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.
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!