Nov. 14, 2018
Casey McAndrew graduated from the College of Education in the spring of 2018. She is completing her internship year at Bennett Woods Elementary School in Okemos, Michigan as a Kindergarten teacher.
Being in the classroom every day now, I realize how much of an advantage I’m at after getting my education through MSU. The Teacher Preparation Program truly prepared me for the day-to-day challenges that come with teaching.
I learned how to be flexible and think on my toes. In addition to relevant assignments and readings, the exchanges between me and my peers have been invaluable.
When we were going to placement sites, we put what we were learning into practice. It was helpful to come back to class and share what we were seeing because we all had such different experiences. It was also cool to hear about what was happening in different schools and at different grade-levels. Through this dialogue, I learned various strategies for managing different types of classrooms and increasing student participation.
Most importantly, though, I learned how to be a social equity teacher. I learned how to reach all of my students. Not all students will come in with the same background, but every student does come in with valuable strengths and prior knowledge.
Establishing strong relationships with my students is one of the most important teaching practices for me, and MSU taught me how to go about this sensibly. In class, I learned that I could be the “best” teacher ever, with all the teaching techniques and all of the content knowledge, but it wouldn’t mean anything if I wasn’t teaching to my students. In other words, I learned that I can’t be a good teacher without getting to know my students, their strengths and what they need from me in order to keep growing and succeeding.
I appreciate that the MSU Teacher Preparation Program focused so much on how to be a social equity teacher because that is what fuels my passion for teaching.