South students and teachers express opinions about incoming student teachers

Dana Sim, Staff Reporter

Several hours of observation and teaching are a part of a student teacher’s curriculum, and South is one of many schools open to teachers-in-training. However, giving these student teachers the opportunity to experience their profession can create an environment that not all students prefer to their regular teachers.

According to an Oracle-conducted survey of 180 students, 78 percent have had a student teacher.

Caitlin Reichert, special education teacher, said South is a welcoming place for student teachers. Reichert is on the official staff for the first time after being a student teacher last year at South.

“[South] lets you get a really good impression of what it’s like to be a teacher,” Reichert said. “By the end of my time here, I was teaching all of my cooperating teacher’s classes, so I did kind of get that experience of what it’s like. The only difference is now I have more of the paperwork and [have to go to meetings].”

Freshman Rosa Hernandez enjoys and appreciates student teachers, considering them refreshing and a change from normal.

“I feel like [the student teachers relate more to the students] because they’re younger and they know how it feels like to be sitting in class,” Hernandez said. “They add [to their teaching] what they had wanted to learn in school [as a student].”

However, sophomore Dorothy Yosnovsica doesn’t benefit from being taught by a student teacher, she said.

“They just got out of college and don’t know how to teach, so it’s very frustrating as a sophomore, ” Yosnovsica said.

Yosnovsica has had multiple student teachers and has had multiple misunderstandings with them in the past.

“So we were reviewing over our tests, and [my student teacher asked] if anyone had any questions,” Yosnovsica said. “One of my friends asked her [to cover] something on the test. The teacher just said, ‘Oh, you guys are first period, so I forgot to teach you that material.’ So we asked her if she was going to [give us points back]. She said no. That’s unfair.”

Junior Mark Risinger has a different perspective on student teachers. Risinger said that it is the student’s fault if they are frustrated by a student teacher.

“Student teachers are often younger and less confident […] Students notice this right away and use it to their advantage,” Risinger said. “Not only does [this] harm the education of the students who aren’t learning the material, but I think it discourages a lot of [student] teachers. Think about their dream of inspiring their students and making a difference, only to be faced with a bunch of rude, disrespectful and mentally checked-out students.”

Math teacher Bill Lyon is a cooperating teacher, a teacher who allows student teachers to teach some of their classes, in the Math Department. According to Lyon, he believes having student teachers also improves the cooperating teacher.

“When I started at Glenbrook South, I was not as good at teaching as I am today,” Lyon said. “You can’t help but get better with experience.”

Slyvia Gorski is a student teacher from Northwestern University currently observing here at South. Gorski plans to student teach beginning second semester.

“I remember when I was in high school, I was like, ‘Yes, student teacher. It’s going to be an easy quarter,’” Gorski said. “But I hope that’s not what [the students] are thinking.”

Gorski appreciates South for allowing her to get more involved during observations.

“I’m not a stranger in the classroom,” Gorski said. “They know me, which is great. That doesn’t always happen when you’re doing observations. And when I start student teaching, the kids will already know [who I am].”

Student teaching is an important aspect of becoming a good teacher according to Reichert.

“It was so vital,” Reichert said. “I would not be doing well here without all the help everyone gave me.”