Hosting a student teacher? Add some extra sparkle to their experience! As a mentor teacher, you have the opportunity to inspire the next generation of teachers and make a real impact. But why not level up your mentor teacher game and show your student teacher some love?
In this post, you’ll find 5 fun and creative ways to give your student teacher a warm welcome and an even warmer goodbye. From a designated spot in the classroom to thoughtful ideas for a gift for the student teacher, you're sure to find something to make their student teaching experience extra special.
Are you a student teacher looking for tips for student teaching? Click to read my post featuring 9 student teacher tips.
#1 A Designated Spot
Setting up a designated spot in the classroom for your student teacher helps them to settle in and feel welcome. It also prevents that awkward, “where should I put my things?” conversation.
Whenever someone new enters my class and asks where to put their things I get immediately flustered. My classroom is packed tight. Every nook is full which means there isn’t a lot of extra space. Yours too, right?
Thinking through where your student teacher can put their things, and do some planning and marking, before and after school, is super helpful. I like to set up a small desk or table somewhere in the classroom to serve as their “teacher desk.” Trust me, organizing this ahead of time will make it much less clunky upon their arrival.
#2 Welcome Letters
Welcome letters from yourself and your students is a great way to ease that student teacher anxiety.
I don’t know about you but I was SO nervous to begin my student teaching. Hearing that the students and my mentor teacher were excited to be hosting a student teacher helped some of the anxiety melt away.
Need a template that both you and your students can use to write these letters? Check out the student teacher resource which includes welcome letter templates.
#3 Welcome Binder
A welcome binder is the gift for a student teacher that just keeps on giving. For real.
The thing that I’ve always found most challenging about having a student teacher is trying to download them with all the important information that they need to know. Sharing all of this information, in a concise and easy-to-digest way, is not my strong suit. And if it’s overwhelming for me, it’s probably even more overwhelming for someone who is just starting out.
This is where the welcome binder comes in!
This student teacher binder resource was created with student teachers AND mentor teachers in mind.
Honestly, I created it thinking about how much easier it would make things next time I have a student teacher. Putting together a student teacher binder that includes all of that vital information ahead of time means I won’t be wracking my brain thinking of everything that I need to tell them while on the spot.
The welcome binder is a perfect gift for a student teacher because it’s a cost effective gift and will be helpful extremely helpful to your student teacher. All you need is the student binder resource and a cute binder. If you want to snazz up your welcome gift for student teacher, you can also gift some post it’s or a cute pack of pens.
If you decide to roll with this idea, all you need to do is input the important information ahead of time like your class schedule, classroom routines, important student information, etc, and then print it and put it in the binder for your student teacher.
#4 Goodbye Letters
Were you emotional at the end of your last student teaching experience? I sure was. I connected with those students more than I ever knew I could and loved them so very much that I was devastated to leave them. Because of this, getting their letters and cards at the end of my student teaching was one of the very best gifts I could have received.
At the end of their student teaching, I recommend having your students write a letter or complete a page for a class book spreading the love to your student teacher. They will treasure this gift for a long time to come. Make sure to write a letter yourself as this is sure to be special to them, too!
Need templates? Click here to shop the student teacher resource which includes goodbye letter templates.
#5 Goodbye Gift
Do you know what student teachers are? Hyped about teaching! That actually makes choosing a gift for a student teacher pretty easy.
Now, remember you don’t need to give them a gift. You’re dedication, time commitment, and encouragement certainly served as enough of a gift.
Your mentorship is a gift. 😉
But, if giving a gift to your student teacher is important to you, then teacher essentials are perfect. Think: expo markers, bulletin board trim, an undated teacher planner, a notebook, a timer, a travel mug, etc. All of the items that you would say are non-neogtiables for teaching would make perfect gifts for your student teacher!
Another gift for a student teacher idea is to give your favourite first day of school read-aloud picture book. You could even write a little note of encouragement inside the front cover to encourage them on their first day with their own class.
To wrap it up, hosting a student teacher is not only an opportunity to make a difference in the lives of future teachers, but it's also a chance to have some fun and gain some new ideas and inspiration for your own teaching career. By following these 5 simple yet meaningful ideas, you'll make your student teacher feel welcome, valued, and supported. So, let's get organized and creative, and make this student teaching journey one to remember!
Make Student Teaching Even Easier
Grab this student teacher binder resource to help you when hosting a student teacher. It includes everything you need to assemble a student teaching binder which serves as the perfect welcome gift for a student teacher! Within this resource, you'll also get bonus letter writing templates for yourself and your students to welcome and say goodbye to your student teacher!
You'll find templates for:
- Cover & divider pages
- Class list
- Seating plan
- Student teaching timeline
- Important info
- Classroom routines
- To-do lists
- Class schedule
- Undated monthly calendars
- Lesson plan
- Daily plan
- Weekly plan
- Unit plan
- Student teacher reflection
- Mentor teacher feedback
- Ideas I love pages
- Questions I have pages
- Observation notes
- Anecdotal notes
- Meeting notes
- General note pages