By Staff Writer Marissa Jacobsen
Everybody has to learn their craft somehow. You can’t expect a pilot to waltz on board a plane for the very first time and fly 500 people over the Atlantic Ocean. It’s the same with teaching! Perhaps not as dramatic a situation, but a valid point nonetheless.
Student teachers need to experience actual teaching before they can start an actual career. If you think that a student teacher is not giving you a quality education, imagine having an instructor who has never taught a day in his/her life, without any support behind them. Now that would be an unfortunate situation.
Perhaps you feel like “this isn’t what I signed up for.” You wanted Mr. GoldenPerfectTeacherMan, but instead, you got Miss SweatyNervousWreckTwentyFourYearOld. Tough break. You can’t always get what you want. But here’s a thought: Mr. GoldenPerfect is waiting in the wings, coaching Miss NervousWreck, and he’ll be back to the whiteboard in a few weeks. Maybe you should try looking from the student teacher’s perspective. You’re attending a public school. Free education. An abundance of resources. A community that cares whether or not you graduate. Your student teacher could be paying $40,000 a year to be heckled by a 15 year old five days a week.
Do you feel awful? You should feel a little awful. No one likes to be heckled by a teenager. Maybe, just maybe, you bothersome teenagers out there could find a little compassion for your student teacher, who is trying to learn just like you are. The experience you’re giving your student teacher is important! So next time you’re thinking about spit-balling that young know-nothing, try looking at it from their point of view. Maybe you yourself can do some student teaching of your own.
By Assistant Editor-in-Chief Annah Pritchett
Public high schools are for public high school students, where students from the ages 14-18 are taught by real teachers.
When a student teacher is introduced into the classroom, the learning environment is instantly corrupted. While this may be beneficial to the college student, the high school student suffers greatly.
One doesn’t enroll in a chemistry class to be taught chemistry by a nervous 30 something whose specialty is biology. Timberline has half days every other Wednesday just to improve upon the way students learn. Yet they overlook this program where young college students with no experience are thrust into a classroom and basically find out whether they can sink or swim! Our students deserve better than that.
The truth of the matter is that teenagers don’t come to school to coddle nervous student teachers through a lecture. You know what they say… “Dogs, bees, and high schoolers can all smell fear.” Don’t put a scared adult in a room full of teens, where the last thing that will transpire is learning!
At the end of the day the truth rings eternal: High school is a place for high school students to learn. To say the public school system is giving something for nothing is absurd. And turning our heads as we throw “Miss Nervouswreck” into a classroom full of antsy freshmen is far from the best.
I understand that student teachers need to find a place to learn. Every great teacher started somewhere. I propose that instead of thrusting a young sweaty graduate student into a tank full of 10th grade piranhas, colleges should give them experience in a controlled environment, possibly in a classroom full of students who receive some outside benefit or help if they volunteer to enroll in a class with a student teacher.
This is the ideal way to protect the learning environment for all parties involved.