An Open Letter to the Students and Staff of Stadium High School
I have reached the end of my student teaching experience at Stadium High School and it has been both exhausting and exhilarating at the same time. One of the main things I discovered is that it takes a lot of effort for each teacher to prepare and support over a hundred students each day for roughly 250 minutes of classes. Equally amazing is how the experienced teachers make it look deceptively easy.
Every teacher remembers their own student teaching period with its special mixture of memorable moments sprinkled with an occasional moment they would rather not remember, and mine was no different. I had many pleasurable times instructing, interacting with the students, discussing teaching styles and techniques with other teachers, and being involved with the whole school experience. There were a few moments that tested my ability to handle difficult situations as well. Like the rest of life’s bountiful flavors, the sweet and the bitterness have their own necessary place. All in all, it was a magnificent experience with each moment encapsulated in its own miniature movie reel in my memories that will be cherished for a long time.
It is impossible for me to express how much the initial practice of teaching meant to me and how much regard I have for every student, teacher, staff and administration personnel I was fortunate to have contact with on a regular basis. I would like to single out a few individuals such as Mr. Kellett and Mr. Cooper for encouraging student teachers such as myself and providing access to the schools. I also wish to thank all the teachers whom offered advice and encouragement such as Mr. Brian Ochs, Mr. Scott Bender, Mr. James McDougall, Mr. Shawn McDougall, Ms. Kim Muenz, Mr. David Niendorf, Mr. Tim Reher, and all the other teachers I can’t possibly fit in.
My biggest thanks go to Mr. John Malich, who as my mentor teacher had the relentless chore of trying to shape me into the best possible teacher in the period of time allotted. It takes a tremendous amount of work to coach, correct, demonstrate techniques, constructively critique, encourage, and just plain endure the initial stumblings of a raw teaching candidate as they go through the trials and tribulations of becoming a rookie-class teacher. He was patient, supportive, tactful, and positive when he had every right to sputter more colorful phrases because his student teacher went off the reservation (sometimes off the planet) on more than one occasion. But through it all he kept a calm demeanor and a frequent smile, all with style and class. I’m forever in his debt.
Last, but not least, my thanks go to the Algebra 2B, Algebra 3/4, and Pre-calculus students of room B12 who were all instrumental in reminding me why I wanted to become a math teacher in the first case. I don’t know if it was possible for all of you to learn as much from me as I was learning from you, but hopefully you did. Sometimes you didn’t get my best efforts and for the most part you were able overcome my shortcomings. I thank you for your patience and understanding during my student teaching period and hope you saw improvements as time went on.
If I’m fortunate enough to substitute at Stadium later this school year, I bid you farewell until then.
Mathematics Teacher Candidate