Minor: Special Education
February 9th, 2018
The time has finally come that I have embarked on this adventure I call student teaching. Ever since I set foot into my first education class here at UW- La Crosse I have been patiently, or impatiently maybe, waiting for this time to come. Well four years have gone by, faster than I’d like to believe, and here I am- student teaching in an amazing fourth grade classroom responding to 24 kiddos calling me Ms. Pesser.
Like I mentioned I am placed in a fourth grade classroom at West Salem Elementary School. When the school of education was working on putting placements together they put out the option to stay in one placement for the whole semester. I responded and took advantage of that opportunity. I thought it would be nice to spend a whole semester with the same class. I can already tell that I’ll be glad I made that decision. I love my class and I have been getting along really well with my cooperating teacher. I also have been enjoying getting to know the other fourth grade teachers. The fourth grade team at West Salem is awesome, and it’s great to see a well-organized group of teachers working together creating the best possible lessons for their students.
This past week I completed my 3rd week of student teaching as well as my lead week lessons for edTPA. How has it already been 3 weeks? Time is flying, like it always does, but it also feels like I’ve been teaching in my classroom for much longer. I was welcomed in right away, and I’m happy to say I feel totally comfortable around my students. This helped a great deal when teaching my lessons. For edTPA I have chosen to use the ELA handbook, because I practiced with that one in my last field placement and I also just enjoy teaching language arts. We are just starting our historical fiction unit in language arts where the students will be writing historical fiction narratives as their final project. This is a long unit that will take 2 months about. To start students off with this process on narrative writing I taught them all about leads. How do we hook our reader and want them to keep reading more?
It was a fun three days learning about leads. The students learned how to write snapshot, action, and talking leads and even got to play a fun BINGO game to go along with it. I am currently in the process of looking through the final assessment, but from what I’ve looked at already it seems as if students understood the concept. This is always good to see as a teacher. My cooperating teacher was very helpful in the planning process, and there were many days we stayed late after school to prepare for the lessons. I really appreciate his willingness to help me out. I also appreciate the feedback he gave me each day after I taught. We would sit in the classroom with our lunches, because you’re always multitasking as a teacher, to talk about what went well and what could’ve been different to improve the lesson. I communicated with him early on that I appreciate feedback and will never be offended. I think it’s so important to reflect on both the good and bad of a lesson, because we are constantly learning and adapting our teaching as educators.
So far I love this student teaching experience. I was talking with some ‘teacher friends’ the other day about how my classroom is honestly one of my favorite places to be. I look forward to getting to school each day, and I’m not even mad that I’m there every day before 8 am. When I think about all of my students I can’t help but smile, and think about the great individuals they all are. I’m excited to continue learning and hanging out with my fourth graders and great team of teachers. I will continue to post updates, so stay tuned!
Audrey aka Ms. Presser