This Is Actually Happening: Student Teaching

download (2)By Douglas Soder —  It’s 1:40am on Friday, Sept. 20th.

I just finished submitting the final documents for my student teaching application and e-portfolio. For the last two weeks, every senior in the college of education has been stressing out over these applications; it’s like senior year of high school all over.

I figured after I hit send I would feel relieved—like a huge weight would be lifted off my shoulders—instead, panic and fear start to set in. An avalanche of what-ifs start racing through my mind: What if I don’t get in? What if I get placed at a school I don’t like? What if my cooperating teacher isn’t quite what I hoped for? What if it turns out that I am literally the world’s worst teacher?

Of course, I know most of these thoughts are my over-imaginative, over-stressed mind at work. Submitting those application materials was a huge wake-up call. This is a big deal. So yeah, it’s scary.

Next semester, I will (hopefully) be spending every day, 7am-3pm, in the classroom, putting all of the things I’ve learned in my classes and field experiences into action. While field experience is a huge responsibility, working 40+ hours a week is definitely a drastic jump from 40+ hours a semester.

I know I’m not the only prospective student teacher to think this way either. At some point, every student teacher is scared out of their minds, right?

But then I head to Greenfield High School for my English Methods field experience, and I see two new teachers in the department, Marquette Alums who no longer than a year ago were in my exact same shoes. They stood outside their classrooms with their Greenfield ID badges and jumbo coffee mugs and confidently corrected hallway behavior, exchanged hellos with the principal, and waved to former students passing through to their lockers.

And then I feel like I’m right where I should be. Student teaching is all about jumping in and using every day as a learning experience to become a better educator. Yes, it’s scary. Yes, it’s a lot of pressure. Yes, it’s going to be hard. But, by the end of this year I hope to feel confident, experienced, and ready to go out into the world and be responsible for my own class.

So to all of my friends and classmates: you aren’t alone in your fears. Luckily, we are products of Marquette education, and this is what the culmination of all our hard work has come to.

1 Response to “This Is Actually Happening: Student Teaching”

  1. 1 Amanda Burns October 14, 2013 at 7:28 pm


    Your fears are shared by soon-to-be student teachers all over the country! They’re healthy and even necessary to some degree. However, you’re also correct in having faith in Marquette’s preparation of you. As an alum from 2009, I can promise that you will find yourself thinking back to lectures, conversations with professors and reflection sessions with your fellow pre-service educators with extreme gratitude. It is a strong program you are finishing up this year, and the principal that hires you next year will know it! Good luck student teaching!



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