Wednesday, August 14, 2013

I'm Not a Waitress, But I'm Looking For Tips!

After yesterday's classroom tours and today's posts on organizing for instruction, (thanks to Blog Hoppin's Teacher Week 2013) I am truly envious of some of the creative, color-filled, and well organized classrooms that were shared! If you've read anything of mine on this blog previously, then you know I will be a student teacher this fall. That means no classroom of my own. So at first I was slightly bummed as I pinned all these wonderful ideas that I wouldn't get to use for months .


But then I sucked it up and remembered that every teacher went through student teaching at one point, and they survived! That also means, with all you wonderful teachers out there, some are sure to have great tips and tricks for deal with this.

Here is my question: 

What tips do you have for student teachers regarding staying organized in a class that is not their own?

Obviously we can't go in expecting to overhaul the classroom to fit our liking. And even the best mentor teacher in the world will likely do things a little different than we would. I'm not looking to rearrange or reorganize my mentor teacher's classroom (which I'm eager to see) but I will have my own materials, papers, supplies, etc to keep track of. So I am curious to hear what you found successful (or unsuccessful) for keeping your own ducks in a row during student teaching. 

If you have a post you think would be helpful, feel free to post a link it in a comment as well! I am open to any and all ideas and I am sure my fellow teacher candidates are too.

Also, If you haven't yet, you should check out a few of these bloggers and their awesome classrooms! Or head over to  Blog Hoppin to check out even more!

2nd Grade Shenanigans
Step into 2nd Grade with Mrs. Lemons
The Big Apple Teacher


  1. Hi Kayla! I am so flattered to be mentioned and to be in such great company with Hope and Amy!! I was in your position not too long ago as a student teacher.

    First, find yourself some space. When I was student teaching the room was huge so my teacher had a little desk for her student teachers. However, if I had a student teacher, there is no way they could get a desk into my room! Ask for a drawer or some shelf space, or at least a space to put a basket with your stuff. There, I would have a notebook and camera handy. Its not always appropriate to pull out your phone and you will want to have easy access to somewhere to write down good things you see or snap a picture of it. A bag like my Thirty One Bag might be helpful with that because it will stand up on its own and hold your stuff.

    Second, find at least one time a week to plan with your teacher and get organized for the coming week. Be involved in the lesson planning obviously, but you also want to ask "what should I be doing during that time?" For example, while she teaches a whole group lesson, there may be a kid she wants you to support. Know where you can be most useful, then make your own lesson plans of where you should be and what you should be doing while she is executing her plans.

    Finally, KEEP EVERYTHING and organize it. Take a copy of every worksheet and lesson she does, and organize it properly. I kept mine but didn't organize it. Even if you aren't in the same grade, having pre-made resources you can refer to is a blessing. Beg, borrow and steal is a first year teacher's motto! I always find myself saying, "I could adapt that thing I did in student teaching" but I can never find it!! If I could go back I would get a box like this one and organize by units.

    Hope this helps!!
    The Big Apple Teacher

    1. These tips are awesome! I hadn't even considered how to organize lesson plans and papers I get from my mentor teacher. I tend to keep every resource I can get my hands on so developing a system to organize it would be wise.

      I've been considering a Thirty One Bag for a while now. It's been a recommendation from a number of my teacher friends.

      Thank you for sharing such great ideas!