Monday November 21, 2016

"Field Experience" Is Accurately Named

By Emma Francois

I am a junior, and have been an education major since I started at the University of Dayton. Because this is the case, I have had several field experiences. Field experiences are opportunities to be in a classroom as a preservice teacher. UD does a really good job of getting us in the classroom early. I had my first field experience second semester of freshman year, and have had at least one every year since then. For some universities, education majors do not get into the classroom until their junior year. I think by that point, if you realize you do not want to be an education major, it is almost too late to switch. It is important to get into a classroom and start working with students early, so you know if that is what you really want to do.

My field semester this year is different from any of my previous field experiences because this semester, I got to plan and teach two lessons. Also, for the first time, I am in a Catholic school. I am in a seventh grade math classroom at Incarnation Catholic School in Centerville. This has been an excellent experience for me. It does not feel like that long ago when I myself was a seventh grade student at a Catholic elementary school. It has been really interesting for me to see what happens on the other side of the equation. I have enjoyed getting the opportunity to actually teach, even though it was nerve-wracking, and to develop a relationship with the students at Incarnation.

Field this semester has been a very valuable experience. It has been my first chance to get a small glimpse at the kinds of things that I will be doing everyday as a teacher. Another reason I think field experiences are really important for education majors to have early is because it helps to remind me about why I chose this major. Overall, I like my classes at UD. But three years of learning so much education theory and not actually getting to use it can be tiresome. Getting into the classroom, putting these theories into practice, and forming relationships with the students reminds me about why I have wanted to be a teacher for as long as I can remember. I want to be a teacher because of the funny, quirky, middle schoolers who make each time I go to field exciting and entertaining, and because of all the other students that I will have the opportunity to get to know. What my field experience this semester has impressed upon me is that teaching is definitely what I want to do, and I cannot wait until I get to do it full time.

Edited by Barb Miller and Ben Swick

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