Hi! My name is Kristin Unruh. I am a senior here at Bethel, majoring in Elementary Education and receiving a Special Education endorsement. I have always had a heart for working with children and I come from a family of teachers, so it wasn’t a surprise to my family and friends when I decided to major in Elementary Education. Throughout college, I have been involved in Women’s Chorus, Wind Ensemble, Concert Choir, College Buddies participant and now coordinator, Student Activities Committee, Student Alumni Association, and the Student Ambassador program.
Well, I’m done. Graduation Sunday was last weekend. It was a really nice day – warm but not unbearable, and just breezy enough to keep us cool, but not blow our mortarboards off! Everyone moved out on Monday, which was not a particularly enjoyable experience, mostly because I knew I wouldn’t be coming back to Bethel.
No, I’m not actually reading Dickens right now. That would not be a good idea during finals week. It’s more of a general statement regarding the feeling I always have at this time of year.
The crazy, hectic schedule most college students have at this point in the semester brings a lot of stress. Studying is hard. Tests are hard. Studying for a test that could make or break your grade is hard. That’s nothing new.
However, some of the hectic-ness is due to fun activities. Plenty of people are willing to schedule opportunities to feed stressed college students cramming for exams. Different clubs, classes, teams, etc. have end-of-the-year parties. It’s a good kind of busy.
Next year will be completely different. Besides the fact that we’re losing the seniors and gaining new freshmen and transfers, the new academic center that has been under consturction since my freshman year will be completed and used for classes. With only a few buildings on campus, this is a major change. I’ll be a junior, so most of my classes will be for my math major and I’ll be taking the math seminar course.
For now, though, I still have four tests to take for the semester and a lot of studying to do.
I have named the next five weeks or so of my life “The Month of Change.” Today was my final day of student teaching. As I mentioned in an earlier post, it’s hard to think of never seeing my precious class again. I have come to truly love each and every student, hoping and praying for the very best for each individual. I feel a great sense of accomplishment and pride knowing that I completed all the teacher education program requirements. Bethel College requires a 4-week full block of responsibilities (where the cooperating teacher is completely out of the room for the entire day). The other student teacher in my building this semester (from another college) only had a 2-week block. I think this requirement is a unique and wonderful aspect of Bethel’s program.
I’m pretty sure it hasn’t hit me yet that I’m not going back. It’s hard to imagine that my routine will be different next Monday. Instead of returning to 2nd grade I will be lining up to practice graduating! In the early weeks of student teaching when I looked at the calendar and the weeks and weeks that remained before I would complete my student teaching requirements, I thought it would take FOREVER to get to this day. It turns out the weeks fly by much faster than I could have imagined.
You may think student teachers go to their placements in order to learn how to teach, but it turns out what I was really learning this semester what how to love a child. We all know those sparkly, bubbly, happy kids who are easy-going and sweet; it’s easy to love them (especially if someone else is disciplining them, and their parents take them home at night). And we all know those kids who are just plain naughty and you wish their parents would control them! In a public school classroom, chances are you will have a nice mixture of the two. But you soon realize that some of those sparkly, bubbly kids can have an attitude when they aren’t in control, and some of the naughty ones can steal your heart.
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