Whether you are in your practicum semesters or just starting the program, here are the top three pieces of advice to remember during the practicum experience. These pieces of advice derive from various BYU Elementary Education professors and elementary teachers in the Partnership Schools.
1. Look for the good. You can learn something wherever you are placed.
You may be placed in a mentor teacher’s classroom where you don’t see eye to eye in some situations. This could cause you to feel like practicum was the worst experience ever. If you get caught in this situation, ask yourself, “What can I learn from this teacher? What are his/her strengths?”
2. This is hard work, but it’s worth it!
You can’t be prepared for everything that may happen in the classroom. Chaos may arise, but you are not alone in this learning process of how to teach and manage a classroom. All your classmates are experiencing the same feelings of stress and hardship. Don’t be afraid to reach out for help. There is so much support during practicum. You have a liaison, CFA’s, a facilitator, and your mentor teacher that you can go to for help and advice. As many teachers will tell you, in the long run, teaching is worth it.
3. Find some humor in your life. Laugh!
Students are cute and funny. They say the silliest and most honest things, so just laugh and enjoy your students. You will find teaching is a lot more enjoyable when there is always a smile on your face and laughter in the classroom.