To The Education Major Who is About To Student Teach, You Did It

To The Education Major Who is About To Student Teach, You Did It

You are here and ready to have your own classroom soon!

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These past 4-5 years have gone by like the blink of an eye. You went from being in gen-ed classes to having days filled with curriculum. Not too long ago you thought you would never get here, now that light at the end of the tunnel is shining bright.

First, be proud of yourself. You did it, you got here. All the years of hard work are coming to an end and the most meaningful part is to come. No matter all the roadblocks you had along the way, the long nights, many jobs and whatever else has happened, it's done and will now just be a memory.

Take time and really look into the prospects where you want to student teach. Don't just pick whatever school is closest to you or where you know the teachers. Pick somewhere that is going to give you the most valuable experience. Pick the school with resources, a diverse student body and things you haven't been experienced to yet. Think about all the things you will want to reflect on during an interview.

Try not to get too far ahead of yourself. Take it one day at a time and try not to get into your schedule 6 months from now. I know that's hard with how crazy organized we all are, but there is no point in getting worked up when you have NO IDEA where you will be 6 months from now. Focus on your classes and what's going on now, then worry about all that when it gets closer. You don't want to miss these last few months of your college experience worrying about things you can't control.

Remember that when you do find out your placement don't get disappointed if you do not get your first choice. Your student teaching placement does not define you and will not define your career. Every opportunity good or bad is a valuable one, and this is just another opportunity. Just because you do not get into your first choice school does not mean you couldn't teach their one day. Just put your best foot forward and do your best, no matter what!

Start building your interview binder now. While you're still in classes reflect on what assignments/ projects or whatever else you were most proud of. The things that will represent you as an educator the best. Do this while you are still immersed in it and just have it ready when you go into student teaching.

Then, when you are done with it you can just add that to the binder and be all ready for an interview. What if where your student teaching wants to have an interview with you about an open position? You will be all ready and will be able to minimize the anxiety attack of having your first teacher interview.

Start buying clothes now. We may have had the few professional outfits that we wore but you will need a lot more. Time to hang up the sweatpants you always wore to class and buy some slacks. Yes, in some schools teachers wear leggings and jeans but they already have a job there. You do not.

Every time you run into the principal you want them to see you putting your best foot forward and a good representation of their school. When you have a full-time job in their school then you can bring out the jeans. But for now, take the time and get up and get ready every morning. You will thank yourself for it later.

Lastly, it's time to break the idea of we need to be perfect. It is so common throughout all our degree in every class, we try to be perfect. Every assignment, every observation we aim to get a 100% with amazing feedback. That will not be reality anymore. We've been in this bubble where we knew what we were doing and seemed proficient in it.

Now we will be new again, constantly learning and changing. We will make mistakes and we will learn from them. But don't let it dwindle your spirit, and just keep going. These next few years will be filled with change and learning so don't get overwhelmed if perfection isn't a reality.

You did it! You are here and ready to have your own classroom soon! No matter what is to come the hardest part is behind you. This is the rewarding part, you actually get to be immersed in a classroom. Take it day by day and be prepared to make mistakes and just bounce right back.

Be proud of yourself, you are about to brighten up the lives of children in your own classroom very soon. This is what you have been waiting for!

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Please Spare Me From The Three Months Of Summer Break When People Revert Back To High Schoolers

They look forward to swapping stories with their friends at the local diner, walking around their old high school with a weird sense of superiority, and reminiscing their pre-college lives.

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I know a surprising amount of people who actually couldn't wait to go home for the summer. They look forward to swapping stories with their friends at the local diner, walking around their old high school with a weird sense of superiority, and reminiscing their pre-college lives.

Me? Not so much. I don't mean to sound bitter. It's probably really comforting to return to a town where everyone knows your name, where your younger friends want you around to do their prom makeup, and where you can walk through Target without hiding in the deodorant aisle. But because I did this really annoying thing where my personality didn't really develop and my social anxiety didn't really loosen its grip on me until college, I have a very limited number of people to return to.

If you asked someone from my high school about Julia Bond, they would probably describe her as shy, studious, and uptight. I distinctly remember being afraid of people who JUULed (did you get high from it? was it illegal? could I secondhand smoke it and get lung cancer?) and crying over Algebra 1 in study hall (because nothing says fun and friendly like mascara steaks and furious scribbling in the back corner while everyone else throws paper airplanes and plays PubG Mobile).

I like to tell my college friends that if I met High School Julia, I would beat her up. I would like to think I could, even though I go to the gym now a third of the time I did then. It's not that it was High School Julia's fault that she closed herself off to everyone. She had a crippling fear of getting a B and an even worse fear of other people. But because she was so introverted and scared, College Julia has nothing to do but re-watch "The Office" for the 23rd time when she comes back.

