Fall 2010 Student Teachers Experience
December 13, 2010 - Student teaching, the culminating experience for teacher candidates, provides opportunities for them to utilize the knowledge and skills gained in professional education coursework. But even more important, it provides opportunities for them to make a positive impact on the lives of their students and for their students to make an indelible mark on their lives.
Fall 2010 student teachers were asked to share a memorable moment or a time during their semester-long experience that they were absolutely positive that they had been called to teach.
Emilee Peery(right), the Academic Excellence Award winner and Early Childhood PreK-3 student teacher, said, “Thinking back over my experience, I recall the time when I was preparing for my last formal observation. It started first thing in the morning, so I was desperately trying to get my literacy stations set up and children ready to begin; I must have looked frantic because at that moment a precious girl came to me gave me a note that said, ‘You are a wonderful teacher, and I love you.’ I never felt so blessed to be a teacher than in that moment. I knew then that this is profession for me.”
Ali Thomas, Math 7-12 student teacher, said, “I've always felt different because I haven't been on several mission trips or to any other countries. Seminar helped me realize that the classroom is my mission field, and I haven't been missing out at all.”
Connie Frost, a graduate student seeking PreK-3 endorsement, said her memorable moment was when her students were in the front of the classroom, pretending to the teacher. One student said to her, “I want to be a teacher just like you.”
Several student teachers were touched by actions of their students on their last day of their placement.
“My last week at Cordova Elementary, many students made me good-bye cards and told me that they didn't want me to leave. It was then I realized that even though I was only there for ten weeks, I had made an impact on those children. I now understand that no matter how little or often I may interact with a child, I should always take into consideration what kind of impact I might have on them, “ reflected Candice Blackard, Vocal/General Music K-12 student teacher, who student taught at Cordova Elementary and White Station High School, both in Memphis City Schools.
Another Vocal/General Music student teacher, Jamie Evans, said that his students wrote cards to him on his last day. One student, who was a senior in the USJ choir had had many personal challenges. His letter to Jamie said, " I know you will make the best teacher and succeed at whatever you do, because of the way you really love us and want what is best for us." Jamie was particularly touched by this message, which assured him that he had accomplished what he set out to do at that school.
Dawn Baxter, also a Vocal/General Music student teacher, said, “My memorable student teaching moment was my last day at South Side High School. My second period class made-up a program about me! One of the students printed out programs for everyone in the class and they each contributed in some way. A couple of the students read poems that they had written about me, some sang songs, and some simply shared words of encouragement for all that I had done. It was such a special time for the students to work together in planning and such a memorable moment for me!”
"One of my favorite moments in student teaching occurred when I allowed three of my Spanish-speaking students to teach their language to the rest of the class. Not only was it educational and fun for the class to learn Spanish, but it also gave the ESL learners a stronger relationship with their peers, better grades, and higher confidence in their abilities. As a teacher, this was quite a rewarding moment." Arica Riekeman, Elementary K-6 student teacher.
Amy Williams, Early Childhood PreK-3 student teacher, recalled when she taught a skill and her students did not understand. She used a different technique, and the children finally understood it. She was reminded to keep teaching and try different strategies and not to give up on the students that are struggling.
Student teaching, a holy calling to serve in schools across America and around the world. May God bless these teachers as they pursue that calling with passion.