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Migiani 2.8 – Experience while student teaching (include pedagogical outlook): My time while student teaching at Lenape High School has been over all fantastic. I have met many people who have taught me a tip or two (or three) and I hope to continue working with them and meeting more teachers/administrators like them. Student teaching was not what I had expected it to be, but then again I don’t know what I expected. It was a lot of work; it was as if I was a real teacher. The administration at Lenape is incredible, they only wanted me to succeed and press through this time with a good outlook on teaching. My experience with my two cooperating teachers could not have been more different. Jim has acted as if he was here to throw me off the boat but fortunately John was there to act as my life preserver and was there to help me when I was in need (and wasn’t in need!). My views on this subject have been expressed during class time more than once. I have learned a lot when it comes to the students. I always thought I wanted to be the “fun, cool” teacher and thought that it would be easy to be that way. Was I ever wrong! It’s hard being a “fun, cool” teacher because when students do something wrong they need to be disciplined for it and there goes the “cool teacher” part out the window. The “fun teacher” part left when I walked in and realized that half the kids only took the class because they wanted to blow stuff up and the other half got placed there by guidance so they didn’t want to be there. I have worked very hard to respect the students and in return worked even harder to obtain respect from the students; I found that if they respect you they automatically think you’re a “fun, cool” teacher. So needless to say, I stopped trying to get the students to like me and simply showed them the respect they deserve as students but more importantly as young adults. The students know when they need to be disciplined and know when they have done things wrong (90% of the time), so when I am not as easy going during these times they can


expect it and understand why I’m being that way. All the other times, we have fun learning; I attempt to be as enthusiastic about the material as I can be. Teaching was not all fun and games like I thought it would be, a lot more goes into it that I was not prepared for. I didn’t think that it was going to be easy but I also did not realize how much work was involved. I believe that a majority of the work was due to student teaching assignments, but the district I am in requires certain things as well. After completing student teaching I have learned a vast variety of things. I have learned ways to be organized. I have learned that what I anticipate is not always going to happen. I have learned that I need to be realistic. I have learned that what I want to do may be “liked” or perceived well by others (students and faculty). I have learned how to communicate to my students about their work. I have learned how to highlight good behavior, and also highlight bad behavior in an appropriate way. I have learned how to admit when I’ve made a mistake. I have learned that not all students learn the same way and it sometimes proves to be challenging altering your lessons so they are able to grasp the concept. I have learned that it’s easy to get behind. I have learned that when my class is more lecture based, I need to find ways of keeping the students into it and involved. I’ve learned that if I don’t like the material they won’t either (so due to this…I’ve learned to pretend!!). I have learned that it is not easy to juggle all the things that I have been expected to do, many of which I brought on myself (e.g. planning lessons and labs, actually finding time to do the labs that I will show the students, attending classes that the district offers, attending mandatory meetings that the district wants – Right to Better Teaching {RBT}, staff meetings, department meetings, and New Teacher Orientation meetings {NTO}, cheerleading practice, swim lessons – my only means of making money, and of course trying to maintain a normal life with my family, fiancé, and friends). I have learned that not everyone is going to back me when I need support. I have learned that the people that will support me are more important than those who don’t. I have learned that not everyone is going to believe in me. I have


learned that more people believe in me than do not. I have learned that if I can accomplish all that I have this semester I have a lot to be proud of. I have learned that I am strong. Overall, I am excited to continue my journey here at Lenape High School. I am even more excited to see what changes happen for the better.


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