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Defining the Why

As I walked out the door on Friday I could help but remember that this is the end.  I successfully completed student teaching.  As I drove the hour and a half back to berks county I couldn't help but think to myself a couple of reflective questions.

 

What was the point of student teaching?

"The only source of knowledge is experience." I think the student teaching experience taught me that the most.  The parts of a lesson I undervalued were things that in the beginning I struggled at.  Something that made an impact on me though, was being able to sit there and work on it. We go to college for all those years but we don't get a chance to demonstrate to ourselves teaching till you are teaching seven class periods in a day.  I think I gained experience and that was important.  In college we are told to be "Dewey Learners" but it isn't until student teaching does the concept of Learning by Doing really hit home.

 

What was my goal with student teaching?

I wanted to experience a lot. And with my experience at Cumberland Valley I got to experience a lot.  I saw students spend hours in the department, students practice independently on CDEs and SAEs. I saw students invest time into competitions that I never would have expected.  I also got to learn about different ways to teach which was a great plus as well.  I think my goals were met but not in the way I expected.

 

What is next?

I know there is still a lot I can learn from and I am excited to see where I can go from here.  There are things I know I wasn't the best at and I think that with hard work I will get better and better.  The journey is one chapter and a time and I can't wait to see what is in store for me next.

 

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Selfies with the Student Teacher

Area: Agricultural Mechanics

Lesson Title: "What does total shop safety look like?"

Length of Lesson: One Week

Learning Objectives: Student will be able to:

1) Identify the components of personal protective gear.

2) Identify safety features in the shop.

3) Identify safe usage of equipment in the shop.

4) Label parts of all equipment with emphasis of safety features.

Target Audience: Grades 10th - 12th

Heather Wasson

Final Thoughts

Posted by Heather Wasson Apr 23, 2018
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Dear Ms. Wasson,

 

  Goodbye from us, but hello to a new beginning!

 

Goodbye:

Throughout my last week of student teaching this phrase has been running through my mind. How is it possible that I am already saying goodbye? Fifteen weeks ago I started this journey at Cowanesque Valley High School to student teach in the agricultural department. Now, I have packed the last of my stuff into my Jeep. I am ready to head down to State College for my final week at Penn State University and graduate.

 

During the fifteen weeks of student teaching I was able to meet over 70 amazing students, taught 12 units, and multiple classes. I have had some unforgettable memories with the teachers, administration, staff, students and community. I will not forget the day I turned around from writing on the board and seeing my students eyes full of confusion. I will not forget the pride I had when I was able to place an A on my students paper. I will not forget the messages I received from my student's mother the evening before my last day. Lastly, I will not forget the hugs, gifts, and goodbyes on my last day.

 

Every hug I didn't want to let go. In fact, I never thought Mr. Heyler would stop hugging me. I could not ask for a more knowledgeable, passionate, and understanding cooperative teacher! A piece of my heart will always be in Tioga County because I have family there now. This isn't goodbye, this is see you soon.


New Beginnings:

Shhhh. I know that my students do not read my blog. So, after graduation I am planning on returning to Cowanesque Valley for the remainder of the school year. During this time I will also be applying and interviewing for agricultural teaching positions. I am excited to see what the future holds for me and what students and community I get to impact next!

Advice to the Next Student Teacher:

 

Find Home...
Find a home or make a home wherever you go. Maybe this was easy at Cowanesque Valley but I believe that if you make this experience more than just about meeting a checklist you will succeed at finding a home.

Find Passion...
Find a passion for what you are teaching, who you are teaching, and where you are teaching. I was not a shop fan when I started student teaching; however, Mr. Heyler helped me love the shop! Your students are the drivers behind the classroom content. They will succeed if you are confident to help them. Lastly, go to that local business and buy that maple syrup! You should not be scared to sit alone at the basketball game, or introduce yourself to your community because most people are just as curious about you as you are about them.

