Updated: Aug 11, 2021
Whether you are undertaking your final prac or an internship to conclude your degree, there is one thing you need to know for sure - it is vital you work hard and make a good impression.
Your last prac placement may be the final step of your studies, but ultimately, it is the first step towards joining the teaching workforce. This final experience could be the place where you secure your first job!
Keeping this in mind, let’s help you get ready to smash this prac experience out of the ballpark.
Here are 5 ways to totally rock your last prac or internship and get you at the forefront of a schools mind when they are employing teachers for the following year:
1. Be proactive
Motivation and initiative go a long way. If students books need to be marked, mark them! Ask your mentor teacher if they have any photocopying you could do for them, offer to help with classroom displays. If a student needs support during a lesson that you aren’t teaching, step in to help.
With other teachers, offer support in the staffroom or with yard duties. Know what is happening throughout the week and be helpful during any special events.
At the end of the day, if you are a person the other staff can rely on, they are going to stop viewing you as a prac student and start looking at you as one of them (this is the aim of the game!).
2. Get organised
Being organised is one of the key skills you need to be a successful teacher (if this isn’t your strong point, make it a priority to learn how you can get better at this throughout your prac experience).
Create a ‘prac planner’ or folder where you can store all relevant information (including lesson plans, resources, timetables, notes, feedback forms etc.) A planner is going to be a valuable personal resource when you start teaching.
By this stage, you will probably be doing all the planning. Have a daily work pad/teacher diary to record what you will be doing each day. Make a note of any special events, supervisor visits, meetings, so you know what is coming up ahead of time.
Not only does being organised help allow for things to run smoothly, but it also looks highly professional.
Need more tips on all things related to ‘organisation’? Click here.
Being on prac is a juggling act. You probably will have home duties, other paid work commitments and study to do at the same time. However, you need to keep your head down and focus on your practicum/internship.
Concentrate on improving your teaching, getting to know and understand the syllabus and developing relationships with the students to move in the direction of becoming a confident and competent teacher. You want your mentor teacher and other staff to trust that you are good enough to run the classroom on your own.
4. Make an impact
What can you do that goes above and beyond to make an impression on your practicum? If you were the person in a position to employ teachers, what would you be looking for? The teacher that genuinely engages in the school community and goes above and beyond for the students. So, what can you bring to the table to show that?
We have attached a free handout at the end of this blog post that can help you brainstorm ways to make a unique impact during prac.
5. Show Gratitude
Remember, when you start any prac experience, a school is opening their doors for you and offering to help you learn. Additionally, mentor teachers are giving up their personal time to help you as a pre-service teacher. It is important not to underestimate this.
A few suggestions that will help you show gratitude include:
Thank your mentor teacher, principal, and class for having you at the end of each day.
Leave thank you notes or cards for staff when they have assisted you.
Supply a simple morning tea for teaching and office staff and as a random act of gratitude.
Find out your mentor teacher (and/or grade partners) coffee order and bring it in as a surprise.
This final internship could be the place where you spend the first few years of your teaching career. Furthermore, principals or other teachers may be asked for recommendations when other prospective schools are looking to employ new staff. Develop relationships and make an impression - it will be worth it!
Finally, remember, as a preservice teacher; you are on prac to learn. No one is expecting you to have perfect lesson plans from the start.
We hope this post helps you get off to a successful start.
Before you go, we have a FREEBIE you are going to love...
Click here to download this FREE guide to help you navigate the many hats of a preservice teacher.
Inside you will find helpful strategies to not only leave a good impression on your mentor teacher but help you land your first teaching job.
If you are looking for support and advice as you begin your teaching journey - we are here to help you!