (including lesson plans, resources, timetables, notes, feedback forms etc.)
5. Make sure you have completed your Working with Children Check (WWCC).
6. Collect your handbook and any relevant information for your mentor teacher from your university, so it is ready to go on the first day.
7. Be clear of what is expected of you while you’re on prac – remember you must be a professional at all times.
8. Make contact with your university supervisor and introduce yourself, set up possible times for a school visit or observation.
9. Set some personal goals for your prac. It is an important and worthwhile learning experience, setting goals will help you get the most out of it
10. Collect things along the way and start a ‘teaching inspo’ file. Ideas, photos (make sure you get permission first), worksheets etc can assist you in assignments and lesson planning in the future.
Above all, have fun! Teaching is a wonderful job and it is important that you find the joy in the experience.
Want more help to impress your mentor teacher and have an awesome prac experience? Check out our Practicum Survival Guide. It includes a range of helpful forms and checklists, as well as loads of tips we have learned over the years teaching and supervising pre-service teachers! It will help you with everything you need to know for a successful practicum.
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