Find Trust...
Everyone always questions why at some point throughout their student teaching experience. Trust the process because everything you do and happens is for a reason.


Good Luck!

 

That's a wrap folks!

 

Looking back, I can't believe how fast time as flown by. Merely 15 weeks ago, I entered my classroom as a teacher for the first time. I have learned and grown so much, in more ways then one. I proved my strong will and determination to keep fighting against all odds.

 

Due to my brother's untimely death, I feel like my experience shifted quite dramatically. At least I can say that no one will ever have an experience like mine (hopefully, knock on wood). I will admit I struggled a bit in the beginning, as would any person entering into a strange and new environment. I got more comfortable within a few weeks and I felt like I was starting to really get the hang of it. I really felt like I was starting to connect with my students and get them to start to engage and interact with me.

 

Returning almost 3 weeks after the accident was really hard. But I came back to Northwestern, as this is my dream. I worked very hard to get to where I was and I wasn't about to quit. There were hard days and good days, and all those days in between. With my cohort and friends beside me, I fought with my heart and made it through. Would I say I was at my best? No, but I'd say I gave my best effort with everything I had left to give. I got right back to working with my freshman doing a milk defects lab. Doing a hands on activity with them was reaffirming and helped ease my transition back into the classroom. I honestly felt like I almost had to start all over again, and at an accelerated rate. This was difficult, but necessary to continue in the pursuit of my passion.

 

My student's taught me so many things. I learned that sometimes you just have to discipline. Sometimes your classroom management just isn't enough for certain students. I learned that some student's are capable of great compassion. A few of my student's helped keep a smile on my face everyday, even on one of those bad days. I learned that you might never know who you connected with until your time with them as ended. Yesterday, shortly before the dismissal bell was set to ring, one of my freshman students came to see me. She was one of the "I'm too cool for school" kind of student's. She suffered academically and tended to be disruptive in class. She walks up to me and says "I just wanted to say goodbye before you left", then started to hug me. I was so surprised and caught of guard by this student. I never knew that on a subconscious level I was connecting with her.

 

I will end this blog with two of my favorite inspirational quotes, as I hope I have inspired some of my student's, I will hope they will continue to inspire others. "When the world has you feeling like a weed in the garden, know that someone out there see's you as a wish in field."

 

The time has come... all week I have been avoiding this blog post however, all good things must come to an end. This week marks the end of an era, with the beginning of a new adventure. This week I said “see ya later” to my student teaching experience. These past 15 weeks are more than I could have ever asked for and way more than I could have ever imagined. I have learned more than I thought was possible, grew as an educator, and most importantly I gained some of the best memories. Here’s 15 things I learned in 15 weeks.

 

1. Be willing to adapt. Things rarely go as expected in the classroom. There will always be something that goes wrong it’s inevitable be ready for the impromptu learning opportunities, they usually turn out to be some of best.

 

2. Take every moment to connect with your students. Even if it seems small like sitting with a student on the bus during an FFA event, those moments are important. Those moments remind you of the why for teaching and allow for a greater connection in the classroom.

 

3. Be the mentor you always looked up to. I have always looked up to my agriculture teacher and he is one of the reasons I decided to do this whole teaching thing. Try your best to leave that impact on your own students.

 

4. Look for ways to connect with your cooperating teacher. I was blessed with not one but two of the best cooperating teachers. I continued to connect with them until my last day, most of the time it was over some type of food.

 

5. Don’t be afraid to think outside of the box. It’s okay to try something different in the classroom. Trust me your students will thank you for giving them a break from the same old PowerPoint during the day.

 

6. Take time to reflect. Sometimes at the end of the day you want to just go home and relax or in my case take a nap. It’s important to take 10 or 15 minutes at the end of the day to reflect back on how the day went. How could lessons have gone better? Were there any special moments in the day?

 

7. Don’t stress about what went wrong. While looking for ways to improve a lesson are important, also celebrate those moments that went right.

