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Twas The Night Before Clinical

This is a guest blog post by Dr. Mary Risacher who is an Assistant Professor of Education for Southwest Minnesota State University in Marshall, Minnesota. Her background includes teaching Early Childhood, Kindergarten and serving as the Director of an Early Childhood At-Risk Program with an emphasis on pairing young children and families to needed resources. She currently teaches introductory educational and Early Childhood licensure courses for the School of Education at SMSU, as well as serving as Director of the Early Childhood Extended Learning 2+2 Program. You can find her on Twitter @MaryRisacher.

Blog Mary Clinical

It is spring – one of my most favorite seasons. We have come out of the dark, dreary days. The birds are back…the sun is with us in the evening…the worst is behind us. Well, at least that is my perception.

I know a group of students who might be wishing this week away. It is clinical time when my online students travel from across the state to show off the skills they have gained while completing their year-long method courses.

I teach the online section of ED 423 Classroom Management. The culminating event is a clinical where students take over a classroom for two days. For my online students, this is most often their first trip to campus and first time meeting instructors. That alone can be nerve wracking, but couple that with having to teach in a new setting, and you have a very nervous group.

I remind them at the start of the course this is a moment in a life time, make the most of it. Life is made up of moments some good, some bad, but it really is just a string of moments that when faced with one you don’t think you can survive – take it for what it is worth for another moment will be right around the corner. In a short time, this will be a memory and you will be facing all new moments – challenging or rewarding take what you can from them and continue forward.

I am writing this prior to meeting my online students for Clinical. Here is a bit of prose…I am not a poet and I do know it… so as you read this please know that writing poetry is not one of my gifts 🙂  I will follow up and share how the Clinical experience went for my students – until then….

It was the night before Clinical and all through the school the pre-service teachers were calm, collected, and cool.

Lesson plans had been prepared, schedules were by the door in hopes that supervisors would give a high score.

The countdown had begun, in just a few hours the kiddos would arrive…would the SMSU students survive?

Then down the hallway there arose such a clatter Dr. Risacher went to see what was the matter.

There before her stood 20 pre-service teachers and a copier up to no good!

It had been churning out copies without a hitch, then suddenly there was a glitch.

“Have no fear!” said Mary. “I know what to do when a copier is contrary.”

Then as quick as a wink and before the students could blink the copier was fixed without another hitch.

Back to their classrooms the students did fly to finish all last-minute details before the kiddos arrive.

Rooms at the ready and binders complete, it time to begin this great feat!

The kiddos arrive not knowing the thrills that await them. The days fly by with little abatement. (not sure if this is correct usage – but it rhymes 🙂 )

Adjustments were made here and there, and lessons were done with little time to spare.

At the end of day two the students wondered, “With no planning to complete what will we do?”

“For now,” Dr. Risacher said, “get off your feet and go to bed. It’s time to rest that weary head!”

Tomorrow you will find these moments in time are a treasure and only just one measure.

Clinical is over and the course nearly through—be proud of all you’ve accomplished at SMSU!

The results are in, it was a huge WIN! ~Mary

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

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