I feel as though I have learned a great deal about the student teacher relationship. I have become very close with many of my students and I care for each and every one of them. When one becomes off task and needs some type of consequence it frustrates me a great deal. I enjoy seeing my students succeed and when they do not I felt a bit at fault and upset. I have also realized through this experience that I cannot change all of them. Also when it feels as though I am not able to give them what they need I do try to take a step back and realize by me giving them my all at some point they may remember that and be grateful. The most important thing I have learned about my students has been that no matter where I am, what type of school I am at, and what differences my students may have, they are all my students. Each student needs tender care, the power to believe in themselves, and the right to have someone pushing them and believing in them. My population of students in Milwaukee has been different than those in Eau Claire, but when I have sat back and thought about this I really began to realize they’re all just children. They need teachers who care about them as students and nothing less. I think this helped me to begin to eliminate some stereotypes that I may have had before entering this program.
When I put this experience in one word all I can say is awestruck. That is what I was the first day I entered Hartford University School and will be leaving the same way, but much more deeply affected in a positive way. This experience has shaped me and will make me who I am as a teacher to my students.
Student teaching has been one of the most challenging experiences that I have had throughout my educational experiences. I underestimated the amount of work that teaching can be and the amount of time and effort that goes into a successful classroom environment. Although there were some challenging moments, this has also been one of the most rewarding experiences that I have ever had. I have learned a lot about myself as a teacher and an individual. I believe that I have grown substantially as a teacher over the past semester and have learned a lot from my cohorts, students, and corresponding teachers.
Overall, this was such a great experience and I had a lot of fun teaching in Milwaukee, however, there were several days in which I doubted my ability to be a successful teacher in an urban setting. Like anything in life, there are ups and downs. Tuesday night classes were always helpful, interesting, informative and supportive. I always looked forward to Tuesday night and it was very helpful to discuss issues that urban students and teachers face. These classes, readings and community experiences gave me a further insight on what teaching in an urban setting would be like.
I would recommend this program to any future educator and stress the importance of all individuals having some experience teaching in an urban setting. This has been such an enriching and unique experience for me as a teacher. Before student teaching in Milwaukee, I was unsure if teaching was the road for me that I really wanted to take after college. After teaching in Milwaukee, I have found that this is a lot more work than I ever would have expected to take on the role as an art teacher. This program has helped me to become more prepared as a first year teacher and I am now more confident with my ability to successfully run a classroom.
As this semester comes to an end, I realize how much I have grown. Not only as a teacher but also as a person. This semester has put me through so many ups and downs, but I have pulled through unharmed. And that in itself makes me proud of this student teaching experience. At the beginning of the semester, I thought I was ready for anything. I was almost mad that I had to student teach for another full semester. I knew that I wasn’t going to have any problems and thought it was stupid that I could not find a job right away this semester. I cannot begin to tell you how wrong I was. How could I have thought I was ready for this? I was put in my place by second graders and I was kicked off my high horse and fell into reality. I needed this experience. It made me a stronger teacher and person.
Overall I can say that I have learned and I am taking away so much with me from this experience. I am so happy that it is finally coming to a close but I will miss my students. Whenever I see my Kindergarteners in the hallway they all want to hug me and say hello and this makes me feel so good. I feel as though I have made some type of impact on their lives and this is the main reason I wanted to be a teacher. It makes me feel accomplished and I hope that MPS will hire me for the fall 2008 school year!