 

8. Celebrate the small wins. I ran into a parent after school and she told me her son had come home talking about how he enjoyed class that day. I took that as a win, I must have done something right for a student to go home and talk about what he learned.

 

9. Don’t be afraid of what you don’t know. I feared teaching anything in agriculture mechanics because I felt that I didn’t have enough content knowledge. When I let that fear go I had a blast in the shop and it become one of my favorite subjects to teach.

 

10. Be involved in the community. The community is truly key to the success of a program. Some of my favorite lesson were when we had community members come into the classroom.

 

11. Do your best to figure out the work life balance. For me personally I had a lot going on in my life outside of the classroom. For my own sanity I had to figure out the whole balance thing early on and I still struggled from time to time. Most importantly do your best to always give your best in the classroom.

 

12. There’s no better time to take risks. While we often made jokes about it student teaching is the time to take risks because "hey you won’t be there forever if things go wrong." This is the ultimate time to take chances.

 

13. Never say no. Go into everything with an open mind. Similar to the taking risks, it's important to always just go for it.

 

14. Don't compare yourself to others. Coming from a teaching cohort of 11 we were always connecting and collaborating about what was going on at our school. It's sometimes difficult to not compare yourself to others but you are in the place that you are meant to be doing what you were meant to be doing.

 

15. HAVE FUN! Last but certainly not least, student teaching is an awesome experience so have fun with it. Take chances, go boldly, and leave the impact you were sent there to.

 

My list could go on and on... Here are some of my biggest "take aways" form my student teaching experience. I am forever grateful for the Opportunities I have had along the way. I look forward to getting started with my future career. A special Good Luck to the other 10 special individuals who stood along side me on this journey, WE DID IT and We Are!

 

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I've been sitting here the past two days working on wrapping up my assignments and getting ready to head back to Penn State to be with my cohort for the next week and all I can think about is "Wow, how did I actually do all of this in such a short time?!"  If I think back to my very first day in front of my Ag Foundations class, I remember be nervous and anxious and hoping that they wouldn't hate me.  If I think back a short time to Friday which was my last day in front of that same class, I remember be nervous and anxious and hoping that once I leave them and go to my own program, I will do just as well as I did with them.

 

I really enjoyed my time at Selinsgrove Area High School and learned SO much from Mrs. Fry and Mr. Swineford.  I asked them over and over again, "Do I really have to leave?"  I was so happy there and felt so connected to the students, the staff and the community.  Even though it was hard, I knew that I had to leave:

1. Because I had to come back to finish out the semester to get my degree.

2. Mrs. Fry and Mr. Swineford needed to have their classes back to finish out the year.

3. I have to go and find my place in the Ag Ed world with my own program.

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All that being said, I did have an absolute amazing time during my student teaching and feel like I have learn SO much from the students and staff at Selinsgrove.  I have some advice for those who are or think that they want to teach Ag.

 

There is NO such thing as a dumb question!

There is also no such thing as too many questions.  When you are looking for a place to student teach and once you at finally started into your teaching experience, as any and all questions that you think of.  This is a time that you need to learn as much as you can and questions are the best way to do that.  Also if you don't ask questions yourself, how can you expect your students to ask you questions.

 

Take Risks!

Don't ever stay in the safe zone!  As a student teacher, this is the time to takes risks and make mistakes.  If these risks go right, then you have an amazing lesson and if it happens to go not as planned, then you get to learn and grow from it.  My cooperating teacher took a risk on me by allowing me to come teach there and it paid off big time!  I took a risk by agreeing to teach ag mechanics and again it majorly paid off!  I loved that class and now I want to teach at least one mechanics class at whatever program I find myself at.

 

Find a way to connect!

