I am now on my final week of student teaching and I will be observing classrooms in Cooper, another public school, and my own class for the rest of the week. I cannot believe that I am almost done and that I could have my own classroom this fall!
This past week I had more opportunities to relax and socialize with my students because I wasn’t in full control and constantly lesson planning. On Friday, we took all of the 4th graders to the Museum of Science and Industry. My group explored two exhibits: You: The Experience and Storms since they had learned about the human body and natural disasters in science. It was a great opportunity to teach my students in a different setting and get to know them better.
I also have had more time to socialize with my family and friends. Over spring break, I went back to Monmouth to see my friends in the musical, Meet Me in St. Louis. I also attended job fairs, participated in professional development, and sat for interviews, as well as spending time with my family, and catching up on sleep. It was a perfectly timed break since it was right after I had finished full-time teaching!
In a few weeks, I will graduate and continue to apply for jobs in Chicago and closer to home. I hope to have my own classroom in the fall and to continue working with Spanish speaking students. As I look back on my student teaching experience, I realize that my biggest takeaways were learning to be flexible and professional. I learned flexibility because I worked closely with my cooperating teacher, my students had an assortment of needs, and I was learning what it took to be a teacher. I also learned professionalism because I worked in collaboration with the staff and administration on a regular basis, attended job fairs and interviews, and I wasn’t constantly surrounded by my peers. I was seen as a leader for my students and a peer to the staff at my school. Before student teaching, I hadn’t had many opportunities to regularly practice being flexible and professional and I don’t think I would have practiced them to this extent if I hadn’t participated in Chicago Semester. Which brings me to my next point –
If you are considering Chicago Semester, DO IT! I was amazed at the opportunities I was given this semester:
- Constant support and feedback from my supervisor Lisa Hensey (She is amazing!)
- Tickets and information for free events in Chicago
- Resources for professional development and job fairs in Chicago
- An amazing group of diverse, dedicated, and supportive student teachers
Chicago Semester has pushed, prepared, and supported me towards my goal of working in Chicago Public Schools. I have become a stronger teacher and person due to my experience this semester and the people I have met. I am so thankful for this experience and I hope that my adventure inspires others to take advantage of it as well!