5 Tips for Rebounding After a Bad Student Teaching Experience

Before you can become a teacher or even apply for your teaching license, you need to do a student teaching experience in college. These experiences let you see firsthand what working with students is like as well as see how the skills you learned in college will translate into the real world. Not all experiences go as well as you might expect though, and you may have a bad experience that leaves you wondering if teaching is the right career for you. There are some ways you can recover from that experience before you take on your first teaching job.

Become a Sub

Once you have a bad classroom experience, you might second guess yourself and wonder if teaching is the right career for you. Check with local school districts about the requirements for becoming a substitute teacher. While some districts require that subs have a bachelor’s degree, others will accept those currently enrolled in an education program. This gives you the chance to work in different schools and with different students, which can remind you of why you wanted to become a teacher.

Think About the School

Nancy Carroll, an educational leadership specialist, recommends that student teachers think about the schools where they worked after going through a bad experience. Carroll points out that not all schools are the same and that not all teachers are a good fit for every school. When you reflect on it, you might realize that your teaching style doesn’t fit with that school or that you would rather work with older or younger students.

Related resource: Top 10 Best Online Master of Arts in Teaching Degree Programs

Manage Your Stress

Learning how to manage your stress is one of the best ways to recover from a bad student teaching experience. Not every experience will be as positive as the next, and even long-term teachers use stress management techniques on the job and at home. You may find that physical activity like hitting the gym or taking a long walk can help you recover from a stressful situation. Others will want to talk about their own experiences with their classmates as well as with their professors or with teachers working in that school.

Keep Track of Positive Experiences

After a bad day, it’s far too easy to focus on all the bad things that happened like sending a student to the principal’s office, having a negative encounter with another teacher or overhearing students gossip about you in the hallways. At the end of the day though, its important that you focus on the positive things that happened. Keep a running tally of the things you liked about teaching. You can also use your record book to keep track of the positive experiences you had with students, which you can then mention to those students and their parents.

Focus on Your Skills

After a bad experience in the classroom, you may second guess yourself and even begin doubting that you have the skills necessary to work as a teacher. Each time that you come home after a long day or a bad day, sit down and make a list of the skills that you have. These skills can range from being a good listener to positively reinforcing students. Going over that list will remind you of why you wanted to become a teacher and the skills that you bring to the table.

Education majors must do teaching experiences in local schools to ensure that they can handle running classrooms of their own. Though you may have some bad student teaching experiences while in college, you can recover from those experiences and remind yourself of why you want to work with students.