Connect with your students, your cooperating teachers, your school staff and your community.  It will only make your time there easier and more fun!  These are the fun little quirks that make each of the people you work with unique and each of your students an individual.  Find the thing that makes your students them and play that card to your advantage.  A student is much more likely to work with you and do what you ask of them when they know that you care about them.

 

Laugh!

Always find something to laugh at once a day.  This could be by having the joke of the day, by bringing up a funny story or trusty me your students will say and do the craziest things!  And make sure you right the funny, the sad, the bad and the good memories down.  These are the moments that you will wish that you can remember forever so keep a notepad close by to jot down notes.

 

I will never be able to say thank you enough to everyone at Selinsgrove Area High School especially Mrs. Fry and Mr. Swineford!  They agreed to take me on and helped me to learn and grow as an educator!

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Rosalind Cowan

RCowan_2018_REFLECTIONS

Posted by Rosalind Cowan Apr 22, 2018

As I sit back and think about my student teaching experience, I am proud and a little amazed at how much my cohort members and I have accomplished and learned. It seems like just yesterday I was finishing up my final presentation and heading off on Christmas break. Finishing up my last week at Penn Manor was definitely a bittersweet experience. Luckily, Ag Ed is a huge family, so it was not a goodbye - just a "see you soon". Check out my journey on my blog: Grace & Growth

 

Here are the major takeaways/thanks from this experience, as well as some advice for future cohorts!:

 

1. First, I want to thank Dr. Ewing, Dr. Foster, Dr. Curry, and Terra for preparing me to be successful during my student teaching internship. You always challenge me to be my best and work hard to ensure Penn State Teach Ag! is full of purposeful experiences. I'm blessed to have so many people who care about my #TeachAg Journey.

 

2. Next, I'd like to thank Mr. Fellenbaum and Ms. Slates for mentoring me over the past 15 weeks. You continually challenged me to keep growing and learning, and were always willing to give your time to help/answer a question/give advice. You encouraged me to try new things and grow as a teacher in my own way. I appreciate your openness for discussion and the fact that each of you took time to get to know me as a person. I felt right at home throughout the semester, which truly meant a lot to me.

 

3. Rapport with students makes all the difference. I enjoyed getting to know all of my students this semester and maligning connections with them. Each class and each student is different, so developing that rapport with everyone is essential for classroom management. It makes teaching way more fun, too. I can't imagine teaching a group of students day after day if I didn't know them.

 

4. Planning is essential. To any future student teacher reading this: plan your lessons ahead of time. That way, you can just put your completed, printed out lesson plans in your binder at the end of each day and at the end of the semester, you'll be good to go! It also helps ensure that you're bringing your best to your students each day! Also, there is no need to stay up late every single night. It will wear you down - take care of yourself!

 

5. Student teaching is A LOT of work, but if you give it your all it will totally be worth it! You're only a student teacher once, so this is your chance to maximize your time and be involved as much as possible! Try new things - now is a perfect time to make mistakes!

 

6. Communicate with your cooperating teachers. It will help ensure that everyone is on the same page and that expectations are being met. It's also probably the only time you'll have an experienced mentor right there with you - so ask questions and ask for feedback!

 

The Penn Manor Ag Ed program was a great fit for me as a student teacher. I'm leaving confident that I have the skills I need to be a successful Ag Ed Teacher, and that I have two awesome mentors only a text/email away if (more like when) I have questions/need help. Thank you once again to the Penn Manor community, my students, and cooperating teachers for helping make this experience one that I will always remember with fondness.

 

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Above Left: My Intro to AFNR Students after installing a rain garden!

Above Right: Manor FFA Students at the Manor FFA Car show, which benefits the Central PA Food Bank!

Although my student teaching is over, I'm counting myself really blessed to have had this opportunity to have served the students at Derry Area High School for the last 60+ days. Additionally, I am blessed to have had the privilege of working alongside of two amazing mentors, Mrs. Rippole and Mr. Campbell.


