Reflections from Erin: A CS Student Teacher

Hello friends and fellow CSer’s!

I am so sad to say that this semester is now coming to a close, and this will be my last post. Time has flown by so quickly, and I have loved getting to write and share my experiences with you through this blog!

This past week was spring break for the majority of the student teachers, including me, which meant I spent lots of quality time doing nothing but relaxing and adventuring. It was so great to have some time to do some of the things I had wanted to do, and luckily the weather was great for the majority of the time so the week went really well!

One thing about me that I haven’t gotten to share too much about this semester is that I love to be outside. It’s hard to do this when it’s cold and snowy out, but now that the weather is changing I am able to find great places outdoors to spend my time. One of the places I loved to be over break was the beach. Coming from Holland, going to the beach is second nature to me, so getting to do this in Chicago was the best thing I could have asked for. The water was still way too cold for swimming, but I still managed to get sunburned, read a book in the sand, and play some Frisbee with friends. I really can’t complain!

I also finally got to explore Lincoln Park more. I found that it’s actually walking distance from Canterbury and has lots of amazing places to go during the day. There is, of course, the zoo (which is free!), but there is also a beautiful conservatory with colorful flowers and amazing landscaping designs (this is also free!), and a ton of green space with baseball fields, soccer fields, and basketball courts as well as just some good ol’ trees and grass to chill on (and it’s free!). I had been waiting for a good time to find a place for hammocking, and Lincoln Park South Fields did not disappoint on a beautiful sunny Saturday.

Yesterday (April 25th) was my birthday, but since I knew I would be back in school and also have class then, I celebrated on Sunday by grabbing dinner with some of the amazing people I have met in the program. We went to a burger place called The Butcher and the Burger, off of Armitage. It’s a build-your-own-burger place that is similar to Five Guys, except that you literally pick everything from the meat and seasonings you want to the toppings and the kind of bun to put it all between. Everyone had something different, and all the burgers looked amazing. For dessert we went to Sweet Mandy B’s, which is near Fullerton area, and has literally every sweet possible. It made for a great celebration in the city!

Now, I am in my final week at CICS Irving Park. My students are already talking about how sad they are to see me go, and I’m already preparing for a rough last day, as I have to say goodbye to my 29 favorite third graders, as well as my amazing Cooperative Teacher Ms. Nolan. I have learned so much in this placement and enjoyed each experience I got to have here. Coming to Chicago to student teach was one of the best decisions I have made, as I know I would not have grown as I have in any other place than here. I’ve decided not to stay in Chicago to teach, but I know that I will take what I have done here and apply it to wherever I do end up teaching.

Overall, it was a great last weekend and week spent with some great people in some amazing places. Chicago has been absolutely fabulous this semester, and I am so sad to be leaving in less than a week. I am thankful for all of the experiences I have had here and the people I have met, and will forever be glad that I got to call this city home for a few short months. While I am excited to return to Holland and see my friends and family, I will never forget this experience and know that the friends I have made here will always have value to me, even as we go separate ways.

Thanks to all of you who have followed this semester, and have a blessed life!


By Erin Walters

For more on Erin’s experience click here.