A Unique Experience

MelissaMelissa Walters, from Milwaukee, is graduating with a dual major in special education and general education for first through eighth grade. She has had a life long dream of becoming a teacher. Her 18-week session is broken into two 9-week programs. Oliver Wendell Holmes Elementary  for the first 9-weeks, and Bethune Academy for the second both in the Milwaukee Public School System.

It is hard to believe that my first student teaching placement is halfway completed. This week I began full-time, lead teaching.  This means that from our entering procedures to assigning homework and signing behavior sheets, I am in charge.  Thanks to the consistent support of my cooperating teacher, it has been a very smooth transition.  My students have also responded very well to the change. Each day is definitely a unique experience, but there has yet to be a day where I don’t find joy in teaching and working with the amazing students at O.W. Holmes. These students have truly become my students and have already affected my life.  Beyond lesson plans and homework, this is what it means to be a teacher.

One very stressful part of being a teacher in the world today is the hunt for a job.  Although it has been mentioned that the Milwaukee Public Schools are looking for 700 to hire for the fall, there is a crowd of much more than that 700 looking for employment.  This reality hit me hard this weekend while attending a job fair in Milwaukee. I spent almost four straight hours meeting teachers and principals from throughout the district hoping that someone would remember my face, my resume or my mint green blazer.  It can be difficult to make sense of everything that needs to happen between now and teaching.  Although finding any job can be difficult, it is a unique experience in the field of education.  In a district such as MPS, there are so many people with so many various experiences, you have to simply hope that someone finds a special trust in you.  In your hands are the minds of any number of students who need you to be at your prime to help them reach their full potential.  Teaching is what I’ve always wanted to do, I just have to find a way to get there.  Fingers crossed.

There have been so many situations throughout my student teaching placement that catch me off guard, teach me something new, and sometimes, take my breath away.  It is in those moments that I realize that I am in the right place.

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