On Sunday, October 7th, the College of Education hosted its annual blessing service to honor student teachers and field placement students. This year’s service featured particularly inspiring comments from COED Assistant Professor, Leigh van den Kieboom. Her remarks appear here for your appreciation and enjoyment.
As you begin your field experience and student teaching, remember that your training is not over; it’s just beginning and will continue every day that you teach.
A good teacher must first and always be a good learner.
And you learn to teach by teaching… there is no other way.
So you must approach your field experience and student teaching with both humility and confidence – humility because you don’t know everything about teaching and learning yet, and confidence because you know more about teaching and learning than you think you do.
Your work is of immeasurable and lasting importance, and your students will remember you long after you have helped them move on to the next step in their life. So, be yourself and give all of yourself.
Bring your enthusiasm and interests into the classroom and share them with the students who will learn to love and respect you. And learn to seek out, embrace, and build upon the knowledge, enthusiasm, and interests your students will bring into your classroom.
Accept and receive each of the students you teach as a special gift to you, never wishing to teach other or better students, but always working to figure out how to teach “this” group of students.
Plan on feeling overwhelmed, as though this experience has swallowed you whole and consumed all of your energy. And then, remember why you’re feeling overwhelmed; it’s because you are.
Teaching is an enormously difficult job that when done well only looks easy. Find strength to combat this overwhelming feeling by knowing that teaching is filled with fresh starts – a new day, a new lesson, a new unit, a new school year.
You can try again…
And finally, as men and women who are called to serve others in your field experience and student teaching, serve wholeheartedly, as if you were serving God Himself, because you know God will reward everyone for whatever good he or she does. (Ephesians 6:7)