At a small high school like NS, students aren’t the only people learning. With new student teachers in the classroom, college students have the chance to learn how and work towards eventually taking over as teachers.
This thought kind of makes students want to get a sneak peek at some of the new teachers, and they have the opportunity to do so via the current student teaching interns.
While many people think that getting into a teacher career is an easy jaunt, an interview with Brett Roberts seems to show that it’s quite the opposite.
“In the teaching program, you have to do three semesters,” said student teaching intern Brett Roberts. “[In] level one, you just take classes on how to teach. Level two is kind of the same thing. But during those [first] two semesters, you have to spend 30 hours in a classroom setting, just kind of observing.”
One example of a student observing a class is the Snow college student, who observed Brad Bentley’s 3B Biology class last semester for a large majority of the term.
“[In the next semester], we’re required to spend 400 hours…in a classroom, where I have to take on most of the teacher’s responsibilities,” Roberts said.
This explains why Roberts fills in for geography teacher Cris Hoopes during several class periods throughout the day.
Just like Hoopes, Roberts must now correct assignments, instruct students and direct classroom activities.
“You kind of team-teach with the teacher that’s there until eventually [you] take over the class,” Hoopes said.
Hoopes also had to go through a similar process to become a teacher, and he said things haven’t changed much.
“It can be hard to get used to a classroom,” Hoopes said. “The classroom expectations are already set up, and then you have to live by what your mentor or teacher [has already established].”
While this was the struggle for Hoopes, Roberts found a slightly different issue.
“I wish throughout my whole four to five-year degree, I could’ve spent more time in the classroom teaching,” Roberts said.
This is a good point because the best way to learn something is to actually do it.
“It gives the [student] teachers an idea of what they want to do, and what they don’t want to do,” said Hoopes.
Perhaps it wouldn’t be a bad idea for the colleges to change the program to allow more on-the-scene experience.
“Along with the student teaching,” Roberts said, “I have to take a two [semester] class where I meet with my teacher and reflect.”
This way, the students are able to be told what they did right, and what they did wrong, so that they can apply it once they get an actual career.
On top of this, Hoopes has discussions with Roberts after each of his lectures to help him receive even further critique.
“When class is over, I talk about his questioning, or movement in the classroom, or how he did on [his lesson],” Hoopes said.
With all of this schooling and hard work, what inspired him to do this?
“I have a lot of siblings that are teachers,” said Roberts, “and [I’ve become inspired] by talking to them. But my mom was a TA and a sub, and that was probably my biggest inspiration. And the satisfaction of kids and working in a classroom.”
And just like Roberts’ siblings had told him would happen, he’s becoming quite fond of many of the students here.
“This is a really good group of kids. I’m getting along with them and getting to know their names,” Roberts said.
Along with his current success at our school, both with teaching and student relationships like previously described, Roberts also has some goals for what he’d like for the future.
“My favorite class I’m [teaching] right now is geography, [but I wouldn’t mind] history.” Roberts said.
If Roberts doesn’t get his goal of becoming a geography teacher, his degree can still allow him to teach other subjects such as psychology or economics, but his focus for teaching is on the students.
“Making them enjoy learning; that’s my main goal,” Roberts said.