Hi! My name is Jeanie McCarthy and I am a senior Music Education student at Nazareth College. I am currently student teaching in a vocal general music class at an elementary school just outside Rochester. Here’s a post about some things Nazareth student teachers can relate to. Happy student teaching!
1) We eat, breathe, and sleep edTPA. If you know a student teacher, you have 100% have heard them talk about the edTPA. The edTPA is a new student teacher performance assessment that is required by New York State for teacher certification. Nazareth student teachers work on their edTPA as they are student teaching. You may hear us talk about videotaping in our classroom and the kinds of assessments we created for our students. For my edTPA, I’m teaching a fifth grade lesson on syncopation (a kind of rhythm). It includes the children listening to and identifying the rhythm in a song and then playing that rhythm on barred instrument like glockenspiels or xylophones.
2) We are tired enough to pass out on week nights by 8pm. After a long day of teaching, student teachers are exhausted. For myself and most student teachers, the routine of teaching every day is the most difficult part about student teaching. Most of us are ready to call it quits after dinnertime. For the first time in my life I am ready to hit the hay early every night.
3)… but we almost always have to stay up late to finish lesson plans. As much as we would love to be in bed by 8pm, it almost never happens. Our time at night is usually spent writing lesson plans and working on the edTPA. Between sports, work, clubs, and other activities, our student teachers at Nazareth are working hard up until the time they go to sleep.
4) We feel like real, working adults when we walk into our school every day. Every day, I walk into my school and feel like I work there. We have been teaching in our schools for the past 6 weeks and we all feel like (almost) real teachers. Our student teachers at Nazareth treat their experience as an actual, professional teaching job. Student teaching has made the process of “adulting” approach us faster than we expected….
5) We miss seeing our friends on campus every day. Personally, I would much rather be teaching and doing what I love then being in classes all day. However, I really miss my friends and all the people I run into on campus! Even though I am often on campus for tennis and doing work, I miss the walking around campus and being with my friends during the day.
6) We love the kids we teach. My absolute favorite part about my student teaching experience is interacting with the kids I teach. I know many student teachers and they all say the same thing. There’s no better feeling than getting a few hugs from your students every day (mostly in Elementary), or have kids come up to you with excitement and tell you that they love being in your class. I love teaching music and sharing my love for music with others, but I love interacting with these kids so much more.
7) We’re happy that we are finally applying what we have learned at Nazareth into our own teaching. After three full years of being a Nazareth College student, we’re ready to go out into the field and teach. The first few weeks have been stressful and nerve-wracking, but student teachers are finally starting to feel content in their school setting. I am so happy that I get to finally apply what I have learned at Nazareth into my teaching. Now that I’m student teaching, I’m so thankful for all of the “mini” lessons I have taught in front of my peers in my Elementary Music Education class (they had to act the part of Kindergarten to fifth graders…)
Thank you Nazareth College for preparing all Education majors for this journey!!