This morning, the School of Education at SNU sent a total of fifteen student teachers to different elementary and secondary schools. These student teachers began their clinical practice, also known as student teaching assignment. According to the Student Teaching Handbook, the clinical practice is the “highlight and the culmination of the professional education of prospective teacher candidates at Southern Nazarene University.”
Student teachers are required to complete two teaching assignments at different schools. The student teaching assignments last a total of five weeks each. Student teachers are required to be there during school hours. Some student teachers will arrive at school earlier and some will stay there later.
Each student teacher works with a cooperating teacher who has taught more than three years. Cooperating teachers give student teachers the opportunity to display teaching abilities in their classroom. Eventually, the cooperating teachers will leave student teachers to instruct and manage the classroom on their own.
Some student teachers will have the opportunity to invest their entire time and energy into their student teaching assignments. Others will have to balance their teaching assignments, homework assignments and work responsibilities. Student teachers cannot take any courses during their teaching assignments because they would interfere with their required school hours. Instead, student teachers are limited to taking direct study, online or night courses.
Rachel Vernier is one of the fifteen student teachers who began her teaching experience today. For her first assignment, Rachel will be teaching first-grade students at Rollingwood Elementary School. This school is part of the Putnam City School District.
Rachel knew she wanted to be a teacher because she enjoyed being around children. She believes teaching is a calling God has placed in her heart. When asked what she is most excited about, Rachel said, “I am most excited about being around the kids every day.” She is also excited about teaching students her favorite subject: reading.
Rachel will be taking an online class and working ten hours per week as she completes her teaching assignments. She took advantage of the eight days before student teaching to complete some assignments for her online class. Rachel hopes balancing her online class and student teaching will be doable.
Every student teacher entered the classroom with the belief that all students can learn. This belief is part of the Education Preparation Mission Statement. There is no doubt these student teachers will impact their students in their classroom even if it’s just for five weeks. If you see any student teachers on campus, make sure to wish them luck on their new journey.