How to Use Student Teacher Internship Experience in a New Teacher Resume

Are you a student teacher trying to write a new teacher resume? You can find extensive resources online to support each step of your job search to land your first teaching job.

Most college and universities have internship programs to help recent graduates get a head start in their teaching careers. These student practicums paths can get you to the door of a new teaching position. To open the door to an interview, you need to write a new teacher resume that impresses the school. For many new teachers, all or most of their teaching experience will be conveyed by including student teacher internship experience in a new teacher resume.

Many student teacher interns are not sure how to include practicum or internship experience on their resumes to target teaching positions.

Some are even worried whether the internship experience will count as "real" (valid) teaching experience. Internship experience is highly valued and, if you did well during your internship, you can expect a favorable response from school districts.

Student teacher helping a student

Using Student Teacher Internship Benefits to Your Career Success


A student teaching internship provides numerous benefits that can provide your teaching career a solid head start. Two of the most important are the classroom teaching experience and a chance to work under experienced teachers who act as your mentors. Also, you will have new opportunities to see how a school operates, get feedback on your teaching skills, learn how to discipline, attend teacher meetings, and serve as part of an educational team.

Many new teachers I coach feel they have few differentiating skills at this early stage in their career, and as a result, make little effort to present more than a generic new teacher resume. To the contrary, each teacher has ample opportunity to differentiate their teacher internship experience in the context of their studies, experience, and teaching objectives.

Describe Your Student Teaching Experience in Detail

The most common shortcoming I see in new teacher resumes is they are too general. Many look like they are generic resume templates.

Hiring managers read the same phrases over and over again in the course of a day:

"Passionate teacher with experience teaching in the classroom pursuing my dream job as an elementary school teacher"

When the reader repeatedly sees these phrases, they begin to read faster and skim over the resume. The worst response your resume could elicit!

You want to use language that is going to engage and entice the reader to slow down and read the letter more attentively.

Put another way, if you want to fly from California to New York, you need specific coordinates for New York; otherwise, you will never get there. Similarly, you need to provide the specific coordinates of your job experience so the school can find you.

The school has a specific teaching position to fill. The unique job profile will include grade level, type of class, subject area, and special teaching programs, such as special education. Unique skills may also be sought – math literacy, ESL, art, and so on.

If you only list 'student intern in second grade of primary school' with a generic list of jobs duties and responsibilities, the school will fly past you and land on a resume with the coordinates they are seeking.

Provide a Rich Description of Your Student Intern Teaching Roles

Fulfilling a variety of assignments could be the school's expectations of a new teacher. You may teach different subjects in a self-contained classroom or concentrate on an area of specialization, such as special education or a particular subject, such as English or social science. Try to include teaching keywords in your resume; this will show interviewers that you have a working knowledge of teaching vernacular.

Include Any Education Specializations in Your Beginning Teacher Resume

Do you specialize in any areas of teaching in your studies and/or internships? Let's start with your academic work.

Are you focused on special education? The social development of children? Math literacy? Alternatively, another area?

Are you writing a master's thesis in any particular area? Any areas of specialization should be emphasized in your resume. Thesis work often provides practical experience in a teaching environment. For example, did you observe three primary school classes to monitor the emotional development of children? Administer a trial writing and grammar program? Draw out the details and any educational benefits you derived from contact with classrooms, and teachers and other educational professionals.

Did you have the opportunity to work developing special education teacher skills or apply these practices as part of your student teacher internship? Have you done volunteer work in your area of specialization? Did you prepare and deliver lessons that were effective and comprehensible to all students?

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Resume Structure for a New Teacher – Let Your Resume Tell a Story

Approach resume writing as you would write a story. Always lead the reader.

Let's say that between your thesis work, master's studies and internship experience, you are developing expertise in special education. Do not leave the reader to connect the dots. Place this accomplishment at the beginning of your resume profile at the top of your resume (this is akin to your thesis statement, or at least part of it).

Like a well-developed paragraph, your resume will then provide supporting evidence for this claim in your education, experience, and volunteer sections. As you can see, even if your experience is during a student internship you can still write a compelling new teacher resume. You can demonstrate comprehensive knowledge, and even experience, in teaching areas and specializations. Learn more about the central role of the resume profile in setting up your resume.   

Shape Your Student Internship Experience

Think proactively while choosing and carrying out your student teacher internship. Treat the teaching opportunity as a launching pad for your future teaching career. If you are specializing in Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA), seek out any opportunities to gain additional experience in this area, in your current school or elsewhere in the district.

Are there skills you are weak in that you need to work on? You will learn the finer details of teaching from your mentor, including ways to improve your teaching, how to maintain classroom discipline, how to plan successfully, and how to deal with students with different abilities or learning problems. Try to learn as much as possible from your mentor to get the maximum benefit out of your internship program. Do not hesitate to ask for training in areas you need to strengthen.

Ask for and Include Reference Letters from Your Internship

Most resumes end with the words 'Reference Available Upon Request.' Actual references extolling your tutoring skills, organizational skills, leadership skills, responsible and diligent attitude and academic achievements pack a powerful punch. Try to get letters of recommendation from your mentor / master teacher, the school principal, and your university advisor. If you did commendable work in college or your internship, you could get hired at an affiliated school.

The Resume Structure and Format – The Basics

Include your internship as a student on your resume, under "Teaching Internship." Make sure you include a description of your assignments, their duration, and accomplishments that describe your skills in detail. Don't leave anything out.

The purpose of including student teacher internship experience in a new teacher resume is to convince a hiring panel that you are a capable teacher who has proved that you can teach effectively, motivate students, differentiate the instruction, and maintain an organized classroom. 

For more on resume basics, see how to write a new teacher resume that gets results.

For more on integrating your internship into your resume, see first-year resume or CV writing tips using education internships.

Find out how a career coach can help you make a transition into your new occupation.

For ideas on how to personalize a teacher resume and cover letter, review our teacher resume and cover letter examples. While you are there, review tips on teacher resume and CV writing

Our guidance in 101 Teacher Resume and Cover Letter Tips  has helped thousands of teachers find jobs.

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Have questions, please connect by sending an email to Candace or call toll-free at 1 877 738-8052. I would enjoy chatting with you.