Major: Kinesiology and Health
Company/Organization: Carroll Community School District and Kuemper Catholic School District
Company/Organization website: http://www.kuemper.org/pages/Kuemper_Catholic_School
Title: Student Teacher
Destination: Carroll, IA
Timeframe: Spring 2017
Advisor/Coordinator Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
I was responsible for...
http://www.carroll.k12.ia.us/ - As a student teacher I observed my cooperating teachers during their day as a teacher, and learned a lot of the ins and outs of everyday teacher life. I gradually gained more and more responsibility until I was the full-time instructor for a few weeks with my cooperating teacher as a reference and as a source of feedback. I was placed in a 9-week high school session and a 9-week elementary session.
My greatest accomplishment was seeing progress in my case study students. One of the assignments I had to complete at each placement was spending some extra time with a selected student, and in doing so I felt like I really made progress with two students toward living a more healthy lifestyle and valuing physical education. It was heart-warming to receive a call from my first placement's cooperating teacher who told me that the student I worked with individually is doing much better during class and that he still asks about me on an almost daily basis.
The greatest lesson I learned is that education is no different from the rest of the world in the case that it isn't always about what you know, but about who you know. Although I pride myself on having a pretty strong resume, I have been able to get job interviews largely due to the relationships I have built in my placement buildings. Someone always knows someone somewhere else, so being professional at all times and to every fellow staff member can really pay off.
Advice for others...
My biggest advice would be to be mentally prepared for the experience. Although you'll have the opportunity to ease into everything, the task at hand is still a big jump from college coursework. I think every student should go through his/her own past work in terms of lesson plans and class management styles and be ready to try to incorporate them in the student teaching placements. Be prepared to use everything you've learned up to this point because you'll be exposed to many situations that you will have prior preparation to handle, and also some new situations that you'll need to be ready to adapt to.