The Student Becomes The Teacher

A Look Into The World Of Student-Teaching

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Aidan Muhle

“My ultimate goal with my teaching career is to get a good handle on science, and to inspire kids to explore and try to experiment.”

The beginning of the GHS second semester brings new and exciting faces: Ms. Megan Callahan and Mr. Patrick Hynes, the newest additions to our school’s student-teacher program. The two soon-to-be college graduates have had an exciting week.
“Before I started student teaching, I was super nervous and I had procrastinated way too long,” Ms. Callahan said. “ I’m better now, and I’m feeling like I picked the right career path.”
Ms. Callahan has been shadowing Ms. Shauna Stauffer in the science department. She has always had an interest in science, however, the idea to teach it, came suddenly when she was trying to determine what she wanted to do in her future. Additionally, Mr. Hynes was having a similar experience.
“I was incredibly nervous,” Mr. Hynes said. “Because you can never fully prepare. You don’t know the students, you don’t know the environment, and if you’ve never been to the school before you won’t know where to go. It’s definitely a very intimidating experience because you know nothing going into it.”
Hynes, a native of Murdock, Nebraska, has been collaborating with Mr. Mike Brandon in the Social Studies department. Hynes has felt passionate about history since he was in high school and he attributes some of this passion to his childhood teachers. Hynes is also currently serving in the Nebraska Air National Guard. A common theme among the two new guests was that they felt they had received a warm Gretna welcome.
“I’ve felt very welcomed,” Hynes mentioned. “Mr. Brandon is an incredibly welcoming teacher. All the staff here is incredibly nice, the secretaries are friendly, and it’s just a very welcoming atmosphere.”
The inviting demeanor has definitely relieved some of the stress Ms. Callahan and Mr. Hynes had felt about joining our student-teacher program. This sense of welcoming is not too unlike the one given to another staff member who has begun her first year of teaching at Gretna. English instructor Mrs. Michaela Weber, completed her student-teaching at GHS, and now teaches ninth and tenth grade English at the school.
“My tip for a student teacher,” Weber said. “Would be to not feel they have to do everything their mentor teacher does. Each teacher brings their own thoughts to the table, we all have different styles. My advice is to own up to the fact that it is partly your classroom too. You need to use this time as your own little petri dish, to grow into the teacher that you need to be.”
Weber attended GHS and also had the opportunity to student teach with two English instructors. Ironically, Weber teaches freshman English in the classroom that she had learned English in as a freshman herself.
Ms. Callahan and Mr. Hynes have, for the most part, been observing, and are set to begin instructing the classes as if they were their own, next week. One can only wonder how overwhelming it is to teach up to 20-30 students, while being a student yourself.