Hello, fellow and future Chicago Semester students! My name is Erin Walters, and I will be blogging for CS on my experiences while I am student teaching this spring. I have already been in the city for about four weeks and have fallen in love with the views, the people, and the pace of Chicago already.
While I am here, I am living in Canterbury Court Apartments, which are conveniently placed in a nice area close to the heart of Chicago. There are so many amazing things happening just outside my door at every moment of the day, and I love that I can hop on the L and go just about anywhere easily. I am a runner, and I have already gone to the lakeshore trail a few times to run along the water, despite the 20-degree, and colder, weather.
My apartment is small, but my roommate and I did some rearranging and decorating as soon as we arrived, and it has made a world of difference. It’s comforting to look at pictures and paintings from home and know that even though I am enjoying myself here, I still have pieces of Holland to keep me company. Living in basically one room with another person sounds like a nightmare, but I’ve found that with school, events in the city to attend, and other friends to visit, it’s actually quite nice.
As for my placement, I am working in a 3rd-grade classroom at the Irving Park campus of Chicago International Charter Schools. I have 29 students in my homeroom, and they are all enjoyably energetic, happy to be learning, and overall a wonderful group to work with. My teacher has actually taught this group for two years now, and I can see how this has strengthened her relationship with her students immensely. I haven’t done a lot of teaching yet, but what I have done has been great and I have learned so much already on how to adjust my plans to tend to the needs of my students, even while I am teaching them.
For the most part, I have adjusted well to living here. The early mornings and commuting to school isn’t always fun or easy, but even that has simply become routine and hasn’t phased me too badly. I am lucky to have another student teacher from CS in my school, and we are able to commute together each morning and evening. I love having someone to share stories and experiences with as we’re taking buses and trains to and from Irving Park.
I look forward to posting more about my experiences while I am here, and hope that you will enjoy reading more about them! The Lord has blessed me with this amazing opportunity, and I am honored to be able to share it with you all and to also record all that I am able to do while living in Chicago.