It upsets me that this experience has ended, and my days with my students at Derry are over. However, I am feeling relieved because I made it. I made it through the most challenging and testing semesters of them all. I feel like I have finally made it to the top of Mt. Everest!

This student teaching internship has taught me an immense amount of lessons in 15 short weeks. Here are my TOP 5 lessons from this experience that I believe are important to remember:

 

  1. Be Passionate … Passion drives learning. It's the why we're doing what we're doing; the where we're going, where we've been conversations that help establish rapport and aid in student success and motivation. Do not shy away from sharing your FFA or Ag related experiences.
  2. Be Purposeful … Along with passion, make sure that learning is purposeful. Always hit the ‘why’ in your lesson. Additionally, build curiosity and wonder! The experiential learning that uniquely happens in the agriculture education classroom is so powerful and helps add to this continual learning.
  3. Be Prepared … Be prepared to have long nights and very early mornings. The diversity of this job is crazy. Additionally, be prepared for the unknown. Although you can plan for multiple different outcomes, know that it will not always go as planned. Flexibility and adaptability are key to success (& deep breathing).
  4. Be Inclusive….Every student deserves a champion. Every single one, regardless of their background, regardless of their ability level. As my cooperating teacher shared, “When you graduate with a degree in education, you also graduate with a minor in cheerleading.”
  5. Be Innovative … Technology integration is important and is changing the way that we can deliver content. Sometimes it doesn't work, and sometimes students don't want to utilize it. However, do not shy away from utilizing new innovative technology in the classroom because you are preparing your students to be 21st century contributing members of society.

 

I obviously have learned much more than just five things. This has been the most challenging, growing, and amazing semester. However, if this semester could have taught me one thing, it would be that I am ready to start my journey as an Agriculture Educator. As I mentioned before, there were plenty of days in this journey where I questioned if I really had what it takes to serve students as their agriculture educator. Some days I left Derry exhausted and overwhelmed, but most days I left smiling because I love what I do. It is true when they say, when you love what you do, you will never work a day in your life. This profession and all the things that come with it are completely WORTH IT!

 

Overall, I really do consider myself blessed to have had this opportunity to watch and contribute to my students' growth and success. Additionally, I count myself privileged to be joining a profession with a nationwide network of passionate agriculture educators to help provide mentorship along the way.

 

Learn more about my 15 weeks at Derry Area High School through my blog: http://rootedinagriculture.blogspot.com/

Please follow the link to my blog! This post is intended to increase your feelings of confidence as YOU enter student teaching.

 

Inches to Acres: Teaching to Grow: My Advice to the Next Student Teacher

 

If you enjoy the post, subscribe to my blog!

 

-Angela Becker

Twitter: @BeckerAngelaM

http://gallopingintoaged.blogspot.com/2018/04/cbu.html

 

Here is my reflection on my Community Based Unit of Instruction!! ENJOY! Such a fun time learning about Honeybees and their impacts on our lives!

Hi there! Thanks for visiting my post!

 

My name is Allyson Balmer and I am a graduating senior at Penn State University in Agricultural and Extension Education. I have a confession to make: I am an agricultural educator by choice, not by chance. I have been telling myself this for the past year. I am where I am because I have a passion for teaching, agriculture, and students. I feel joy and purpose, even with the challenges, in teaching and developing students. And now I am here, at the cusp of graduation and two days away from completing my student-teaching internship. It is hard to comprehend how I feel about that. These past four years in college have felt like the longest blink-of-an-eye, but I know in my heart and soul that I am ready to move on for whatever may come in my future. Over the past couple of weeks I have been trying to begin the reflection process because if life is crazy now, it is about to become a circus with graduation, interviews, and big decisions. Looking back at what I have accomplished in 15 weeks: here are my final thoughts.

