Thursday, April 18, 2013

Pray's Ponderings on Cedar Crest Fun

Wow! I can’t believe my student teaching experience is almost over! All I can say is: “Where did the time go?!”

Student teaching has been one of the best experiences in my life. I didn't think that from January to April I would be able to make a real connection with my students and boy was I wrong. I got to know my students pretty quickly and now I’m sad that I have to leave them in just 2 short days. I got to know their likes and dislikes and how they learn best in the classroom. The latter was something that I definitely didn't think I could accomplish in such a short period of time.

The most memorable moment I have from student teaching occurred during the regional public speaking contest. I had one student whom had made it that far and she was super excited and nervous about giving her junior prepared speech. I had given her all the tips I could think of and coached her the best I could. I gave her a pep talk before she went in to give her speech to try to calm her nerves. After what felt like an eternity, they finally came out with the results. She walked up to me and said with the biggest smile I have ever seen and said “Ms Pray! I did it! I got first place and I’m going to states!” Then she proceeded to give me a giant hug. This made all of the hard work put into preparing her well worth it.

Throughout my student teaching experience, I refined my teaching skills and learned so much from my cooperating teacher. I completed my student teaching experience at Cedar Crest High School in Lebanon, Pa. My cooperating teacher was Mr. Harold Berkheiser. He is a veteran teacher and after 35 years of teaching he is going to start enjoying his retirement at the end of this school year. He taught me so much about how to be a better teacher, how to be a great FFA advisor and how to guide students through the SAE process. He even got me to feel comfortable teaching students in the Ag Shop, which is something that I never thought I would be able to do.

Although I am sad to be leaving, I am excited to move on and have a classroom and students of my own. I will definitely use all of the information that I have learned during my student teaching experience. I also plan to keep in touch with many of my students to see how they progress through high school and college. And even though he is retiring I plan on keeping in touch with my cooperating teacher for more advice as I traverse through my first year as a teacher.

Student teaching is a great and exciting time. Even though at first it seems a little terrifying, it is nice to have a student teaching cohort, good professors, family, friends, your cooperating teacher and university supervisor to lean on. All of these people will help you to succeed as a student teacher. I went in with the idea that I could handle this experience and through the help of all these people I became not only a better teacher and also a new and improved me. 

To learn more about starting on the path to having a career that makes a positive impact on the lives of student across the glob by becoming an agricultural educator, please contact the agricultural teacher education program at Follow us on Twitter @TeachAgPSU, or on Facebook at

Submitted by:
Heather Pray
2013 Student Teacher
Cedar Crest High School
PSU AEE M.S. Candidate
2012-13 National Teach Ag Ambassador

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