If you’re reading this, you’re probably either:
- nervous about student teaching, OR
- thinking about quitting student teaching.
Thousands of people have passed student teaching to become full-time teachers. However, many people have struggled to complete student teaching. In some cases, they have even made the difficult decision to quit student teaching. Here are the top 4 reasons that people have chosen to quit.
At most universities, you need to apply for student teaching several semesters in advance. This gives the teacher education department plenty of time to locate your placement. However, it also makes it difficult to predict any health issues that might make it difficult for you to complete student teaching.
It can be anything from undergoing surgery to a bout of mono or even pregnancy. Whatever the health issue is, if you can’t give 100% to student teaching it’s a good idea to withdraw. Wait until you’re back to health and ready to handle all the difficulties that student teaching can throw at you.
You hope that your university will choose the perfect placement for you, but it’s difficult to find someone who matches your personality and teaching style. On top of that, there are many teachers that struggle to give up their classroom to a student teacher, or who don’t know how to handle having a student teacher around. Whatever the case may be, it’s best to stick it out. Part of the process involves learning how to deal with different personalities and surviving any situation.
If problems begin to develop, talk promptly to your university supervisor. In some cases you might be able to change your placement. When all else fails, some people end up quitting the program because of conflicts with their cooperating teacher and other placement issues.
Some people use negative experiences to determine that teaching is not the right profession for them. You’d hope that you’d determine whether or not teaching is the right profession for you long before student teaching begins. However, sometimes it takes getting thrown in front of a classroom to realize once and for all that you’re just not meant to be a teacher. If you realize that it’s not what you always dreamed it would be, you may decide to change your career path and quit student teaching in the process.
Sometimes your personal life conflicts with student teaching. I had a friend who had to leave student teaching in order to care for his father who was diagnosed with cancer. You can’t control these circumstances. When they arise, you need to determine what your priorities are, or where you should be.
When possible, try your hardest to stick it out and learn as much from the experience as possible. Then, talk to your cooperating teacher and/or university supervisor to make the difficult decision as to whether teaching is for you or not.