It’s Prac Time

Who’s about to go on prac?

Whether you are a first or fourth year student, it can be a daunting experience for everyone – mentor teacher included (yes that’s right, having a pre-service teacher can be daunting for some).

Now prac is nothing like Vegas. What happens on prac doesn’t stay at prac.

It will follow you back to uni, so you need to be on your A game at ALL times.

I loved being on prac (just calculated in my head and that was six years ago!)

I learnt so much from working with my mentor teachers and staff within each different school community I was at.

I still use some of the tips and ideas that I learnt from my first year of prac in my classroom today. I will never forget it, no say please at the end of a sentence and end it with thank you instead e.g. Instead of saying Can you please put the chair up? I say Put the chair up thank you.

I still use my manners but take this sentence from a question to a command. I am implying that you will do it, hence why I am saying thank you.

Since then, I have had pre-service teachers and an two interns.

I thoroughly enjoy having pre-service teachers in my class.

I always use it as a time to reflect on my own pedagogy and love learning new things from prac students.

When you are on prac you really have to shine …. and fast!

Here are some of my top tips to get the most out of your prac:

  • Meet you’re your mentor teacher prior to your placement – This is a great way to meet on a more informal level and get some background info on the class and school.
  • Be organised – Bring your own pencil case and diary. Most of the time your teacher will let you borrow and use their things. But having your own at the start, is a major plus and shows great initiative.
  • Don’t be late – If you and your teacher discuss an arrival time, be there at that time! Most teachers use the morning to do prep for the day and the same expectation will be placed on you.
  • Take notes (lots of them) and ask questions (lots of them) – Take along an empty notebook and write. Write about everything. Write about what the students do when a teacher says that or what displays are around the room. Just get permission from your teacher first. The same goes for asking questions. This is where you will gain a lot of industry experience from your mentor.
  • Dress for success – Obviously you knew this would be one of my tips! I seriously can’t stress how important this is. I’m not talking about going all glitz and glam but I would encourage you to look the part. You are after all considered a teacher for the next couple of days/weeks.
  • Learn every students’ name on Day One – the sooner you build your relationship with your class, it will be the best thing that you can do.
  • Make friends with the people who run the school – I’m talking about the cleaners, admin and facilities staff. These people have a very important part to play in the school’s setting.

And last but not least, smile!

For tips on what to wear, make sure you are following me on Instagram.

These are just some of my tips and I know there are so many more.

If you are a teacher, please add your top tips in the comment box below.

Do you have a prac coming up this semester?

  • Comments ( 9 )

  • avatar

    1. Always take a hat. You never know when you will have to go on playground duty or outside and it’s important that you model your expectations for the students.
    2. Get involved. Even if you’re not teaching: move around the classroom, interact with students, help out with answering questions and working with students (particularly those having difficulty). This shows initiative and an honest interest in being there.

    • avatar

      Great tips!

  • avatar

    In the middle of my last prac! We call it placement here in Victoria.

    3 weeks down, 7 to go!!

    It has been amazing so far and I’m so looking forward to the rest of it 🙂

  • avatar

    Hi there,

    I recently completed my first professional placement at a primary school I once attended. Their support and guidance was so overwhelming and I learnt more valuable knowledge in four weeks on placement than I felt I had learnt in 2 years at uni.

    The practical experience I feel, either makes you or breaks you. I absoutely loved turning up early every day and prepping, planning activities and lessons that I knew my students would enjoy. I on the other hand had a few friends in the same degree who immediately regretted their decision to teach and withdraw within days.

    I find it disheartening that the other public schools in my local area would not accept prac students. I never thought it would be so difficult to get placements. It’s great to see teachers like you who are so keen on having prac students.

    Emily 🙂

    • avatar

      Totally agree Emily, it does make or break you.

  • avatar
    Liz G

    Always remember the feedback that your mentor teacher gives you after your teach a lesson is to help you be better at teaching, not insult you! When you respect and not defend the feedback, you will earn the respect of your mentor, as you are showing that you are always willing to sharpen your skills and grow as a teacher. It’s great to see pre-service teachers taking on feedback, and I’ve seen some of them go from being good to great over a short time. It’s OK to not be perfect the first time when teaching a lesson! After teaching 8 years I’m still learning, and I’m sure many other teachers out there would agree!!

    • avatar

      Great tip Liz, thanks for sharing.

  • avatar

    Always have a pen, meet deadlines (be early where possible), experiment, experiment, experiment (change up your supervisors program – remember you can teach them something too!)

    • avatar

      Great tips Alexis 🙂

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