All teachers were once student teachers. All have ventured through that one-on-one emersion into the classroom. And for many, the experience becomes the determining factor of where their vocation would take them. For some, years later they will be ask to mentor a student teacher. Thus, the cycle begins all over again and the torch is passed.
For Mrs. Julie Leisure (first grade teacher Mays Elementary School) the request became real last fall.
“Would you be willing to have a student teacher in your classroom,” Mrs. Nancy Schroeder (principal at Mays) asked.
“When you are asked this question a lot of concerns come to mind! Can I do this? Do I have enough time to do this with everything else that is going on in the classroom? And, what will my students lose or gain in the process? I must admit at first I wasn’t sure I wanted to take this on, mainly because I’d never had a student teacher. However, with a little urging and consideration, I decided to give it a try,” Leisure stated.
So, Mrs. Julie Leisure’s first student teacher, Mr. Josh Sanchez joined her classroom in January. Mr. Sanchez graduated from Connersville High School and attends Ball State University. Ball State’s Teachers College prepares committed professionals and leaders in all areas critical to the educational experience. As their name suggests, they educate the next generation of outstanding classroom teachers. For Mr. Sanchez it was time to put his classroom foundation into practice. However, he thought he would be better suited for an upper elementary classroom. When he heard his student teaching experience would be in a first grade class, he was apprehensive and a bit leery. But as with most teachers, he adjusted.
“I was really nervous the first few days and didn’t know what to expect. However, I can now tell you this has been one of the best experiences of my life. Being teamed up with Mrs. Leisure has been great. The daily hands-on experience in her classroom can’t be taught in a class. You have to have a passion and heart for education. This is apparent every day not only in her classroom, but also with the entire Mays family. They go the extra mile for each other and make this a great school. One of the best experiences is when you see a student’s face get that ‘ah ha’ look and you know something just clicked,” Sanchez said.