Fifteen weeks. The past fifteen weeks I have spent my final semester as an undergrad student teaching at Lampeter Strasburg High School. With two of the coolest, wisest, talented, caring, comical, down to earth mentors a person could ask for. Who would have ever thought I would have enjoyed Lancaster County as much as I have. I really feel like I have become a part of the community than just a squatter here for the past fifteen weeks.
At the beginning of my journey I had no clue what was in store for me. Sure we had been given all the hype by last year’s student teachers. Prepared all fall semester for this experience, but until I truly got to Lampeter Strasburg it was a complete toss-up. As the internship began the nerves ran high. Every day though I became more and more a part of the school community though. Every day I got to know more and more of my students on a personal level. Every day I encountered challenges, but overcame them with guidance and continuing to go through this experience with an open mind. Every day I felt fortunate to be in such a great cooperating center.
When I began to take on a full course load that is when I realized what it was like to be an educator. The preparing was endless, but so was the learning that was occurring in my classroom. I stepped out far beyond my comfort zone in veterinary science 2 and felt at home in my welding and electrical class. Many a times I wished I would have done this or done that differently in my lesson plan, but the past is the past and the meaningful discussions I would have with my cooperating teacher made me want to strive even harder for excellence.
By this point in my student teaching experience I was also gaining familiarity with other teachers, faculty and staff, and community members. Going at this alone is not the way to succeed in this internship or the profession. Make connections. Meet new people learn all that you can from them.
And so it comes to an end. My final day of student teaching occurred yesterday April 22nd 2016. I cannot say enough how much of an enjoyable an experience it has been. While there were times that I did not think I could do it. Through friends and family I made it to where I am now with graduation just two short weeks away. The thanks that the students gave me yesterday was unimaginable in just the short time that I was there. Who would have ever thought that I would make such an impact on so many young lives? It was a blast teaching all of my students even sometimes when the road became rough or it did not seem to exist there at all.
To my cooperating teachers words cannot express how grateful I am to have gotten to spend the last fifteen weeks with the both of you. You put in so much time to prepare me to be the best agricultural educator I can be. Your patience and guidance was second to none. Your assistance in all the assignments I had to complete would have made some people walk away and make me fend for myself. Both of you chose to go at them with me with an open mind providing thoughtful discussion. I looked forward to every morning opening that greenhouse door and saying good morning as I was nervous and excited for a day of teaching. I cannot say thank you enough that every night and morning you asked if there was any assistance you could provide for me.
On that note I will leave you with this. True experiences can only be made if you go at them whole heartedly. Make the most of your time in whatever it is that you do.