This weekend I was preparing for one of the biggest transitions of my college career. On Monday I started my Block placement at Mid Valley Secondary Center, in which I will be going to for the next five weeks as if it is my full-time job. I will be teaching a few lessons and aiding my co-operating teacher with her lessons until Thanksgiving break. This just means that I am one step closer to student teaching and my career. If you are preparing for student teaching or another form of an internship then here are some tips and tricks that I found useful:
1. Be over prepared. Wake up early, make your lunch and pick out your outfit the night before, leave early in case you get lost, pack all your necessary materials, go on a test run to your placement location… all of these things will make the morning of your first day a hundred times easier. It’s not ideal to be waking up before the sun comes up, but these tips and tricks will help put your mind at ease.
2. Dress to impress. Pretty self-explanatory, basically don’t even think about wearing your pajamas! Wear something that is comfortable and stylish, that lets your personality shine through, and make sure that it is appropriate for where you are going.
3. Be on time. My dad always told me that if you were not fifteen minutes early then you were not on time. Being on time always means you are early (it also helps in case you get lost).
4. Pack a good lunch! You’ll have something to look forward to when you get hungry or feel like giving up halfway through the day. And it is your time to refuel for the afternoon, so pack a well-rounded lunch! Thanks to Dr. Polizzi for reminding me of this because my lunch kept me alert and energized all day! (Back to being prepared, pack more than you expect that you will want or need. It won’t be a very fun afternoon if you don’t eat enough!)
5. Be outgoing. You will not want to be remembered as that person who always had a pout on their face and their head down. This placement may become a recommendation for you someday, so don’t be shy and make sure that you say hi!
6. Don’t be afraid to ask questions! Don’t be afraid to ask your co-op about anything. There is no such thing as a stupid question.
7. Make the most of your experience! Throw yourself into your placement and fully immerse yourself. If this is what you will be doing for the rest of your life you might as well learn a little something from those who have been in the field already- learn the tricks of the trade before you have to figure them out for yourself.