A Day in the Life of an NYU Student Teacher

Curious what it’s like to teach preschool while also an NYU undergraduate student? Digital Ambassador Maggie shares a glimpse of her day!

The NYU campus in New York City.

Hello! My name is Maggie (she/her) and I am a junior at NYU Steinhardt with a major in Early Childhood and Special Education. In addition to being an Admissions Ambassador, I student teach twice a week as a part of my degree program. Here is a typical Thursday in my life!

6:55 am

My alarm goes off bright and early so I can make it to my student teaching placement in Brooklyn by 8:00 am. After a quick morning routine and some coffee, I’m on my way to the L train for my commute. Last night I finished up a lesson plan and packed myself a lunch, so I feel ready for a day of teaching!

Maggie takes a selfie on the way to the train
Heading to the train!

8:30 am

After a short meeting and some classroom prep with my amazing mentor teacher, my students show up! I’m currently teaching in a Pre-Kindergarten classroom at a public school in Williamsburg. The morning goes by quickly as I help students unpack and begin morning activities. We have a fun class meeting in which we greet each other, celebrate a birthday, and sing a few songs, before breaking into small groups where I oversee an art activity. Soon it’s time to walk my students to physical education and use the short break to prepare for a read-aloud.

10:45 am

Next, the students return from a short recess and I read them the book “Signs of Spring”. I’ve created a lesson plan for this activity for one of my classes, Foundations of Literacy Development. It’s awesome that so many of my academic assignments relate directly to student teaching. The read-aloud goes well and the students have independent center time before their lunch.

A teacher reading a picture book.
Reading to my students

2:45 pm

Now, the rest of the school day passes in a blur of rest time, my lunch break, small group work, and an exciting trip to the playground. I teach at my placement twice a week, so I’m very familiar with the routine. Before I know it, it’s time to head home.

A child's hand and a block structure.
One of my students created this cool, symmetrical structure with blocks!

3:55 pm

I log on to a Discord shift for Admissions Ambassadors. It’s so fun to chat with admitted students in the class of 2027 and answer their questions!

5:00 pm

It’s time for a zoom meeting for “Student Teaching in Early Childhood Education.” I have this class with my fellow cohort members once a week to discuss our placements. Today we’re talking about things that surprised us at our schools and combating ableism in the classroom. I eat a quick dinner and start to walk to the Paulson Center for my last class.

7:00 pm

It’s time for one of my favorite classes: University Singers! I auditioned for this choir on a whim this semester, and love having a musical outlet in my pretty rigorous schedule this semester. We’re currently preparing for a concert in May, so we spend the two-hour rehearsal going over our repertoire and learning new music! 

My choir, the University Singers.

9:25 pm

Finally, I’m home for the night! Time to unwind, watch some tv or read, and get ready for my campus tour shift tomorrow. Thank you for spending the day with me!