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Graduation is near, but student teaching continues


Matthew Wolfert is an Elementary Education major (PreK- 8th grade) with minors in English as a Second Language (ESL) and Music major.  Matt is teaching in Milwaukee, WI at the end of January with the UW System’s Institute of Urban Education (IUE) 

Happy finals week to everyone at the UWO campus! Although I am attending the graduation ceremony on Saturday, I still will be continuing student teaching through the second week of June. Although I will not finish the semester with others who are finishing up this week on campus, I am enjoying my time at a new school placement, Escuela Vieau School.

At Escuela Vieau School, I am the ESL student teacher for 2nd, 4th, and 8th grade students. Escuela Vieau School is a developmental bilingual school in Milwaukee Public Schools and is located in the up-and-coming Walker’s Point neighborhood. The students are fun and energetic, and there are many opportunities for families to become involved in their children’s education.

As an ESL teacher, I had to make the transition from teaching content to teaching language. At first, this took extra planning time on my behalf; however, I am now getting the hang of it. I am enjoying learning about my students’ cultures and backgrounds. Also, due to me not being a Spanish speaker, I am enjoying the free Spanish lessons students enjoy teaching me during recess duty!

Recently, I helped the parent committee prepare for a Mother’s Day program that was held at Vieau School the Friday before Mother’s Day weekend. Various classes (4K-8th grade) performed dances, songs, and poetry for parents who attended. The free event also provided a meal for the guests. In the end, the Mother’s Day program was phenomenal! Over 500 people attended the program and enjoyed watching the student have a blast performing their acts on stage.

In the next upcoming weeks, I will be continuing to focus on teaching ESL at Escuela Vieau School. Additionally, I will begin preparing for my journey after college. In July, I am leaving to begin a 27-month volunteer commitment with the Peace Corps in South Africa. I will be taking what I have learned from my studies and experiences at UW-Oshkosh and student teaching to help others around the world. I am very happy where I am today, and I am very excited to see where my journey will continue to take me.

Valentine’s Day, Field Trips, and Dr. Seuss! Oh My!

MattCabinMatthew Wolfert is an Elementary Education major (PreK- 8th grade) with minors in English as a Second Language (ESL) and Music major.  Matt is teaching in Milwaukee, WI at the end of January with the UW System’s Institute of Urban Education (IUE) 

Time has flown by since I began student teaching, and I have been enjoying teaching 4th grade at Gwen T. Jackson Early Childhood and Elementary School very much. As of this upcoming week, I will be teaching reading, math, science, and social studies. I enjoy “digging deeper” in content with my students and pushing them to think more about the “whys”, “hows”, and “what ifs” in all of the content areas.

On February 14th, I felt admired by all 15 of my students, as I had received the most Valentine’s Day gifts than I had in a while! We had a little fun on Valentine’s Day doing crossword puzzles, eating cupcakes, and discovering if we had any secret admirers or not. Along with our mini-Valentine’s Day Party, we have been having fun learning about animal adaptations at the Milwaukee County Zoo, the Great Lakes at Discovery World, and we are soon to experience a performance at Lincoln Center of the Arts.

Along with going on field trips throughout the city of Milwaukee, we also had a visitor in our classroom this past week. His name was Sheldon and he was a Wisconsin box turtle, visiting from the zoo. We expanded our knowledge of animal adaptations and learned that because Wisconin’s prairies are shrinking, Sheldon, and the remaining box turtles, have become an endangered species of turtles. Learning about animal endangerment due to unhealthy animal habitats led into my introduction of teaching ecology. The students have been doing a great job learning how to better treat the earth in order to help protect the Great Lakes, Wisconsin’s prairies, forests, and other habitats.

Lastly, to tie in what students have been learning about regarding ecology and celebrate Dr. Seuss’s birthday, I will be introducing Dr. Seuss’s, The Lorax to students when I teach reading. We will talk about The Lorax’s main idea(s) and how details and examples supported the main idea (preserving the earth’s natural resources).

I have been enjoying creating and teaching my creative lessons, along with challenging myself to think “out of the box” to meet all of my students’ learning styles. Student teaching has been teaching me a lot of things. It is very different from learning about how to teach in the college classrooms; however, I find myself using every skill and technique I learned about at UWO to be successful at teaching my fourth grade students.

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