 

1. The Students

 

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When I began student-teaching, I didn't truly know how the students would take to me and feel about someone else taking over their "real" teacher's classes. I wasn't worried about it, but I wanted to make it a point to build rapport and relationships with as many students as possible. I had no idea how great these students would be and it makes leaving that much more difficult when you connected and invested in students on a personal level. The students make teaching a joy and give me purpose as an educator. Trust me, there were some really bad days when I left school and wanted to scream, was second-guessing my abilities as a teacher, and felt defeated. However, the good days far outnumbered the bad. The memories I have are worth every struggle I encountered and I have not doubt that I will carry them with me through my entire teaching career. I have learned to never take students for granted, especially the good ones who make our jobs so easy and follow our every word. "To whom much is given, much is expected." This is a two-way street. If my students give to me, I must reciprocate. This respect and loyalty is something that I treasure because my students gave and showed me so much of it. People will always talk about how teachers make such a big impact on students, which we do, but my students changed and impacted me just as much. One day at a time, they are changing my life.

 

2. My Cooperating Teacher

 

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When my cohort first got "the list" of ag teachers who were willing to take a student-teacher I thought, what makes these teachers want the extra work of mentoring a student-teacher. Not until I really started to visit schools and eventually got paired with my cooperating-teacher did I see how much they care. They care about agriculture education and protecting its future through new and beginning teachers. Our cooperating-teachers want to see us succeed during our internship and thrive in our own careers. I am forever grateful to my cooperating teacher, Gretchen Dingman, for the time and effort she has put forth and in me to make my experience positive and prepare me for after this stage of my life. Not only has she been a constant supporter, she also provided me with priceless constructive feedback so that I could set goals and improve my teaching methods and techniques. The relationship we have is one that will continue as colleagues and friends after this experience as Tri-Valley High School will always have a special place in my heart.

 

3. Growth

 

When I think about how far I have come, I am absolutely a different person than when I first started this process. The experiences that I have had, the situations that I have encountered, and the solutions I had to come up with has helped to shape me to be the educator that I am today. While student-teaching, I made a point to experiment, try different lab activities, and think outside of the box. If there was a time to do it, it was when I had a veteran teacher there to help and provide feedback. This has helped me develop varied instruction that addresses a multitude of domains and modalities that my students may have and prefer. I have also been able to learn the ropes and roles of an FFA advisor by conducting SAE visits, as well as taking students to conferences and Career Development Events. These experience are ones that have help me grow, learn, and develop into what I hope is an awesome agricultural educator.

 

This experience has been the most challenging mountain I have ever crossed, but I would do it all over again. I try believe that God has instilled me with a passion and purpose to teach agriculture and develop students. I am exactly where He has planned for me to be, I can feel it. I feel it with the amazing couple I was able to live with these 15 weeks rent free, with my cooperating teacher and the great relationship we have, and because of my students and how loved they have made me feel. I know that I am doing what I was made to do and am where I need to be. Now, I look to the future of applications, interviews, and big decisions to determine where God has planned for me to teach, and where I need to be.

 

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Sincerely, Ms. Allyson Balmer - Ag Teacher

 

If you would like to see my #TeachAg journey or follow my progress in the future, visit my blog: agricationstation

Thank you for taking this time to read this post! Keep teaching and preaching the greatness that is Ag Ed.

Hello all,

Here is a link to go check out my personal blog about my Student Teaching experience and the few short months leading up to it.

https://gallopingintoaged.blogspot.com/

Any advice that I can give is get all the "extra" assignments out of the way. Once you are in full on teaching mode you will not have time to do much of anything else. Teaching becomes who you are and what you do. You will constantly be working on lessons, grading, creating tests, looking over notes, answering questions. It will feel like it is never ending but, really time will just be flying by your eyes without being seen. Time will feel so long but there will never be enough hours in a day to keep up. At least this is how I felt. I did enjoy some of my experience the students could be difficult most days but, we had to keep up with the checks and balances. My reflection is to not blink. Its just like the Kenny Chesney song "Life Goes Faster than you think, so don't blink" This statement is oh so true and don't you forget it. Take every moment you can with you. If something makes you laugh, write it down. If you have a lightbulb moment, write it down. If something didn't go as planed, move on or go back and try to make the students understand but, do not.... DO NOT harp on it. If something made you mad, if your frustrated, upset, angry, forget it. These emotions will not help you, unless it is motivation you seek then getting angry may get you there.

