Major: Kinesiology and Health
Minor/option/emphasis: Teacher Education
Company/Organization: Davenport Community School District
Company/Organization website: http://www.davenportschools.org/
Title: Student Teacher k-12
Destination: Davenport, IA & Walcott, IA
Timeframe: Fall 2016
Advisor/Coordinator Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
I was responsible for...
I student taught at Walcott Elementary and Middle School, and Central High Schools. Both schools are located in the Davenport School District. I was able to create my own lesson plans, as well as learn to teach the lessons that my teacher had provided. I taught full time for at least 3 weeks at each school. I was able to teach, as well assess students at the end of each unit. I also attended professional development meetings at each school which helped me become familiar with policies, as well as collaborate with other staff members.
My greatest accomplishment from my experience was being able to motivate students to attend class and participate which helped them succeed. When I started my placement at Central, there were multiple students who would only come to class once or twice a week. They were failing the class, and nothing was being done about it. When I took over, I pulled the students aside and talked to them individually about their grade. I told them that I believe in them, and that I want to see them succeed. I told them that P.E. was a requirement to graduate, and that it is extremely important that they attend class every day. I asked the students about the obstacles that were keeping them from attending class, and I helped them come up with solutions. I tried my best to relate to those students, which ended up paying off. I saw an immediate improvement after our discussion. The students that I talked to started coming to class every day. It felt amazing to know that I played a part in the success of these students.
The greatest lesson I learned while student teaching is that all students are different. It is extremely important to differentiate instruction to meet the needs of all students in the course. I have noticed that some students do not respond well to certain types of feedback. It is crucial that teachers get to know each individual student in the class in order to determine which methods work best for that student. I was able to understand the needs of the students and adjust my instruction accordingly.
Advice for others...
I would advise future students who are planning on student teaching to relax. I was extremely nervous when I arrived at my first placement. I quickly realized that I had nothing to be nervous about. Student teaching has been one of the best experiences of my life. The courses that I have taken at Iowa State have prepared me for this journey. I would advise future students to be creative. You are working under a professional, so ask as many questions as you can. This experience is meant to prepare you for your future. Take advantage of the opportunities that you are given, and try to get involved within the school you are placed at. Lastly, I would say that you should try your best to make a difference. The smallest actions can make a huge impact on some of these students.