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Source Reviewed:

Hayes, D. (2003). Student teacher’s guide to primary school placement. (2nd ed.). New York, NY: RoutledgeFalmer.


Primary school trainee teachers, teacher mentors, course leaders of Bed, BA (ED) and post graduate courses or programs that aim to qualify teachers.


Elementary School Issues


This work discusses the experiences and common challenges encountered by student teachers during school placements and suggests numerous strategies for enhancing the likelihood of success in the journey of becoming a teacher. The book includes 13 chapters and is divided into four parts. Part 1, entitled “Principles”, (chapter 1) discusses and summarizes issues considered fundamental to successful teaching such as trainee teachers’ attitudes to life, views of learning, personality and presence, and teaching approaches. Part 2, “Placement”, (chapters 2 - 5) sheds light on aspects of school environment, and provides detailed advice about preparing for, and prospering in school placements. In this section the author includes teacher narratives and case studies of trainee teachers’ experiences in order to illustrate situations with which student teachers grappled, the heightened emotions involved, and the ways in which trainees learned to cope with the many challenges and opportunities that they encountered in their schools. The third part, under the title of “Practice” (chapters 6 -11), focuses on the practical skills needed for the actual implementation of lessons. The authors there provide guidelines and advice on issues such as lesson planning, teaching strategies, childrens’ learning needs, classroom management, and assessment of students’ progress. The final section of the book includes chapters 12 and 13 , and is entitled “Progress”. In this part the author guides student teachers and readers through the phase of formally entering the teaching profession. For applying for posts, readers are presented with information and advice for completing job applications and preparing for interviews. Examples of application letters, interview questions and problems that may occur at interviews are provided and discussed. Moreover, to help readers benefit from the experiences of other teachers, the final chapter of this book presents interview evidence to disclose feelings and experiences of newly qualified teachers as they enter their first job.


•The book is reader-friendly and enjoyable.
•The inclusion of narratives and case studies to illustrate real-life experiences of student teachers evokes thought and reflection.
•It helps student teachers to focus their attention on the main issues underpinning success in placement situations.
•The ideas, skills and teaching strategies discussed are adaptable across contexts.




It is a helpful tool for student teachers to refer to during the journey of becoming a teacher, particularly when preparing for the practicum.

Your Recommendations:

I recommend reading this book as it provides most of what student teachers need to know about in terms of the placement experience. The book is also useful for its other group of audience as it reflects other perspectives of the working environment and the placement experience.

Submitted by: Hana El-Fiki

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