I'll be honest teaching is not where my heart remains however, I did learn MANY things throughout this journey that will help me in the real world and have even opened my eyes to some other career paths I may not have originally thought of.

 

Best of luck to any of you who have read this! Keep your head up and keep smiling.

As I reflect back on this semester, and even year, I am in amazement by how fast and SMOOTH it has gone overall. Please see my blog for the my full journey story here: https://karliewrites.blogspot.com

 

Last semester was not bad at all - even though I feared the travel would make it so. Though, by December I was definitely tired,  it was so worth it. And while I am tired again now, I also know that I am renewed.

 

In my life, this year has brought on:

 

Many Decisions -

Do I go back to school?

Do I stay on part-time at work?

Do we buy a house?

Go to WVU and live at home? PSU and travel every week?

 

 

Much Stress -

How are we paying to remodel a house? - IN A MONTH

28 credits. I repeat - 28 college credits in one semester. I thought I was insane.

How am I possibly supposed to get everything done - each week

Was this the right decision?

 

And Much More Happiness -

Yes I went back to school at PSU.

Yes we bought and remodeled a house a month before I left in August.

Yes I successfully completed 28 credits last fall - with a minimum amount of stress.

Yes, everything gets done - one assignment at a time. And I was still in bed no later than midnight every night.

Yes, I completed student teaching and (proving my worst fear wrong) LOVE IT.

Absolutely, this was the right decision.

 

I am HAPPY.

 

I am not saying I wasn't happy before. I am a generally happy person, but this new career for me has proven again and again to feel right. I truly believe that God has placed me where I am and that he has carried me through the last year. I have had ups and downs for sure - but no sleepless nights. I taken the good with the bad.

 

I was given an excellent University Supervisor (they are all fantastic!), but Dr. Ewing was a great fit for me and has kept me grounded and is a helpful ear when I needed it. He is someone that has taken time to get to know me - and my crazy obsessive compulsiveness with things - and I know that I can call with any questions throughout my career.

 

And I was placed with the amazing Jodie Hoover at Fort Cherry high school, who is a saint that I will swear was sent to guide me this year. She does not take and "crap" and will just tell you how it is - which is what I like and needed. Someone who could tell me, "that sucked' and we could work through and make it better. Someone who understood that I wasn't going to teach just like them, but instead of changing my teaching methods, strives to make me better at how I teach. Someone who was not afraid to learn from me too. Someone who was not afraid to equally learn from me, the way I learned from them, when the opportunity arose. A mentor that treats me like an adult and who I have no doubts I can call in the future if I need anything at all - including figuring out how to make me a better teacher in the years to come.

 

I have learned that great teaching comes from experience, the ability to learn from your mentors - ALL of them!, the ability to listen to what your students are telling you, and be willing to adapt at every turn and bend in the road -- and that the road to great teaching will be long, and a winding road for the next 20 years. Know that - even when this journey seems impossible - that it is possible. One assignment at a time. I can honestly say, that I don't think I did anything that was a "waste" of my time. While some assignments seem so at the time, one of two things come from it - 1. Wow, that was great! I am going to continue this throughout my career. OR 2. Eh, I think that I will have to pass on that have I am done with school.

 

There will be good and bad days while you are student teaching - in the bad moments, remember that tomorrow is another day and learn from it just as you would expect your students to learn from their mistakes. Do not be afraid to ask questions or ask for help. - There is always someone willing to help.

 

While I do not yet know what the future holds, I am sure that God has a plan and I know that it will be great, whatever it is!

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