Student teaching students in classMonday, April 04, 2011 By Andy Crooker
Student teachers can trigger strong reactions in students. This can range from love (easier to coast through class) to hate (slower and lower quality of teaching). Student teachers gain real classroom experience while still in college, but a common opinion from students is that student teachers are unwanted and are there only to keep the seat warm until the regular teacher returns. Consider the equation from the other side though. Student teachers are often dropped into situations where there is little chance to prepare, become familiar with the dynamics of the class or the lesson plan. Student teacher Mr. Casey is on his way to becoming an English teacher gaining his diploma from Kent State University. He is currently teaching grammar and literature classes. The Colonel: Why do you want to teach? Mr. Casey: I see that there is a need in the United States for good educators and I feel like I have something to offer to students in term of my knowledge. I really appreciate the learning process students go through every day and learn through that kind of that ‘A-ha!’ moments. TC : What do you think is the best way to teach? MC: What we try to do is some theory, some hands-on, in English often times we go through what would be considered theory. An example is putting students in a circle reading together is better than reading it all by yourself. If its draining to a student, it definitely is draining to me. I try to make it interesting and fun. At the end of the day, learning needs to done and sometimes you need to get thorough the not so interesting TC: Why teach English? MC: My grandmother has a huge influence on me. All my life she had read so many different kinds of books. I had a great influence from my 7th grade English teacher who showed me that grammar was fun. My father was in educational textbook publishing and works with authors, educators, and doctors. I believe in any profession, you need to know how to read and write. TC: Has teaching been everything else you wanted it to be? MC: Everything and more, you can be really apprehensive school to school. Each school has a different mood, and you have adjust according to. So far it has been really good. TC: What are some things that the University didn’t teach you about teaching? MC: A lot of things, somethings are just learned by experience. Experimental learning is a huge part of teaching. There is still a lot more for me to learn. I think every day I learn something new about teaching. There is two parts of teaching, they are classroom management and discipline. Putting you in a circle for reading in class is what would be considered classroom management. Also discipline, if I have issue with a student, how I handle that is important. In collage they teach you one way to handle it and I learned that every student is different and it matters how this is dealt with. TC: What are your future plans? MC: I have some upcoming interviews. I definitely want to teach high school English. Perhaps an journalism class. I would definitely like to teach a whole program based around it. Teachers who teach only Journalism is something I would love to do. I would also like to eventually teach at the college level. TC: If you could teach anything for an English class, what would it be? MC: I would start off with creative writing. I’m really into creative writing as well as, short story writing, fiction, poetry. Next to that, we would study famous literature of that nature. I’m really interested in autobiographies and what we can learn from them. I’m very interested in historical non-fiction and fiction. TC: What is your opinion on Senate Bill 5? MC: The ability that teachers have in this school right now will ultimately be hindered by Senate Bill 5 no matter what happens. I’m not a teacher here, like on the payroll and it doesn’t affect me right now. The problem with this Senate Bill is what we call a precedent, meaning that as this is active something else could easily happen. Well you know Senate Bill 5 is active and everyone else is still here so why don’t we do this. It is hurting programs. At the end of the day its about collective bargaining and I am not going to take a position because, to be honest, I haven’t been around long enough to know. I think that anyone who does a good job every day should be respected for what they do and I do not think Senate Bill 5 does that.