My Students

By Anna Herring

anna with students

Various personality types are represented in my class of 18 students. I don’t play “favorites,” but I have developed good relationships with my students and am particularly close to some of them. One student who I have come to know and love is always ready to listen, anxious to learn, and willing to help others at a moment’s notice. He stays after school due to a challenging home life, but I never see him without a smile. He is such a pleasure to teach. He makes my day brighter, and every day after school while he waits for his family to pick him up, he and I get a chance to talk about what he has learned in class. One day I taught him how to tell time, and we’ve had some other great conversations. When we were talking about American government, I told him that if he ever ran for president, I would vote for him in a heartbeat! He got this little smile on his face and gave me a high five.

Another of my great students struggled with behavior problems at the beginning of the semester. I realized that he needed to know that I cared before I would be able to help him be successful in his schoolwork. I stayed late after school one day to help him with a paper. While we were working, he began to see how much I cared. As I got to know him, I began to see him as a person instead of just another student. Throughout the semester I have learned what makes him stressed and what causes him to act up during class. He knows that I am there for him and that we can work to get over academic rough patches together. I know how to get him to smile! Even though he also has a difficult home life, he knows that he can come to school to learn and that the adults here care about him.

"Throughout the semester I have learned what makes him stressed and what causes him to act up during class. He knows that I am there for him and that we can work to get over academic rough patches together."

My student teaching has been so rewarding that it’s hard to pick a highlight of the semester. I’ll always remember the time when one of my students said to me, “Ms. Herring, I love you like a mom, but sometimes you can be kind of stern.” “Stern” doesn’t necessarily sound positive, but at the time that I received this feedback, I wasn’t sure how much my class respected me as a teacher. The mother of the student who expressed this statement is currently in prison. I am grateful that this student saw me as a caring adult figure, but that she also saw that I had high expectations for behavior in my class.

Anna Herring, a senior studying elementary education who is a member of the MSE Student Alumni Board, is student teaching in Washington DC. Follow Anna’s urban student teaching experience during her semester in our nation’s capitol.

Anna Herring sitting next to a statue of Abraham Lincoln


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