Student teaching helps build relationships, gives hands-on experience

Building relationships with her kindergarten students was Kate Cowle’s favorite thing about student teaching at Burton Hill Elementary this semester.

“I think relationships are very important to develop with your students, because they will respect you more, and they’ll listen to you,” said Cowle, Senior Early Childhood Education major.

Senior Early Childhood Education majors from the College of Education participated in student teaching every Friday throughout the fall semester at several elementary schools in Fort Worth to give them hands on experience, and help prepare them to student teach in the spring, Cowle said.

Student teaching allows students to experience and learn things about teaching they can’t get from textbooks, said Cynthia Williams, education professor.

“The biggest element they learn from student teaching is how to be effective as a classroom manager, and dealing with situations that you don’t necessarily anticipate from a theoretical standpoint, so learning how to deal with parents, and learning how to deal with children, those actually take doing,” Williams said.

Sarah Pottinger, senior Early Childhood Education major, said student teaching has taught students how to have good classroom management, and how to be in charge while still having a good relationship with students.

“Being in the classroom has helped so much because the teachers have been giving me advice, and I think just having the experience helps tremendously because you’re actually in the room, hands on, working with the kids. You’re teaching and giving lessons, so instead of just watching you’re actually doing it,”said Pottinger.

Being able to work one on one with her kindergarten students, and watch them progress throughout the semester has been a rewarding expirience, said Pottinger.

“It shows that if you just believe in them, they can grow,” said Pottinger.