In honor of graduating next Saturday (AH!) and having officially finished my Student Teaching portion of my Undergrad, I wanted to share some of the the many things I learned through this clinical experience.
Here is what I learned while student teaching this year:
1.) Teaching is the MOST selfless thing on this planet.
Honestly. I had the opportunity to work with some stellar teachers, and they work so hard for their students. Not only are they taking care of the day-to-day lessons, but these teachers also go to pep rallies, sporting events, and choir events to support the students. Teaching takes so much planning and after “work hours”… way more than I ever imagined. There are teachers who work so hard, not just so the students know the material, but so that these students can be successful, contributing citizens in the future. Many people see teachers as just educating students in necessary material for college or career paths, but teachers are also filling roles of missing parents, mentors, or just someone to talk to. This is what makes a teacher so selfless; the compassion and unconditional love shown to the students… no matter what.
2.) When you have teachable moments, they are awesome.
Sometimes my lessons go exactly as I plan, but usually the lessons turn into a loose interpretation of how I intended them to be. This is mostly because the class I mostly taught was Psychology, so there is wiggle room for discussions and questions from the students. There are so many teachable moments the students brought up with questions about real-life situations that I never could have planned. These were my favorite moments in the classroom.
3.) You will love the kids, all of them.
Yes, even the ones who test you and test you. The ones who you have to repeatedly tell to get off Instagram or shush during a lecture. All of these students are something else, something special. After I finished my student teaching I seriously missed those kids (still do) I want to see each of them grow and succeed. I didn’t think it was possible to come into a class for just a few months and really feel such a compassion for these students, but I learned every student’s name and I genuinely cared about each one.
4.) The kids will change you more than you think.
For real. These kiddos changed me so much. This quarter of my undergrad was the most stressful yet, but the students were very understanding and so encouraging. I learned so much from them. I learned how to be compassionate and patient no matter what is happening in my life; because they need me. I learned that kids are always looking for mentors and need them dearly. They make me want to be a better person, and strive to always be compassionate to everyone I meet. They taught me so much… and they can teach us all some of these things.
Obviously, these are only a few things I learned while Student Teaching… other things were far harder lessons than anticipated. There are some things I regret… like leaving in such a rush and not being able to have a proper good-bye with the kids, but the highlights definitely made this process worthwhile.
Also, shout-out to my mentor teacher; without him, I wouldn’t have made it as far as I did!
Much love. Much grace.
If you are interested in giving to your local school system, here are some great organizations to help with various needs of the school-age students in your area.
Stand for Children (Louisiana Based)