There are four new Slippery Rock High School student teachers that started student teaching in mid-January, including Ms. Pauletich, Ms. Mattson, Ms. Hegarty, and Ms. Harbart. They came here to further their education in the subjects that they are interested in, and will be certified teachers after graduating in the spring.
Ms. Pauletich is Mrs. Elford’s student teacher. She is currently going to Carlow University, which is in Pittsburgh. She received her bachelor’s degree from Slippery Rock University in the fine arts, and she also has a minor in special education. She is presently attending Carlow University for her teaching certification. She says,“I miss the faculty from SRU, but Carlow University is great.”
Ms. Pauletich says that she decided to be a teacher because she was very close with her high school art teacher. Her high school art teacher even let her design hands-on lesson plans for some of the special education students during her senior year of high school, and Ms. Pauletich then fell in love with art. She likes being a student teacher because part of teaching art is building a unique style and bond with the students. She adds, “I wish I could teach the world everything about art if there was enough time in a day.” She really enjoys the endless possibilities that art brings to her.
In the future, Ms. Pauletich plans on working toward having an inclusive classroom where she can teach students of all abilities the same content just in different ways. She says, “Everyone deserves the chance to explore their full individual potential.”
Ms. Mattson is Mrs. Hazi’s student teacher from Grove City College, and she says that student teaching has been a great experience. She explains that she decided to be a teacher because of two books she read as a kid: Anne of Green Gables and Little House on a Prairie. Ms. Mattson admired the characters being teachers in the books, and decided that she wanted to be a teacher, too. She likes being a student teacher because it is a gradual way to become involved with a school and it is fun to get to know the students and teachers of Slippery Rock. Ms. Mattson says that she enjoys teaching Spanish because it gives students a way to talk to people in a different languages. Also, she says that learning a different language helps you understand a new culture, which is helpful if you travel.
In the future, Ms. Mattson says she would like to get involved in migrant education, which is for students who move around the United States with their parents who do harvest work. Once a seasonal harvest is finished, the parents move to another area with a new harvest. For students considering a career in foreign languages, Ms. Mattson advises you to go for it, but be prepared to work hard.
Ms. Hegarty is Mrs. Furka’s student teacher from Grove City College, and she loves student teaching. She says that she knew she wanted to be a teacher in senior year of high school because she got the chance to work and teach with her AP English teacher. Ms. Hegarty enjoyed teaching so much that she decided to major in English when she went to college.
As a student teacher, Ms. Hegarty says that she likes that she finally gets the chance to do what she is trained to do. She especially enjoys teaching English because her students can have discussions about life that go beyond the surface level of a book. She says that her favorite thing to teach would be a literature circle unit, because everyone gets a chance to select their own book, and then discuss the various themes from the book in a small group. Her favorite books are The Giver, and all of the Harry Potter books.
Next year, Ms. Hegarty will be teaching 8th grade English at KIPP Academy which is in Columbus, Ohio. She is very thankful to be teaching and learning alongside Mrs. Furka– she says her student teaching experience would not be the same without her!
Ms. Harbart is Mr. Whitmer’s student teacher from Slippery Rock University, and is originally from Cleveland, Ohio. She says that she loves student teaching so far. Ms. Harbart decided to be a teacher because some of her great teachers along the way inspired her. Also, she used to “play school” as a kid with her friends and siblings. Once she reached high school, she looked into other math careers and found out that she wanted to be a secondary math teacher. She says that she likes being a student teacher because she enjoys interacting with the students, whether by teaching or by having a conversation about current topics, such as sports or the Olympics. Ms. Harbart enjoys the subject of math because it is a universal language, and it is used in our every day lives.
After she graduates, Ms. Harbart wants to find a job in the fall, either at a high school or middle school level. She plans on returning to Ohio to teach, but is not closed off to the option of teaching in Pennsylvania or another state just yet. She would also like to find a job where she can continue to coach soccer. She says, “I want to be a teacher with a positive influence on students.”
For students that are thinking about finding a career in mathematics, Ms. Harbart says that “College math is difficult, but if you stick with it, it will be very rewarding… It does not matter how many times you have been knocked down – what matters is how many times you get back up.”