Student teachers finishing their test of the real world

Student teachers finishing their test of the real world

Apr 23
Jennifer Boberg, Senior in Agricultural Education
  

In the past three months, I have seen my fellow student teachers grow into amazing men and women and more importantly, teachers. We have all learned how to be amazing teachers over the course of the past three months from outstanding veterans teachers who have a passion for teaching. Now many of us are searching for agricultural teaching positions of our own (often competing against each other) and we will likely be scattered across the state once again. 

This is the time to reflect on our experiences over the past three months and four years. We have worked tirelessly to achieve the goal that we are about to reach. I’m sure each of us had very different student teaching experiences as we found home in a variety of agricultural programs, but I’m sure we all learned a lot—especially what it really takes to be an agricultural teacher and FFA advisor. We all spent countless nights, reflecting on how we could have done better that day, worrying about the lessons we were going to teach the next day, and just praying that we would make an impact in the three short months we had with our students. I don’t know about the others, but I fell in love with my students in those three months.

On the last day of my student teaching, my students threw a lunch party for me. At the party, one of my students gave me several gifts: duct tape with sheep, safety glasses (for the prepared agriculture teacher), an owl necklace (which I’ve barely taken off since), facial masks (for relaxation), an “I believe in the future of agriculture” painting, and a book full of notes from my students. While all these little gifts were very thoughtful, the one I will cherish for many years to come is the book of notes from my students. Each one of them wrote something to me and mentioned things I had long forgotten. I realized in that moment that I had made an impact on my students in just three short months. If I can do that in just three months with students, I am excited to discover what I can do in an entire year or four years with a student.

After school on my last day, I stayed and spoke with my cooperating teacher. I told him how honored I was to have received such an awesome gift from my students. And he said to me, “That’s what it’s all about, Boberg.” I will forever love those students as my first students. Because of them, I feel more prepared to be a teacher on my own. They threw a lot in my direction—some were unmotivated, others were unwilling to see me as the teacher. But no matter what they threw at me, I took it all in stride and I truly believe I reached each and every one of them. Earlier this week, one of the students I struggled with told my cooperating teacher that he missed me. It feels good. It is nice to know that I can make an impact. Sure, I was there to teach agriculture, but more importantly, I was there to lend a hand, encourage, and inspire kids to work harder and challenge themselves every day.

Teaching agriculture is really just bonus to being able to work with students and see that light bulb click on and their eyes light up. I learned many important teaching lessons during my student teaching experience; however, the greatest lesson I learned is teaching is more than instructing students in a subject, it’s really about being a role model and someone your students can count on.

 

Jennifer Boberg