Student Teaching at CSI

Student Teaching at CSI

It's time to dive right in.
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Student teaching is the pinnacle of my academic career thus far, and I’m so happy to have reached this level of my studies. The professors at the College of Staten Island are extremely knowledgeable in their field of work, and their advice and guidance has been absolutely valuable. I feel somewhat sheltered heading into student teaching. All I’ve had so far is one hundred hours of observation heading into next semester. It has been great to learn tactics and tools in the classroom regarding becoming an effective teacher. Now, the time has come for me to put it into practice on my own. This is a necessary and valuable event in order for me to become a successful teacher.

My first experience on the reality of the teaching profession came to me when I took EDS202 with Professor Greg Seals. Smart as a whip, he gave me insight into what it’s like to truly be a teacher. He exposed us not only to teaching tactics, but tactics on how to deal with students as people, not just bodies in classroom seats. Around Halloween, we had a lesson on death and dying. Inevitably, you might find yourself with a student who has experienced death in some way, whether it be a pet, parent, or family member. He gave us the tools to guide the students through the process, and how to be a shoulder to cry on without overstepping boundaries between teacher and student. This is valuable because I have noticed through personal experience as a student that a teacher can sometimes be someone who gives you a shoulder to cry on in your time of need.

He also explained to us how physically and mentally draining the position can be. Some go into the profession because they think it’s somewhat of an easy gig. All summers off, all holidays off. Yes, that is a great aspect of the job. Yet, other aspects of it are much more demanding. Lesson plans, unit plans, and curriculum maps take up a huge chunk of your time. Grading papers and essays do as well. Once you decide to become a teacher, you’re all in. It will consume your life and your family with it. The percentages shown to us of teachers leaving the profession is astonishing. This only further improved my desire to become a teacher, because once I invest my time in something, I’m in all. I’m a perseverant person, and I don’t quit anything. I always finish everything I start. My mother has been a teacher for almost thirty years, my sister for almost ten, my fiance just starting. The guidance of these people has been absolutely invaluable to me in proving I’m right for this career and responsibility.

Dr. Berci, whose classes I have attended for the past year, has been really effective in teaching me the nuts and bolts. Her strategies in curriculum planning and lesson planning are second to none. She is extremely thorough in her assignments and assessments. While sometimes I wanted to rip my hair out focusing on one of her projects, when I’m finished I realize that each aspect is absolutely necessary if you want to become a great Social Studies teacher. The complication of the assignments, and the fact that I can complete them, absolutely sets me ahead of the pack. I know that due to her guidance I will truly stand out as the cream of the crop in the pool of teachers seeking jobs in the Department of Education. She has prepared us for literally anything that they can throw our way.

I have many personal strengths that I can bring to the table during my tenure as a student teacher. I am extremely organized in everything I do. I am always early, never on time. There is a mantra that I go by: Early is on time, on time is late, and late is absolutely unacceptable. I have been told that I write very well and am able to get communicate my point in the simplest of ways, making it easier for others to understand what I am trying to convey. I feel that this will benefit my students because they will always know what to expect from me. I always manage my time well and make sure that all my assignments are completed.

My weakness falls in my social skills. I have always been a quiet person. I think I will have much more trouble with colleagues than with students. I sometimes have trouble relating to my fellow college students. I am soon to be married and have a three year old son, while most people I attend college with are in their early twenties and don’t have as many responsibilities as I do. Hopefully this will change when I get into a school, because the demographics will be different. Some will be married, some will have kids, and I will be able to relate to them on a personal level. This may translate to the students as well. Although I was their age at one point in time, the world is completely different now than it was when I was a teenager. This may translate to trouble in dealing with their problems as students and as people. I plan to address them by brushing up on my communication skills. I think student teaching would be the perfect venue for me to do that.

During student teaching, my hope is that I will get to work with a diverse group of students. Not just diverse in the sense of race and nationality, but in the sense of academic and social abilities. I attended mainly white, high achieving student population Catholic schools for most of my academic career. It’s almost as if I’ve gotten used to that demographic and now wish to branch out to something different. I want to see how I can bring a student from one point to another. I would love to see a student have an “Aha!” moment because of something I’ve done. I would love to be a shoulder for them to cry on in their time of need. I would love to solve their problems. I would love to ease my cooperating teacher’s workload, even if just for a little while. Most importantly, I believe student teaching would be an affirmation for me. An affirmation that this is what I’m supposed to do and this is what I’m supposed to be. I would be extremely excited for the opportunity.

