By Kassidy Hart– As education seniors are nearing the end of their last full semester of classes, nerves are high, and they are anxious to finish up their checklist before graduation.
“For the education program, I have almost all of the classes completed. I also am scheduled to take the Praxis II Pedagogy and Content Tests. Checkpoint 4 is also in the back of my mind, which should be during my student teaching semester,” senior Makayla Mozak said.
Schedules this semester have been busy as students complete their final content classes in order to be prepared for a full semester that is focused on getting full and authentic experience in the classroom.
“This semester has been easier in the aspect of less busy work and more beneficial work that can be used in the future but harder in the aspect of quality of work because there are higher expectations at this stage,” senior Jenna Dirkx said.
Because of high-quality coursework requirement, most seniors have tried to prioritize classes in order to maintain their grade point averages.
“My main focus this semester was my classes for sure. I have a 4.0 GPA, and I am taking a course to fulfill one of my general education requirements that is not my strong suit. I knew in order to keep my 4.0 GPA I would have to apply myself a lot more in that course. I am making sure to stay on top of my schoolwork and really put my best effort into my assignments so I can get the most of them,” Mozak said.
Because they are focused on completing high-quality coursework one semester before student teaching, preparation proves to be essential early on in students’ education careers.
“I feel very prepared in writing lessons and objectives, administering checks for understanding, classroom management, establishing relationships with my future students, and most of all, self-reflection,” Mozak said.
Their physical and mental preparation has not only developed through the education program, but also through students’ individual experiences outside of the classroom. Multiple students looking to go into education as a career get jobs early in school settings, such as before and after school programs. These jobs give students real-world practice working with kids.
“I feel prepared for classroom management because of my work experience at the BASIC program at Sergeant Bluff Primary Building,” senior Colvin Jenness said.
Even prior to coming to college, or reaching working age, students have found their passions to align with the idea of teaching, and because of this, pursued the career later in life.
“I found that I wanted to be a teacher when I was in the Boy Scouts. Teaching came easy and I enjoyed having students be able to learn complicated concepts whilst having fun,” senior Tristen Arrick said.
Despite feeling prepared for the last chapter in the education program here at Morningside, students are still nervous for various reasons as they approach the next chapter in their lives – such as getting a good cooperating teacher or figuring out ways to get to know their students quickly.
“My biggest concern is how I can best connect with students to enrich their learning. I want to make sure that I understand my students’ concerns and develop the concerns into strengths,” Arrick said.
These nerves seem to be common and accepted as a part of prior to preservice teaching.
“Of course, they can’t teach us everything because every day, every student, and every year is different, but they can sure give us the tools we need to be successful as future educators,” Mozak said. Plans for where to teach are in the works, but for now, students are anticipating their placements that should be assigned sooner than later