The McKay School Prepared me to Teach Anywhere
By Anna Herring
The McKay School of Education (MSE) provided me with the foundational concepts and techniques I needed to go into schools. I don’t think I would have been able to survive my first week here without the confidence and lessons I learned while studying in the McKay School’s Teacher Education Department. The faculty, classes, and practicum experiences provided me with the knowledge, skills, and confidence I needed to move forward with student teaching and eventually to teach in a classroom of my own. I feel more prepared than ever because of the way MSE programs gradually ease students into assuming responsibility. For example, during our first year in the program, we were learning the concepts that we would be teaching. We then had a year of “how to teach” the concepts, and finally we were given more responsibilities in an actual classroom until we finally gained control over an entire class during student teaching. This great system helped me to gain the necessary skills to become a successful teacher in my future classroom.
I have always planned on that “future classroom” being back in Arizona or Utah, but this teaching experience has opened my mind to the many different opportunities "I want my students to enjoy coming to school to learn because they feel safe in the classroom and because they know their true potential." available to educators. I had planned on always being one type of teacher, and I pictured in my mind what my classroom would look like. After this semester I’ve realized that each grade and each student is different with specific needs, and that I need to structure my classroom according to the students’ needs. I now know that I prefer living in the West, but teaching here has helped me to envision what type of teacher I want to be in the future. I want my students to enjoy coming to school to learn because they feel safe in the classroom and because they know their true potential.
Although much of my desire to teach in the American West stems from a desire to be near family and friends, because of my experience in DC I am more open to teaching in different places. For example, I would be interested in teaching in a foreign country in the future. I feel prepared to teach anywhere after what I’ve learned as an MSE student and as a DC student teacher.
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.