Thursday, March 19, 2015

Catching up with Pride Guide Rachel S.

Rachel Sherman is an early childhood/elementary education and linguistics major. She is spending her last undergraduate semester student teaching. 
For the past seven weeks, I’ve been student teaching in a 2nd grade classroom of 20 students at Searingtown Elementary School. I’m very fortunate that I have gotten to know my students not only on a teacher-student level, but on a personal level as well. Instead of only teaching the whole class, which I did previously with 5th graders, it’s been nice to get to know my students better by working in small groups and one on one. I have been able to easily observe what my students’ strengths, weaknesses, and needs are.

In addition to working with 20 students, I have been very lucky to work with a great cooperating teacher who has been teaching for the past 17 years. She was a student teacher at Hofstra and has been in the Herricks School District since student teaching. She is organized, warm and honest. She has given me the opportunity to teach what I want to teach and provides feedback and constructive criticism. An important factor in partnering with another teacher is trust. She trusts me, which I appreciate. She will contact me late at night or early in the morning before school starts, asking me to help her out with certain items if she is late, not coming in, or if at the last minute she needs me to teach a lesson if she has a meeting.
My student teaching experience has been great so far. It’s been time consuming but I’m getting a lot out of it. I’m very lucky that Hofstra gives us the opportunities to student teach in 3 different placements. Before 2nd grade, I was student teaching in 5th grade. There are pros and cons to working in each grade. I happen to prefer the 2nd grade curriculum to the 5th grade curriculum. However, teaching and working with 5th graders is easier than 2nd graders since they require more attention and supervision.

Next week, I will be starting my last student teaching placement. I will be in Kindergarten until the middle of May, when I graduate. Since graduation is approaching, I’ve been applying to graduate school and teaching positions. I’m going to miss my 2nd graders so much, but I’m looking forward to visiting them and getting the latest on what they are learning in school.

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