From the Perspective of Chicago Semester Student Teachers

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Student Teaching - Week #11

by Erin Schrupp - Ray Elementary

Hey all, sorry I haven’t been on top of my writing lately. I’ve been busy with my WONDERFUL STUDENTS! So this past week has been a pretty good week. I’m finally starting to get into my “groove” in regards to student teaching. The first week I started student teaching I was absolutely EXHAUSTED. I don’t think I was really prepared for it until I actually had to take over everything. Yes, I said everything. Every little thing that you can think of…I took over it. So the past couple of weeks have been a little rough, but I’m finally starting to feel comfortable remembering everything I have to do. I knew that life as a teacher would be hard, but I know that if you are well-organized and are very passionate about teaching, you’ll be just fine. It’s been cool for me to see my students continue learning, even though I’m the one who’s teaching them.

Some special moments that have happened this past week have dealt with my students. My students are now calling my cooperating teacher Ms. Schrupp (which is my name). This is super fun and hilarious because my students are calling my name so much that they accidentally call my teacher my name as well. It makes me feel like I’m doing something right, as my students continue to ask me questions and depend on me whole-heartedly for their learning. 

A verse that has really been on my heart this past week is: Philippians 4:6 "Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God."  It is hard not to be anxious, nervous, or stressed-out when you have so many things to do.  But it is ALWAYS important to remember that we need to bring our stressors to the One who can handle them.  We can't go through life on our own.  We need a Savior, and He is holding me up throughout this whole experience.  

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Student Teaching - Week #9

by Erin Schrupp - Ray Elementary

Right now, I’m in the middle of FINALLY finishing my EdTPA (YES!) and beginning to teach full-time. Yes, full-time means everything in the elementary grades. Every single little thing you can think of. Remembering the attendance, the lunch count, switching the jobs in my classroom, giving the students homework to take home every night, classroom management checklists, copies, copies, AND MORE COPIES! 

To be honest it’s been an exhausting experience and I’m only in my first week. However, if I wasn't exhausted right now, I would think something was wrong. I know that good teachers put in extra time for their students. I should be exhausted! It’s my first time completely taking over everything. But even though I’m exhausted, I feel extremely humbled. I’m humbled because as I took over everything, my students act as if this is normal. They come to me for everything now and they trust that I will be there to help them learn. I’ve realized this past week that the reason I go to school every day is because my students need me. They need me to help them learn and to succeed in life. Now, that’s a pretty big responsibility if you ask me! Needless to say, I am so extremely busy right now, but it’s so rewarding at the same time!

Hubbard Street Dance Chicago performs Jiří Kylián
in its 2014 Spring Series
This past week Chicago Semester hosted this art activity where students got to go and watch a ballet. I was so bummed, but I was so busy with student teaching that I wasn’t able to attend! However, I’m still so thankful that Chicago Semester offers us these activities to go to that help us get a different taste of Chicago every week.

Monday, March 10, 2014

Student Teaching - Week #8

by Guest Blogger Rita Clousing - Mark Sheridan Academy

Note - Erin hurt her back and has been out of commission all week, so her roommate, Rita is blogging this week.  We expect Erin to return next week.

Smiles, disappointment, laughs, weariness, testing, birthday, jigging, joy. All of these encapsulate my past week.

Last week was a journey full of many hidden surprises. ISAT testing was taking place in grades 3-8. For 3 hours every morning our school was on testing lock down for tests that don’t seem to matter any more. But, because of a deal CPS signed, the students are required to undergo the stress of standardized testing.

With that said, my fifth graders were champs. After our routine bathroom run, we would blast the song “Happy” from Despicable Me 2, and have a 4-minute dance party to get the oxygen flowing through our brains. Needless to say, there were ear-to-ear smiles as we all clapped our hands. And for those four minutes we all felt like we were in a room without a roof.

Yet the days could feel long, and students who are normally tired of school were even less willing to apply themselves. No matter how I tried to show those students I care about them, they chose not to respond. It’s disappointing to see smart students start giving up.

I’ve been challenged this week. I am the Lord’s hands and feet. To a child who is so thirsty and, under all those layers, is grasping for help. I am His loving glances, encouraging words, and enthusiastic high-fives.

Drew, Krissa, Me, and Blair with my birthday muffins
Although there are moments when I feel weary, the Lord always surprises me with His joy. On Thursday it was my birthday. So on Tuesday night during our seminar, Lisa and my fellow student teachers surprised me with muffins and candles! It was so sweet of all of them to think of my birthday, and I was so surprised! Thursday morning I wasn’t planning on the students doing anything for my birthday, but they also surprised me with a very sweet birthday wish on the board. Throughout the day my students would grin and say, “Happy Birthday, Ms. Clousing!” When we rotated for Science, my other class came in singing “Happy Birthday”. I couldn’t help but laugh and feel loved and appreciated by the students and staff. My roommates were very sweet and spent time celebrating with me that night. I went to Grand Lux Café on Michigan Ave for dinner, which was absolutely delicious. Their beignets are divine.

Wednesday night was full of tap-dancing joy as we went to a production called The Heartbeat of Home with the Chicago Semester program. I really had no idea what to expect, but it turned out to be a show mostly of Irish dancing mixed with acts of tap-dancing, salsa, and hip-hop. The talent of the dancers was out of this world! It was a great night downtown!

It was a productive, surprising week in Chicago, and more adventures are in store for the weeks to come.