Watching Students Grow

Suspenders1Paul Franzowiak, Menomonee Falls, Wi., is a Secondary Education Major with an emphasis in Mathematics. After tutoring friends in math, he was inspired to become a teacher. He will have a full 18 week placement at Maplewood Middle School in Menasha.

I feel like it’s been several weeks since I last blogged for the COEHS and my time at Maplewood is still flying by. Next weekend at this time I will be an alumni of the  University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh. I look back and still can remember my first day of college classes and soon enough it will all end. I feel this exact same way with my student teaching placement. I remember walking in my first day and I’m now only a few short weeks of completing my student teaching.

I’ve started to observe other teachers and see how their teaching styles differ from mine. I’ve taken away many different tips, tricks, and words of wisdom from those who know their students and curriculum very well. I know that when I become a full-time teacher I won’t be given many of these opportunities to see other teachers, so I’m trying to get into as many classrooms as possible. I was also able to attend the Green Lake Math Conference this past week and experience many different techniques other teachers around the state are using. This was a good experience to help me stay current with different teaching practices and the ability to see how well these new techniques are working. I took away a lot from this conference and hope to attend it for many years to come.

A couple weekends ago, I ran in the Oshkosh Half Marathon. The next day I shared with the students that I took part in this event and wore a specialty made shirt that I wore during the race. I shared with the students the importance and meaning behind the things on the shirt. After this day, I feel that many of the students started to look at me differently. We were able to relate on a different level and they were able to see a different side of me. I haven’t shared many stories about my life outside of the classroom and being able to share these kinds of stories and sharing parts of my life have gone a long way. This story impacted a few of the students so much that they actually made me a giant card and gave me a balloon that congratulated me on finishing the race and going through this time in my life. I was not expecting anything like this and it really opened my eyes to how much the students and I have grown over the past semester.

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