Challenge Day: A Student Teacher's Perspective
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Student Life

Challenge Day: A Student Teacher's Perspective

I recommend all student teachers participate in Challenge Day if you have the opportunity.

20
https://www.chicagotribune.com/suburbs/daily-southtown/ct-sta-challenge-day-st-0920-story.html
Chicago Tribune

I am currently student teaching, and with student teaching, you are encouraged to participate and get involved within the school community as much as possible.

When I first began student teaching, I thought that meant I should attend a band concert, or a sports game, or maybe even the talent show. Not in a million years would I have ever thought that I would be able to participate in an event so powerful that I will remember it for years to come.

On November 20, 2019, I was fortunate enough to be able to attend my placement school's Challenge Day.

Challenge Day, for those who do not know, is a social and emotional learning program that offers an opportunity to ignite a shift toward greater school connectedness, empathy, and inclusivity. Challenge Day is for inspiring a school-wide movement of compassion and positive change that goes beyond the typical anti-bullying efforts.

Challenge Day is all about getting real.

Getting real with your friends, your peers, your teachers, but most importantly, it is about getting real with yourself.

Right off the bat, the Challenge Day coordinators and the adult volunteers make the area a safe place for the students to get real. So they can be themselves, free of judgment.

The day starts off by making everyone comfortable to express themselves. Through an array of games, high fives, hugging, and dancing, students are encouraged, but not pushed, to participate and be themselves. Creating this judgment-free zone allows the students to open up about themselves.

Whether they talked about an issue that was bothering them or moments where they felt supported or if they chose not to speak at all, Challenge Day was a day for students to become mindful of their feelings and their peers' feelings.

But even more so, Challenge Day was a day for them to be heard. To feel accepted. To feel loved.

Challenge Day brought back memories for me that I have repressed for many years, and as I participated throughout the day, I also found myself wanting to be more mindful about how I treat my emotions.

Challenge Day allowed me to see the student personalities in ways that I would never get to see just by being in a classroom.

Challenge Day created this new sense of community that I did not expect to gain during student teaching.

But most importantly, Challenge Day reminded me that even though these students are in 7th and 8th grade, they have a lot going on.

Student teaching is absolutely wonderful, but it does have its challenges.

Especially right now with juggling the end of the semester and student teaching, I get so wrapped up with everything I need to do that I sometimes forget to think about how my students are feeling.

Challenge Day reminded me to take that moment to check in on them, to give them a high five, or to simply ask how their day is going. A small gesture like this can make their whole day better.

I recommend all student teachers participate in a Challenge Day if you have the opportunity.

I am so thankful to have been able to attend Challenge Day. It will be a day that I will remember this day for a very long time.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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