My practicum experience during my block semester at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire was extremely influential in my journey to become a teacher. My time in the classroom confirmed my passion for teaching and the desire I have to make a positive impact on my students.
During this placement, I was able to gain experience in teaching small groups of students, interacting with the whole class as a large group and working with students individually. Through these interactions I gained confidence, courage and motivation. For the first time, I witnessed the transformation of a lesson plan. What began as words I created on paper turned into students interacting with one another and growing and learning together. I gained confidence in my role as an educator as I saw students participating in discussions, asking questions and working hard on a task.
During this semester, I experienced courage in a way I never had before. As I found myself becoming more comfortable in the classroom and settling into my role, I realized I could take more risks in my teaching by asking challenging questions and incorporating tasks that required students to seek additional guidance from a teacher. By the end of my time in my placement, I gained courage not only as a teacher but as a role model in the classroom. I also developed as an individual in the community and as a young woman beginning a career journey.
This practicum experience truly motivated me. As I worked beside students who came from a variety of backgrounds, the great need for caring and intentional teachers in our classrooms became quite clear to me. There are many moving parts that contribute to an educator’s role, and this experience gave me so much insight into what being a teacher is really all about.
Like any teacher, I want to explain concepts clearly to students and answer their questions thoroughly, but I will also be a teacher who motivates young people to be more than just good students. I want to be a practitioner who instills the importance of being an outstanding student and individual inside and outside the classroom.
There are many variables and difficult realities that impact a teacher’s ability to reach students, from available resources, classroom time restrictions and limits on one-one-one attention available to students. Learning about these limitations has not scared me away from being an educator. Rather, understanding these hurdles has motivated me to keep moving forward. These realities have inspired me to try even harder with each step I take on my journey to becoming a great teacher.