Iris Versmissen '10 wins student teaching award
Iris Versmissen '10 was recently awarded the North Carolina Science Teachers Association Outstanding Elementary School Student Teacher of the Year Award. Versmissen was an elementary education Teaching Fellow with a Spanish minor.
She student taught at Smith Elementary School in the Alamance-Burlington School System during the fall 2009 semester and currently is in her first year of teaching the first grade at Thales Academy in Apex, N.C.
Versmissen reflects on her student teaching experience:
“Student Teaching was not only a key component in preparing me to handle my own classroom, but it was also influential in helping me grow as an individual and as a teacher. It was during student teaching that I was able to take on the responsibilities of a teacher and experience what it would be like to be in charge of my own students--helping them develop academically, socially and emotionally. Part of my student teaching experience was developing the lesson plans and activities that would help the students master the material not just for the test but for themselves as learners. I was fortunate to have a very supportive cooperating teacher who supported my wild idea to create a unit that would bring together elements of writing, social studies, science, and the arts. This support allowed me to create a unit that really brought the material to life and showed the students that the content of the subjects can all be intertwined and used together in the real world. At the end of the unit it was awesome to see how much the students took away from the experience.
"My advice to new student teachers is to use the student teaching experience and really go big. This is when you have a lot of support from your professors, your cooperating teacher, and your peers--use it to really try something new and have fun with it. Enjoy the experience as a way to grow in your teaching philosophy and style. And last, but not least, don't be afraid to ask questions, ask for advice, or ask for pointers, because these answers will help you get even more out of the experience.”