From the Perspective of Chicago Semester Student Teachers

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Student Teaching - Week #4

by Jessica Stob Mills - Daniel Boone Elementary School

Life in the City Student Teaching

Recently I, Jessica, “graduated” from Calvin College with a Special Education and Elementary Education degree; I just have my final student teaching placement here in Chicago. This summer after finishing my Special Education student teaching, I came back home to the Chicago suburbs to finish planning my wedding and then I got married. I’ve been living in the city now since July and I see and experience something new everyday.
Coming up to week four in student teaching, I am feeling a sense of belonging. I think that there was an adjustment period that everybody has coming to a new place, but it has been definitely more of an adjustment than usual for me.
This week I have been trying out new routes to get to and from my student teaching placement. I live in the South Loop and Daniel Boone Elementary is way up on the most northern part of the city. I enjoy taking new routes because it lets me see different parts of Chicago, and let me tell you, they vary so much from neighborhood to neighborhood. Which, by the way, I learned, from Chicago Semester leaders no less, there are 77 different neighborhoods in Chicago

So, about that belonging bit I mentioned… This week at Daniel Boone we were getting ready for the open house, which was last Thursday. Even amongst the hustle and bustle of finishing up projects to show the parents, I was able to take on more responsibility with teaching and was observed for the first time! So far in my 3rd grade classroom,  I am teaching a sub-subject of math, number of the day and daily problem practice.  I am also starting to take on more responsibilities with guided reading groups and social studies. I really feel like I’m becoming more of a predominant role in the classroom; it makes me feel like I have a sense of ownership and belonging.

Life in the City Outside of Student Teaching

This past weekend the students who live in the Chicago Semester housing held a Progressive Dinner. It is such a neat idea. Three apartments provided appetizers, then everyone went to three different apartments for dinner, and the evening ended with dessert at three more apartments.  

I went to Chicago's own Goose Island Brewery this weekend. It is so fun to take advantage of all the cool places you can go to in Chicago. 

What I am looking forward to...

I think for next week the thing I am looking forward to the most is probably… gulp… tackling the neighborhood project. I’ve got a partner in crime to help me out with it (another student teacher who teaches with me, Samantha S.) but I’m still a little nervous because this is one of the first big projects we get graded on.