Part of me is jealous of the people who came into their own before college. I see pictures of the same big friend groups I envied from a distance in high school, all their smiling faces at each other's college football games and pool parties and beach trips, and it makes me sad that I missed out on so many friendships because I was too scared to put myself out there. That part of me really, really wishes I had done things differently.

But a bigger, more confident part of me is really glad I had that experience. Foremost, everything I've gone through has shaped me. I mean, I hid in the freaking bathroom during lunch for the first two weeks of my freshman year of high school. I never got up to sharpen my pencil because I was scared people would talk about me. I couldn't even eat in front of people because I was so overwhelmingly self-conscious. I remember getting so sick at cross country practice because I ran four or five miles on an empty stomach.

Now, I look back and cringe at the ridiculousness because I've grown so much since then. Sure, I still have my quirks and I'm sure a year from now I'll write an article about what a weirdo Freshman Julia was. But I can tell who had the same experience as me. I can tell who was lonely in high school because they talk to the kids on my floor that study by themselves. I can tell who was afraid of speaking up because they listen so well. I can tell who was without a friend group because they stand by me when others don't. I can tell who hated high school, because it's obvious that they've never been as happy as they are now.

My dislike for high school, while inconvenient for this summer, might be one of the best things to happen to me. I learned how to overcome my fears, how to be independent, and how to make myself happy. I never belonged in high school, and that's why I will never take for granted where I belong here at Rutgers.

So maybe I don't have any prom pictures with a bunch of colorful dresses in a row, and maybe I didn't go to as many football games as I should have. Maybe I would've liked pep rallies, and maybe I missed out on senior week at the beach. But if I had experienced high school differently, I wouldn't be who I am today.

I wouldn't pinch myself daily because I still can't believe how lucky I am to have the friends that I do.

I wouldn't smile so hard every time I come back from class and hear my floormates calling me from the lounge.

I wouldn't well up when my roommate leaves Famous Amos cookies on my desk before a midterm, or know how to help the girl having a panic attack next to me before a final, or hear my mom tell my dad she's never seen me this happy before.

If I had loved high school, I wouldn't realize how amazing I have it in college. So amazing, in fact, that I never want to go home.

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10 Tips To Prepare For Your Freshman Year Of College

Tips and tricks for college freshman year.

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Obviously, I am not an expert on college life yet, being that I am only a high school senior. Barely hanging on these last couple weeks of school. I have been preparing for my freshman year of college since the start of my senior year. It is an overwhelming, stressful process and it takes a lot of preparation and time to get it all done. I wanted to give some tips and advice on how I started my process and how I have gotten through it. Starting a new chapter can be really scary, especially if you have no idea what you are doing, I am the oldest sibling in my family, and I am the first to go through this crazy process called college. Though I was uncertain exactly what I needed to do and how to do it, I figured it out and here's how I did it.

1. Have a planner

This is going to be your best friend. It helps you keep your life organized (or at least it makes you feel like you do) and assures you that you meet deadlines. Since I can remember I have always used a planner and it helps me so much. I wouldn't know what to do without it. I have all the dates for when things need to be turned in- like housing and such, and also I have up to when classes start next fall. A planner is so helpful and would recommend getting one if you don't have one already.

2. Talk to friends about their experience

This has honestly been one of the top life savors. I have gotten so much advice from my friends that are in college and they give me the inside scoop and what to do and what not to do.

3. Do your research

Research the school, research clubs and activities that you may be interested in. Get familiar with what is on and off campus.

4. Visit the campus

Photo by Olivia Holler

I am lucky enough that I am only an hour and a half away from campus and it doesn't take long to get there so I just go when I feel like it. But visiting and being on campus several times defiantly has made me feel more comfortable and more at ease than I would be if I had not visited at all.

5. Embrace times with friends and family

Photo By Olivia Holler

This is the last summer with you In your house as a full time member. Embrace it! Be with your friends and family as much as you can. You are going to miss them just as much as you are going to miss them.

6. Start doing things on your own

I am already pretty independent but I struggled like starting to make my own dinners because I have been fortunate enough where my parent always took care of dinner. But now they are making me responsible for making my own dinner. Which was a really tough life altering thing for me. It may not seem like it but it was for me. But start doing your own laundry. making your own dinner, getting things yourself etc.

7. Make list

This and my planner have been my saving grace. If I didn't have it there was going to be no progress on the thing called college.

8. Manage your time

This is pretty self explanatory, there is a lot to do during the college process. Be sure not to procrastinate and know when things are due so you can get everything on time.

9. Take summer classes if needed

If you know you are going to be behind in a class, take some summer classes. For example, I am a little behind in math, and I have to take all the way up to college algebra in order to graduate college. Well, I knew I didn't want to take math all four years of college and I knew I was behind. So I am taking some summer courses to not only finish with math earlier but just to be ahead of the game.

10.  Gather everything you need for college!

Make sure you have everything you need for the big day. Set apart some days before move in day to take time and pack whatever you may need so you don't forget anything.

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