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A Guide to Guided Practice

TS_Classroom-TeacherA critical component of the MAT@USC experience takes place during the final 20 weeks of the program – guided practice. Also known as Student Teaching, Guided Practice allows students to take all of the learning theories and pedagogy they studied in the program and actually apply them in a real classroom setting under the supervision of a Master teacher.

For those of you about to begin guided practice, there’s comfort in knowing that you won’t be the first Trojans to test your academic know-how in the classroom. Here’s a collection of blog posts from students recounting their early guided practice experiences:

  • Cathy Cassar shares how she prepared for her first lesson: “I decided to rehearse my lesson. A lot. I rehearsed in the car, in front of the mirror, while I was cooking. I’m glad I did, and I highly recommend it. And notes! I recommend having notes so that you can keep track of where you are in your plan.”  Read more…
  • Anissa Fay reflects on her first lesson: “I was pretty nervous, and I know that came across to the kids. I had expected to get through an entire poem, but we only covered about half of the material, and none of the kids would answer a single question I asked for the first five minutes! Needless to say, that only made me more nervous, but they warmed up eventually and started to participate. Read more…”
  • Melissa Pomponio looks beyond just one lesson and thinks about the long term impact teachers have on their students: “How many of you want to be a teacher to “make a difference?” It’s OK to raise your hands, I do, too. But what does it really mean to “make a difference” in a student’s life? What does it take to see that light turn on in a student that finally gets it?  Read more…
  • Jennifer Bulgin, a seasoned teacher, writes about the less than perfect days and how she learns to “Fight On”: How you respond in the moment and how you accommodate after is what keeps them from happening again.  Some things are unavoidable.  Kids get sick, you get sick.  But having things in place will help make them go more smoothly.  Read more…

Have a question about Guided practice you want to ask MAT@USC alumni?  Do you have an exciting, inspiring, or helpful teacher story you want to share?  If so, leave it here in the comments or consider writing a post on this blog!

If you’d like to know more about how MAT@USC can prepare you to take your teaching credentials and make a difference in your local community, contact our Admissions office at 888.MAT.1USC or email us at