Wednesday, May 15, 2013

The "Wright" Placement - the Case of Cortney Wright!

My student teaching experience was some what different than the student teaching
experiences of my fellow student teachers. I decided to take a non-traditional route with my student teaching and teach at a career and technology center which had its pro's and cons!

The major difference at the career and technology center was that I had three 120 minute sessions, no planning period, no school lunches, and no homerooms. Another major differences is that I had three different levels of students in the classroom such as AgriScience 1, AgriScience 2, and AgriScience 3. Teaching at a nontraditional placement such as a Career and Technology Center stretches you as a teacher candidate a great deal.  The students who attended a CTC are there for a very specific reason, so the students really want to learn most days. You also have more flexibility at times to complete certain activities.

While teaching at the Career and Technology Center, the extended instructional sessions can challenge a new teacher.  You learn very fast how to plan for much more than needed. Most of my lessons for one class out of a day is enough material to cover in three classes in normal high school.  Creating variability can be another challenge to address.  Trying to change gears or add something new every 20 minutes can be hard.  You also have to watch and be sure that you are not losing any students.  If you lose students in the beginning of the lesson, it can be hard to catch them up because they have missed so much. The other hard thing to get used to is having multiple classes or lessons going on at once.  I only had to do this once a day, but it was an extremely hard concept to become use to. You learn how to create more student-centered learning activities instead of teacher-centered learning.  This makes students more responsible for their own learning, and less dependent on you to disseminate the information to them

I choose to complete my student teaching experience at a career and technology center because it can be very nontraditional, but also because this program is one of few at CTC’s that is so broad.  The program included everything from animal science, plant science, agriculture mechanics, natural resources, and wildlife. I had the opportunity to teach in a biotechnology program, unique as there are not many of across the nation.  The biotechnology program provided me hands on experience learning in teaching STEM related curriculum. I also had the opportunity to use a lot of equipment and materials that not every program around the state has access to.  I am so happy that I had the opportunity to utilize a fully equipped biochemistry lab.

Bottom-line, I know this is definitely what I want to be doing for the rest of my life. I absolute love teaching, love my students, and love the memories that are made every day in the classroom with my students. I could not have asked for a better student teaching experience.

Please watch this short video (2 minutes 13 seconds) that I created:

Submitted By:

Cortney Wright
2013 Student Teacher
Bedford CTC

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