By Amanda Szramiak – As a Marquette education student, we have immense access to such a wide variety of schools, resources, and people. While I constantly realize how fortunate am, I find myself realizing my fortune more with the little things.
My advanced methods teacher, Dr. Chubbuck, gives endless handouts. I try to feel bad for the tress, but I really, really don’t knowing I have a worksheet filled with academic terminology I need to use to complete an EdTPA assignment. During a lecture about smart boards, we received an access code that allows us to download the software to create smart board lessons. Marquette pays for us to have smart board software access, so go and get a code! When life is busy and the workload is heavy, little things like these make me stop and relax, even if it is just for a split second.
While I appreciate the little things, the big things of this program also make me stop and smell the roses. I have been extremely lucky with my field placements. The cooperating teachers I have worked with not only encourage my teaching passion, but they also ignite it. After hearing horror stories about cooperating teachers and field placements, I will leave my current field placement thanking God for this experience.
I received an email this summer from the field placement coordinator telling me my field placement was at a Milwaukee Public School, and I needed to fill out a background check. I had never been placed at MPS, so I was eager and nervous about starting my placement. After my first meeting with Mrs. Overland at Ronald Reagan High School, I was hooked.
I observe an English nine classroom and a senior literature and performance class, and the students are truly amazing. They are funny, insightful, smart, and dedicated to their IB requirements at this competitive school.
I taught Pat Mora’s, “Elena,” to the freshman class, and their responses to my questions were truly remarkable. I had never taught poetry, so I was a little worried that I would not be totally successful. The poem deals with the issue of cultural assimilation, and we discussed the downfalls of losing culture because of relocation. I asked the students if they could think of a time they felt discriminated against because of their culture. The students opened up and described detailed instances where they felt their culture held them back. The students also discussed being discriminated against because of other things such as socioeconomic status and having disabilities. I didn’t think the students would take the direction they did, but I was pleasantly surprised with their responses.
In addition to the amazing students, Mrs. Overland is equally incredible. Her classroom presence is filled with intelligence and care, which are difficult characteristics to embody all the time. She sets the students up for success by explicitly stating her expectations, but she also gives guidance through every step of the way. I have learned so much from Mrs. Overland thus far, and I feel immensely privileged to be able to work with such a passionate teacher.