Rachel is an early childhood/elementary education and linguistics major. She will be student teaching in three different schools during her last undergraduate semester here at Hofstra.
As a senior majoring in early childhood and
elementary education, I have had a number of opportunities to observe and teach
in various Long Island school districts and classrooms. Each semester has been
different; I would be in a classroom for 20, 50 or 90 hours a semester,
depending on the classes I was taking.
I’m currently student teaching at Searingtown
Elementary School in Albertson, NY, which is one of the three elementary
schools in the Herricks school district. I have been student teaching in a fifth
grade classroom since the middle of December, where I have had the opportunity
to teach, observe, and learn from my students and cooperating teacher. My class
has 22 students from diverse backgrounds. My students are into sports, playing
instruments, singing, reading, and they all love to learn.
As a student teacher, my progress is both
monitored and evaluated by my cooperating teacher and a supervisor provided by
Hofstra, who visit the classroom and observe my progress. I must regularly
create lesson plans, teach from those plans and then, self-evaluate my
performance. Both my cooperating teacher and supervisor provide feedback and
suggestions for improvement.
When I found out that as part of the student
teaching requirement that I will have to teach in a fourth or fifth grade placement,
I was quite nervous since I traditionally work well with younger students.
However, I love coming into school during the week to see my students; they’ve
been a pleasure to work with. Being in an upper grade at the elementary level
has been a great experience. It’s nice that Hofstra gives the early childhood
and elementary education student teachers three different placements in three different
grades. This provides us student teachers with more insight into which grades
we prefer teaching with.
This week, I will start student teaching in a second
grade classroom until the middle of March. After second grade, I will be in a kindergarten
classroom until the middle of May, when I graduate. I’m going to miss my fifth graders
so much, but I’m looking forward to visiting them during the year and hearing
about what they are learning in school.