Teacher Candidates Strive to be Better


You will never be perfect, teacher candidates, but this 2-day clinical experience you just successfully accomplished will certainly make you better! Always strive for better! Congratulations! We commend you!

Our SMSU teacher candidates plan and carry out a 2-day, theme-based clinical experience in a local elementary school. Working together in groups of two or three, our teacher candidates pick a theme and then plan all lessons around this theme. From Candy Land, to superheroes, to jungles, to sports, to camping, to surfing, to iPhone apps…the teacher candidates work collaboratively to make a welcome door decoration that accessorizes their theme along with writing 14 or more lesson plans for those two days.

And so their teaching take-over began. I had to laugh when I was sitting on the steps inside one of the school buildings looking over a children’s book I was going to read to a kindergarten class as their guest reader. One of the teacher candidates was visiting with me about this book when unexpectedly the fire alarm went off.

The teacher candidate frantically asked, “Is this real???” I just smiled and calmly concurred, “Yes indeedy, Tiff, this is real.”

Off she runs up the stairs, taking two steps at a time to go rescue her students from the library and get them outside to safety…a true superhero. I couldn’t help but giggle. 🙂

After the fire drill was over, and we were all walking back into the school building, the elementary principal was walking towards me with a HUGE grin on his face. I wagged my pointing finger at him and jokingly accused “You are naughty, Mr. Swenson.”  He just snickered and said he wanted these SMSU teacher candidates to have a real teaching experience. Funny guy! 🙂

I’ve always been curious how many steps a teacher takes during a day in the classroom. Well, many of our teacher candidates wear Fitbits. An email went out asking them to keep track of the number of steps they took on the last day of their clinical experience. If you’re curious, here are the results. The average number of steps for the second day was 8,715.44. The highest number of steps was 15,435, and we did have one outlier at 3,113.

One genius idea came from a fourth grade team. These teacher candidates requested their students to continually evaluate their communication skills. How? The teacher candidates asked the kids to give a specific signal whenever they heard the teacher candidates say “um,” “uh,” and/or “you guys.” If the fourth graders heard these words spoken, the signal was given and the guilty teacher candidate had to do five jumping jacks. One of the teacher candidates said she probably had to do around 100 jumping jacks the first day. What a GREAT way to reflect and correct a bad habit. Brilliant idea, ladies! Stealing it!! 🙂

Trust us when we say, teacher candidates, that this 2-day, theme-based clinical experience will be one you remember for the rest of your lives. Kudos to you on a job well done.

Thanks for sharing all the great pics. We will let your pictures tell the story…












Stay Calm & Teach On!
Profs Dr. Wendy. & Dr. V.

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