A teacher trainee is typically responsible for performing many of the same tasks as an educator, while also learning to teach more effectively. This often begins with preparation of lessons for use in class, which are then presented and taught by the trainee. The administration of tests and other forms of assessment, to ensure comprehension by students, and classroom management to keep them on task are also important. A teacher trainee may be supervised each day by an experienced educator, or may work alone in a classroom and speak with a mentor regularly to discuss problems and gain understanding.
Many of the responsibilities of a teacher trainee are similar to that of a full teacher, though there is a learning element for the trainee. Planning lessons, for example, is one of the major tasks performed by new educators. This often begins with a thorough understanding of the subject being taught, as well as a sense of how standards and objectives must be met by the teacher trainee. Lessons and larger units can then be planned out, so that they can be presented in a meaningful and effective way for students.
Proper evaluation and assessment is also a critical component of the work performed by a teacher trainee. This can include the assignment of homework and similar tasks, as well as the creation and use of tests that are administered to students in class. The teacher trainee determines how well students are learning the material necessary of them, and then makes adjustments based on the results of such assessments.
There are also a number of responsibilities that must be met by a teacher trainee on a daily basis to ensure students are able to learn. Classroom management, for example, includes keeping students on task, ensuring time is sufficient for lessons each day, and dealing with behavioral issues and disruptions as necessary. These elements of the classroom experience can be especially difficult for new teachers, and so focusing on such tasks is often a major element of training.
As a teacher trainee is ensuring students are learning the material they need, he or she is also learning to be a more effective educator. Mentoring is often an important part of this process. The trainee can work with an experienced educator to find weaknesses he or she may have and improve upon them. This mentor may work alongside the teacher in the classroom, or observe a certain amount of time each week. The trainee continues to refine his or her skills and gains the knowledge necessary to become self-reliant as an educator.