Cover Image Credit: Not Always Learning

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To The Friends I Won't Talk To After High School

I sincerely hope, every great quality I saw in you, was imprinted on the world.
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Hey,

So, for the last four years I’ve seen you almost everyday. I’ve learned about your annoying little brother, your dogs and your crazy weekend stories. I’ve seen you rock the awful freshman year fashion, date, attend homecoming, study for AP tests, and get accepted into college.

Thank you for asking me about my day, filling me in on your boy drama and giving me the World History homework. Thank you for complimenting my outfits, laughing at me presenting in class and listening to me complain about my parents. Thank you for sending me your Quizlets and being excited for my accomplishments- every single one of them. I appreciate it all because I know that soon I won’t really see you again. And that makes me sad. I’ll no longer see your face every Monday morning, wave hello to you in the hallways or eat lunch with you ever again. We won't live in the same city and sooner or later you might even forget my name.

We didn’t hang out after school but none the less you impacted me in a huge way. You supported my passions, stood up for me and made me laugh. You gave me advice on life the way you saw it and you didn’t have to but you did. I think maybe in just the smallest way, you influenced me. You made me believe that there’s lots of good people in this world that are nice just because they can be. You were real with me and that's all I can really ask for. We were never in the same friend group or got together on the weekends but you were still a good friend to me. You saw me grow up before your eyes and watched me walk into class late with Starbucks every day. I think people like you don’t get enough credit because I might not talk to you after high school but you are still so important to me. So thanks.

With that said, I truly hope that our paths cross one day in the future. You can tell me about how your brothers doing or how you regret the college you picked. Or maybe one day I’ll see you in the grocery store with a ring on your finger and I’ll be so happy you finally got what you deserved so many guys ago.

And if we ever do cross paths, I sincerely hope you became everything you wanted to be. I hope you traveled to Italy, got your dream job and found the love of your life. I hope you have beautiful children and a fluffy dog named Charlie. I hope you found success in love before wealth and I hope you depended on yourself for happiness before anything else. I hope you visited your mom in college and I hope you hugged your little sister every chance you got. She’s in high school now and you always tell her how that was the time of your life. I sincerely hope, every great quality I saw in you, was imprinted on the world.

And hey, maybe I’ll see you at the reunion and maybe just maybe you’ll remember my face. If so, I’d like to catch up, coffee?

Sincerely,

Me

Cover Image Credit: High school Musical

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Writing Saved My Sanity

Write it all down when you can't talk to anyone.

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I love writing.

I have since elementary school, and I've dreamed of becoming a published author. I started off writing stupid plays in elementary school, then it grew it almost writing a full-blown novel in middle school. I have no idea where that thing went to. It was all notebook paper and bad writing. In high school, my writing was kinda pushed to the side so I could focus on school. When I entered college, I started writing small poems about my now ex-boyfriend.

I was scared to express myself to him sometimes, the intensity of my feelings for him scared me. So instead of telling him, I wrote them down. When I tried to share them with him, he hated it. He thought writing down feelings was weird and creepy. So I didn't share anything else with him. When we finally broke up for good, everything just poured out of me. What I couldn't express verbally, I wrote or typed out.

I always have ideas flowing through my head. They never cease and I wouldn't want them to. Writing gives me an escape, from stress, work, school, or fights. It gives me a place to vent and to be open with everything. This is a reason I love writing for Odyssey, not only has this place brought me amazing friends but revived my love for writing. I'm never without my notebook anymore, I'd get distracted in class by an idea and have to write I think then and there.

I love sharing my more personal writing with close friends, especially my poems as of late. I found that I have a voice for young women who find themselves in a toxic relationship much like mine was. I want to speak out and show them that you can grow from the bullshit. It may take some time, but you will be better.

Writing saved my sanity. It allows me to express myself without having to use my actual voice. Anyone who knows me, knows I hate public speaking. I tend to psych myself out leading up to it. My current projects include writing for Odyssey every week, I'm in the process of trying to continue my short stories, and I'm excited to announce that I'm currently working on my very first poetry book!

Writing has given me so much, and I'm so looking forward to making a career out of something I love so much.

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