Careers In Teaching

Careers In Teaching: Student Profiles

 

Amanda RivasAmanda Rivas

 

Program: Childhood Education

  • What was the most challenging aspect of student teaching for you?

For me the challenging aspect had to be the juggling. Setting priorities early on and being sure to follow through on projects was more difficult this time around and sometimes I had to reorganize and decide what had to go in order for me to succeed. I have learned to wear many hats; but student teaching is like a semester long interview and so the role model and teacher takes precedent over so much of your day and it becomes difficult to operate any other way for a while.  The edTPA demands so much of your time, I think that creating a balance is very important and if you don’t prioritize and set goals, it becomes difficult to handle very quickly.

  • What was the most rewarding aspect of student teaching?

The most rewarding aspect of student teaching was in those little moments when I could make a kid who has been having a rough day smile; or when the light bulbs are going are going off in the room and you can hear the wheels turning and ideas being created. For me it was the process of getting to know so many young hearts that were so open and receptive to knowledge and showing them that learning is fun. The fact that I was an adult student was inspiring to a lot of the kids and hearing them say, “I can’t wait to go to college” was like music to my ears. It motivates me to do my best every day.  

  • How did your student teaching experience affect your perspective of the education field and of the teaching profession?

There is a lot of skepticism in schools today that I did not experience in school when I was that young. At times the energy from the teachers was negative and stressful. There are a lot of new practices and ways of doing things that they are not accustomed to and refuse. I think watching their reactions and listening to their frustrations helped me realize that this profession is strictly for those who do it because they love it. And that if I love it enough, I will make it work and be flexible so that my students would never feel like they were a burden. 

  • If you could go back and change one aspect of your student teaching experience what would it be?

Everything was a learning experience. I would probably try harder to reach out and ask for more feedback from my supervisors and professors. It has always been difficult for me to ask for help and maybe if I had I would have gotten more out of the edTPA experience.

  • Student teaching is a chance to put into practice all of the teaching methods you have learned about in your program at Lehman, what was that experience like?

At first I thought I had it all down to a science. I excelled in all of my classes and methods courses. I volunteer at schools and have my own children and family that I spend a lot of time with and felt at ease when I was in the classroom. But then I was told I had student teach in the South Bronx in a tough neighborhood. The school is very supportive of teachers and aims to create an environment where everyone is in a safe space to learn. What was disheartening was the fact that you know that many of these kids are exposed to the ugliness of the streets. The innocence is fading and when the bell rings at three o’clock you can’t guard them anymore. Lehman adequately prepares students to instruct and teach children all the common core requirements. Lesson planning came very easily to me and including the right questions, activities, models and discussions were built into every lesson plan.  Some of which went fantastic, others not so much. I felt very prepared for everything besides the classroom management and think that it would be great if in the future there could be a class that focuses on management and leadership building in the classroom. I think this would help a lot of kids.

  • What are your future plans?

As soon as my graduation is officially complete I will begin substitute teaching in the school where I completed student teaching. I will apply for fulltime positions as well.  I am confident that my journey has just begun and I am excited for it!

Celeste Beards

 

Program:  Middle and High School English Cekeste Beards

  • What was the most challenging aspect of student teaching for you?

 Middle School, because I look so young the most challenging aspect of student teaching was gaining students respect.  A lot of them questioned my authority and did not take me seriously. After the fourth week of working with them they grew to like me and always asked for my help if they were having difficulty with something.

  • What was the most rewarding aspect of student teaching?

The most rewarding aspect is getting to know wonderful kids.  A lot of people are intimidated by middle schoolers but the majority of the time they just want someone to understand them and pay them attention. Knowing that I was able to help and reach students made me smile.

  • How did your student teaching experience affect your perspective of the education field and of the teaching profession?

The experience has taught me that teachers are under an enormous amount of pressure from their supervisors. There are constant changes being made to accommodate the needs of what the principal asks.  Every week there was a new way of lesson planning and how it should be set up every day.  People assume teaching is student oriented but with common core curriculum changes it makes it difficult to be a holistic teacher.  When becoming a teacher one must find ways to teach the dull material to students who have never experienced half of what the main character in a story encountered.

  • If you could go back and change one aspect of your student teaching experience what would it be?

I would have tried a little harder to work with the high school students.  I found it difficult to work with them because of the level of patience I had with them.  As an older group of children I assumed they would be more mature and I was sadly wrong.  I was placed in a class with students who were classified as emotionally disturbed.  I spent more time with classroom management than I did actually teaching the curriculum.

  • Student teaching is a chance to put into practice all of the teaching methods you have learned about in your program at Lehman, what was that experience like?

Even with all of the theories learned in the teaching methods classroom nothing can truly prepare anyone like this experience can.  A lot of things I learned in my method class did not really apply to my experience.  All the things that are certified to work with students usually do not.  The best way to get through to students is asking their teachers how to get through to them.  As far as lesson planning goes, hopefully you will have a great cooperating teacher like I did

  • What are your future plans?

I will be a substitute teacher until I complete my masters in special education.

Ivanna Uquillas

Ivanna UquillasProgram: Middle and High School English

  • What was the most challenging aspect of student teaching for you?

The most challenging aspect for me was creating effective lesson plans. In the beginning my lesson plans went too fast through each chapter. With the help of Professor Maher and Ms. Jimenez I learned how to modify my lessons to fit the needs of my students.

  • What was the most rewarding aspect of student teaching?

The most rewarding aspect of student teaching is when you see your students understand the material given to them. It’s more than hearing that “Ah” moment, it’s listening to their conversations and how they apply what they’ve read to other texts or even themselves.

  • How did your student teaching experience affect your perspective of the education field and of the teaching profession?

I went into student teaching knowing that I wanted to be an ELA teacher in a general education classroom. Being placed at Gregorio Luperon High School, having a student population made up of mostly immigrant students, my mindset shifted. My students reminded me of myself when I first came to this country and didn’t know the language. Having that connection with them made me work twenty times harder on my lesson planning, activities, and overall presentation. I wanted them to take what they’ve learned in the classroom out to the real world. This is why I’ll hopefully be going on to completing my masters in the TESOL program.

  • If you could go back and change one aspect of your student teaching experience what would it be?

I would definitely change my personality in the beginning of student teaching. I remember being so shy and not really connecting with my students as much as I should. I feel like I always seemed so serious.

  • Student teaching is a chance to put into practice all of the teaching methods you have learned about in your program at Lehman, what was that experience like?

Being a teacher is no easy task. A teacher has to go beyond what is asked of them. Having read the books we were working on in class, I found myself going online to read multiple text analysis to keep in mind other point of views. This is such an important aspect of teaching I learned from my cooperating teacher. I also remember having to keep looking back at my lesson plans to make sure that I focused on my different kinds of learners and to see how much student interaction my activities included.

I feel like I didn’t struggle much with classroom management. When my students went off on tangents I would always bring it all back to the lesson. I always thought that classroom management would be more difficult for me since I look so young and much like my students but I had my mind set on going in the school to teach! I also had the pleasure of working with wonderful students who respected their teachers which eased that aspect of teaching. I have noticed though, this is something that student teachers want to keep in mind, the way you present yourself as a person and as a teacher affect your classroom management.

  • What are your future plans?

My future plans are to get my masters in TESOL while working at Gregorio Luperon High School. I also plan on getting my bilingual extension.

 

 

Last modified: Apr 2, 2014

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