Student teacher’s life lessons

In June 2013, “6 lessons I learned as a student teacher” was published on CNN’s Schools of Thought blog. Heather Sinclair Wood summaries her lessons in the following six statements:

  • No matter how prepared you think you are, you’re not prepared.
  • Befriend the people who (really) matter.
  • Always have a contingency plan.
  • There will never be enough time.
  • We think about the unthinkable.
  • It is the most rewarding job you will ever do.

We recommend you read the entire article online with the explanation behind each statement.

This had us at Chem 13 News thinking: as true as these statements are, are there additional ones specific to the chemistry student teacher? We invite readers, especially those who are in a teacher’s college now or have just graduated to add to this list. Your contributions can be chemistry specific or ones that you feel have been left off Heather’s initial list.

Here are a few of mine for demonstrations.

  • Try every demo before you do it in front of a class — no matter how easy it looks on paper.
  • Be prepared for your demonstrations to fail.
  • Do not rush a demo. Milk each demo for all the possible learning connections.

What did you learn as a student teacher in chemistry? What lessons surprised you in your first year? Do you have any lessons for labs in particular? For cleanup? Share with us your experiences. We would love to hear from pre-service teachers. Email Jean Hein,