15 Things I Learned While Student Teaching

Student teaching is a time of humongous growth. Throughout my process I learned many things, some humorous and light-hearted, and some serious and hard-hitting. Here are a few:

  1. I LOATHE the small talk people insist on having around the copy machine. No, I do not want to discuss the weather or how your kids are acting today. Let me copy in peace people, it’s the two seconds of peace I get in my day.
  2. I will NEVER get over the way a student’s face lights up after they see that they aced a test they worked so hard on. Never gets old to me. I discuss this a little in this blog.

  3. The Matthew effect is going strong in the schools. It doesn’t matter if it’s a title one school or a school in a more affluent area of the state, our schools have a sharp divide between  those who are strong and are growing and those are weak and are getting left behind.
  4. My last name is a KILLER. Here are a few things I got called this semester (my name is Ms. Fricker): Ms. Frankel, Ms. Sprinkles (yes, really), Ms. Flickers, Ms. Fountain, Ms. Frickers. Once my mom got called Ms.Furniture while she was a teacher. Maybe I’ll go with Ms. F next year. . . image
  5. When you take school work, your classroom, education, and discipline seriously in your room, your students take it seriously. When I began to do this in my reading and math group in the elementary school, my students changed overnight. You could see the concentration on their faces. You could tell they understood that what they were learning was important and worth their time.
  6. Building off of #5, students thrive off of consistency and discipline. They do their best work when they already know the rules and the order of the day.
  7. There are some teachers in our public schools who are the epitome of a FANTASTIC teacher. I have seen things happen where I wish I could rewind time and videotape what happened because it was that perfect. These teachers are not receiving enough recognition.
  8. On the other hand, there are some pretty HORRIFIC teachers who are flying under the radar. Like cringe-worthy.
  9. I’m SHORT. I was so thrilled to transition from the high school to the elementary school because I thought I would feel tall for once. Incorrect. My 4th graders are my height. (I’m 5’1 on a good day) Please refer to photo below to clear up any confusion.image-1
  10. The moment you become a teacher, you adopt 20+ children. Friends, family and coworkers know that when I refer to a child as my “baby”, that I mean my students. They are my children and my world, and I will do anything to help them grow.
  11. Encouragement goes an EXTREMELY long way. My students have drastically changed over four weeks simply from the fact that they fully understand now that they are capable of anything, as long as they work hard. I have seen volunteering in class sky-rocket and amount of questions decrease. My students are experimenting in class and taking chances that I so longed to see four weeks ago.
  12. Students find it hilarious when you drop things. In an earlier blog, I referenced to my future game designer, here. Whenever I would drop something he would say “butterfingers”. When I drop things I can still hear him in the back of my head
  13. Worksheets are in fact not the devil like so taught in pre-service teacher training. When I was first student teaching I was wracking my brain trying to think of activity upon activity to do and was absolutely exhausting myself trying to come up with interactive experiments for class. I finally realized that worksheets DO have a time and a place in the classroom, and can be used effectively.
  14. Students know way more than we think they do, and way more than they think they do.

  15. Our education system needs to be overhauled more than anything right now. Hundreds of thousands of students are getting left behind.We CAN make change in our schools, but we need to be a team.
  16. I adore teaching more than anything in the world.

What did you learn as a student teacher or a first year teacher? Comment below and let me know!


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