Student teaching is an amazing experience. There is nothing more exciting than finding your path in life and enjoying what you do every minute of the day.
Student teaching was the most essential part of Niagara University’s program. I feel that I have learned more in these twelve weeks than I did when I was taking classes. I have unquestionably benefited from this experience and would not trade it for the world. I just hope that when I am in the profession, I can give a student teacher the same advantages that I experienced from this program and my practicum.
Even though you may teach the same lesson a thousand times in your career, it’s never done the same way. Every new class makes it different. It’s an adventure.
“Life is like a box of chocolates; you never know what you’re gonna get!” While Forest Gump was describing life, the statement also applies to my student teaching experiences. Each session was completely different; not because one was at the elementary level and the other at the secondary level. They were different because each had its own effect on me. I have discovered that I would much rather teach in the elementary level than in the high school level. Completing these two different sessions has really opened my eyes about where I feel most comfortable teaching. This is not to say that I would turn down a position at the high school level, but I have decided to apply, so that I may teach grades 4-6.
As I sit here staring at my computer screen and wondering how I will attempt to sum up the last six weeks, I am reminded of a quotation I once stumbled upon: “It is for life, not school that we learn” (Seneca). Teachers college does not simply prepare you to continue on in school, but gives you a basis of instruction for life. The ideas, tactics and theories that I learned over the last year at Niagara were ways of dealing with real life issues.
The student teaching experience is by far the most important part of the entire program at Niagara University. The theory that is presented was definitely helpful, but I can honestly say I learned more about being a teacher in the time that I spent in the two schools actually teaching. One thing that Niagara University excels at is making the progression from student to student teacher the smoothest and most logical process.
The practicum term is designed to be a safe place to experiment and to find out what kind of a teacher you are. These last three months have certainly been that for me, as I have seen all sides of the teaching profession and know that there is nothing that I would rather do.
The student teaching placements have been such valuable experiences! Niagara has designed these placements to allow student teachers to gain as much as possible!
Connecting with a student outside the classroom makes all the difference in the classroom!
All the self-reflection that Niagara has its students do has a lot of benefit. Developing a habit of reflective practice is a very important part of being a teacher.