Jodie: A-Z of surviving a teaching prac

Jodie Powell
Jodie completed her Graduate Diploma of Learning and Teaching (Primary) with USQ in 2015 and is now a qualified teacher passionate about holistic education for all children. When not hiking or otherwise enjoying the great outdoors, you'll find her relaxing with a good book or cooking up a storm in the kitchen.

So it’s your first teaching prac and you want to ace it but not quite sure how to pull it off? Never fear ...

These seven simple yet effective tips will have you cartwheeling all the way to the classroom!

1. Do your homework!

Make sure you know how to get to your new school, what time to arrive, where to park and what to wear. You don’t want to be stressing over these things an hour before you’re expected in the classroom.

2. Be excited (but nurture that scaredy cat inside of you too!)

Enthusiasm will have you off to a great start – you’ll energise your students and they will think you’ve been teaching for years. A few nerves are normal so don’t worry about those – they’ll keep you on your toes!

3. Be ready to learn and open to new ideas

You might feel out of your depth at times but that’s perfectly normal – you’re there to learn. So don’t beat yourself up or think you’re doomed if your first (second and third!) lesson doesn’t go to plan. That happens to the most experienced teachers as well and it’s a great learning opportunity.

4. Raise your hand

Ask for help or advice if you need it. You aren’t expected to know everything so don’t be afraid to seek guidance and feedback from your mentor and other teachers at your prac school. They are there to help us succeed and will most likely be thrilled that you’re open to learning from their wealth of experience.

5. Clear your in-tray

Chances are you’ll be exhausted after your first days of prac so try to have your assignments and other important things completed beforehand. That way you’ll be able to devote whatever energy you have left each evening to preparing for the following day of prac.

6. Reflect, reflect, reflect!

We hear that word all the time but there’s good reason for that – reflection is a fantastic learning tool so it’s a good habit to get into. Written reflections will also provide evidence of your personal learning journey which will not only be satisfying for you to read at a later time but also relevant to future employers.

7. And finally, give yourself a well-deserved high five!

Juggling the demands of prac, uni and personal life all at once certainly isn’t easy so don’t forget to reward yourself along the way. It could be as simple as grabbing a (large!) mocha on your way to school in the morning or spending a few hours at the beach. Whatever works for you.

For more tips and advice on how to succeed in your prac work, check out Alice's blog on balancing prac and uni.


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