Friday, May 11, 2012
Danielle Smith, 2012 Student Teacher at Selinsgrove High School Talks About Her Experiences this Past Spring
When I was first asked to reflect on my student teaching experience I thought “I don’t know what to write so much has happened.” It is hard to make a short reflection, but now thinking about it more I can sum up my student teaching experience with one word “impact.”
When most people put impact and student teaching together they think about the student teaching impacting the students at their cooperating center. Which makes sense because that’s what we are there for to teach and by extension impact students, but when I think about impact I think more about the impact my cooperating center has had on my life. I have often thought to myself that I have succeeded in my student teaching internship if I have made half the impact on my students that they have made on me.
The first experience I had that really impacted me was when I first started to teach my vet science class; after class one day as students were getting ready to leave as the bell was ringing a female student started to talk to me about FFA she told me that she wanted to join but was worried about what her friends would say I told her that you should not worry about what your friends will think when making decisions and that you should make decisions based on what you want to do. She seemed to be responsive to this and to most people that would just be a typical conversation with a student which it was to me until I found out more about this student. This particular student did not get along with most teachers in the school and she is usually considered a discipline issue and a student teachers could not connect with in a positive way. This is when I realized that it was really meaningful that she felt comfortable opening up to me. My relationship with this student has continued and I have faith that I have impacted her and that possibly her life will be somewhat different thanks to me taking the time to talk to her and even though she probably doesn’t know it I will always remember her because she impacted my life as well.
The second experience I think about when I think about impact involves a group of students. During student teaching I taught a building construction class this class consisted of 13 boys. This was also the class that I was teaching shop based units that I was not that comfortable with. I will always remember this class because not only did it help me overcome my fears of teaching shop, but it also impacted me by allowing me to realize that I can not only teach a class of all boys but prove to them that I know what I am talking about when I am teaching and most importantly teach them skills they did not have before.
My final experience I would like to highlight is my recognition at the FFA banquet. It was not so much that my cooperating center chose to honor me at the banquet it was more that what was read on stage to honor me was written by students. I did not know it till the night of the banquet, but Mrs. Fry my cooperating teacher had given the officers the task of writing something up to honor me. When I was called on stage I was surprised and then when I realized the words that were being said about me were coming straight from my students I almost cried. It was then that I realized I was not going to be that student teacher that comes to a school for a short period of time and then leaves and no one remembers but that I was going to be that student teacher that students talk about for years to come and that has impacted them in some way.
Overall my student teaching experience has been very meaningful and I am sad to leave. That is why I do not think of it as leaving the place but not the people because they have forever changed me as I hope I have changed them.