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Time to Student-Teach

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This semester, as many students are returning to their undergraduate classes, a specific handful of students are preparing for their student-teaching placements. These placements range in location, either in private schools, public schools, or even in schools abroad.


Those in the education program have endured several semesters of methods courses and are well-prepared for their upcoming placements. Using their sharpened skills and acquired resources earned in their methods courses here at Cairn, education majors ranging from Elementary to Secondary English are stepping into the real world of teaching this semester.


I had the opportunity to talk with Alexandra Nathan regarding her upcoming placements, giving me the chance to hear her thoughts on her new endeavor. She provided me with meaningful answers, and she explained her emotions regarding the next and final step in her education degree-track here at Cairn.


Q: What kind of schools will you be placed in while you are student teaching? Public? Private? Small in number? Large in number?


“For student teaching, I will have two placements, each seven weeks long. One will take place in a smaller Christian high school, while the other will be at a public middle school.”


Q: What aspect of the methods courses here at Cairn you feel has equipped you the most regarding student-teaching?


“My content area methods courses have been extremely beneficial to prepare me for lesson planning and various scenarios that I may face in the mathematics classroom as a student teacher. Dr. VanBilliard constantly challenged me to think philosophically and consider my desire to pursue the field of education. He helped me further develop my philosophy of education, such as aspects that may impact my view of the students, my role as a teacher, the purpose of education, etc. In addition, educational assessment with Dr. Alexander gave me a better perspective and understanding about the components of a well-balanced unit, which has definitely equipped me to be ready for student teaching to begin next week.”


Q: What are you most nervous about in student-teaching?


“One thing that I am nervous about is classroom management and discipline. Student teaching will be difficult, but I believe that the Lord has equipped me with the abilities and desire to be a math teacher. The challenges I may face will further help me grow as a future educator.”


Q: What are you most excited for in student-teaching?


“I am looking forward to applying everything that I have been learning the past few years in the secondary math education program, and having the opportunity to teach students other than my peers.”


Q: How do you hope to grow in your student-teaching placements?


“I believe that learning is a lifelong process, so I am certain that I will learn from my mentor teachers at my placements. One thing that I hope to learn through student teaching is classroom management; I am looking forward to observing how my mentor teachers handle issues that arise in the classroom and continuing to develop these abilities myself.”

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