WOW! I can not believe that my student teaching experience is almost over. It seems just like yesterday that I was entering the classroom for the first time! I am going to be so upset when I have to walk out the classroom on Friday knowing that I will not be there with the students I have gotten so close to over the last 15 weeks on Monday morning
My student teaching experience was a lot different than the student teaching experiences of my fellow student teachers. I decided to take a very nontraditional route with my student teaching and teach at a career and technology center. This had many upsides, but there were also its downsides! 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.
Choosing where I wanted to complete my student teaching was easy. I knew right away that I wanted to be Student Teaching with Mr. Scott Myers at the Bedford County Career and Technology Center. I have know Mr. Myers for quite a few years, and thought that it would be awesome to enter a program that I knew nothing about, but had a really good relationship with the teacher. This really helped with the awkward get to know you stage at the beginning.
The AgriScience and Biotechnology programs at the Bedford County Career and Technology Center are one of a kind; and I had so may great opportunities while I was there. First, the entire staff at the school was amazing and I got to know all of them on a personal level because of it being so small. Secondly, the facilities at the school were amazing. I not only had a classroom to work in; I had a biochemistry lab, a greenhouse, and a garage/shop area. The classroom had a smart board, a smart board slate, and iClickers to use in the classroom. The garage/shop area has workbenches, small gas engines, electricity equipment, and small hand tools. The biochemistry lab had an autoclave, incubators, growlabs, spectrophotometers, gel electrophoresis equipment, micropipets, and so much more. I will never regret having the opportunity to learn how to use all of these materials, and be able to utilize them in the classroom.
While student teaching, I strived to incorporate science, and hands on learning in as many ways as possible. Some of the awesome things I was able to do In AgriScience was create carburetors in a cup, simulate compression in a small gas engines with gas law activities, recreate a digestive system using household items, conduct a chicken feed study, make cheese with students, have an artificial insemination lesson, and have a dissect lab to look at the digestive systems of animals. In Biotechnology I had the amazing opportunity to run not only Agarose Gel Electrophoresis looking at DNA markers, I was able run Polyacrylamide Gel Electrophoresis looking at protein markers. I also learned how to extract DNA out of solutions, and how to test for DNA and proteins in solutions.
The Bedford County FFA Chapter is really active and I had many opportunities to act/serve as FFA advisor and participate in their activities. I had a blast traveling with students to the ACES conference and seeing students faces light up with all the great opportunities. I also took students to Penn State to participate in Livestock Judging, Horse Judging, and the Veterinary Science Symposium. It was a great experience because I as putting in a lot of time working with these students in classroom preparing them. The other amazing thing was seeing a normally shy girl light up when leaving the vet sci symposium because she had blast, and could not wait to tell us about what she got to experience.
The biggest thing I learned from this student teaching experiences in that 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 everyday in the classroom with my students. I could not have asked for a better student teaching experience.