In the Field at Veritas High School

romietteBy Amanda Szramiak – I am currently enrolled in a College of Education course covering the introduction to learning and assessment.

I was so excited to finally take this class after declaring my major, and I want to talk about my experience thus far in the semester. I am currently in a field placement in two sophomore World Literature classes at an area high school. I was delayed in starting my field placement due to technical difficulties, and I was extremely overwhelmed with the assignments regarding my field placement experience. I am proud to report that I could not be happier with my field experience thus far.

Veritas High school is an absolutely remarkable place. Veritas is a University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee charter school that has received a plethora of awards. When I pulled up to the school, I thought it was a church because it was so small. I was greeted with a warm and friendly smile as I walked through the doors. The secretary, Lola, was as adorable as could me, and I instantly felt at home. I only emailed my cooperating teacher back and forth so I was extremely anxious to meet him.

When I walked into Mr. Neman’s tenth grade classroom, I was absolutely mesmerized. The students smiled and I introduced myself to class. The first day I was simply observing the classroom. The students were being introduced to their next book: the modern day version of Romeo and Juliette, which is titled Romiette and Julio. Mr. Neman asked the students to take out a sheet of paper and answer the incomplete statements on the projector.

The statements were as followed:
I feel gangs are…;
The hardest choice I ever made was…;
I feel interracial relationships are…”

I was intrigued to see how the students’ were going to respond to these rather personal statements. After the students had time to reflect on their thoughts, they were asked to share with the students around them. Following, Mr. Neman brought the entire class together to discuss the statements.

I was surprised to see so many hands jump up at the opportunity to share their opinions about these issues. I was completely blown away by some of their responses. Students talked about their families’ take on interracial relations, and some even discussed their experiences with gangs. The students’ thoughts were riveting.

My first day at my field placement was more than I could have ever hoped to experience. My best friend, who is also an education major, tells me I am so lucky to have been placed with a cooperating teacher that is so eager to help me further my education.

I have been to my field placement six times so far, and I leave every time with the biggest smile on my face. I catch myself tearing up during the classes because I am so excited and passionate about my future career. I knew I wanted to be a teacher, but my experience in Mr. Neman’s classrooms absolutely and undoubtedly confirm my dreams. I cannot wait to talk about my experiences at Veritas more.

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