SMSU School of Education takes pride in the clinical experiences we offer to our teacher candidates. From the time they are freshman in ED 101 Introduction to Education to when they are student teaching at the end of their teacher preparation program, our teacher candidates get to be in the classrooms quite often and practice what it is truly like to be a teacher. And, we all know that practice makes perfect.
An SMSU field experience highlight is our 2-day clinical during the teacher candidates’ junior year. The secondary majors complete this 2-day experience during the fall. The elementary education majors complete the 2-day clinical in the spring as the capstone of their classroom management course (although it will now be during the fall beginning 2018-2019 school year).
Austin, who is an elementary education major from Jackson, MN, described clinical the best when he wrote, “clinical was the most stressful but satisfying two days of my life.” Thank you for that, Mr. Olson! Well penned! I guarantee you will never forget it. I graduated over 30-plus years ago from SMSU (SSU at that time), and I still remember my clinical experience like it was just yesterday.
This year was an exceptional clinical year as our SMSU teacher candidates were completing their last week of pre-student teaching the week prior to clinical. Throw in a few unexpected snow days to cause them to have to make up that time, and these future teachers learned how to stretch and grow with unpredictable circumstances.
When all is said and done, the best reaction from all teacher candidates (and the professors of the Classroom Management courses) was the passionately charged fist pump in the air and a LOUD ecstatic “YES!” The on-campus teacher candidates did it.
Up next…the 2 + 2 teacher candidates, traveling from all over the state of MN, will arrive in Marshall in April to participate in their special 2-day clinical. Best wishes to all of you and to your professor. You too, will give the universal “YES!” fist pump in the air when you successfully complete these two exhausting days.
I asked my students to write down fun stories from their 2-day experience. While I’d love to share all of them, I share just one as it is the first time in over 16 years this has happened during my tenure as the ED 423 Classroom Management professor.
“In the last two minutes of the first day, a student pulled out his tooth. He didn’t say anything. We didn’t notice until the other students told us. We didn’t have any plastic bags in the classroom. We had to find some paper towels to wrap it up in.”
I guess next year I’ll share with my teacher candidates what to do if a student loses a tooth. 😉
Life and teaching are like your 2-day clinical, teacher candidates. There will be ups and downs. There will be best moments and worst moments. There will be unexpected twists and turns. However…knowing that you can stretch and grow from life and all teaching experiences and survive them; then you can give an enthusiastic fist pump in the air and say “YES!” Yes to giving your all. YES to survival. YES to a job well done! YES to the best profession on Earth. YES to SMSU School of Education. Congrats to all of you! 🙂