This week we are highlighting Caleigh Donoghue, a Senior Elementary Education major, who recently began her Pre-Practicum at a local elementary school. During the fall semester, Caleigh will be gaining hands-on experience teaching math to elementary students. Read the interview below to learn more about Caleigh’s Pre-Practicum experience!
Can you describe what Pre-Practicum is for students who may not know?
As a student in the education department, we are placed into several pre-practicum experiences throughout the program. These experiences are meant to form relationships, determine what grade and subject we feel most comfortable teaching, and develop our teaching capabilities in a classroom outside of Assumption’s teacher education library.
All of the education department’s professors, specifically Professor Benestad, work hard to place all students at a school where they can succeed and work hard. Throughout the semester the professors check in with us so that we can ask questions or share our experiences.
Each pre-practicum experience requires different things. For my placement, I am required to complete a minimum of 25 hours in the field and teach two group math lessons to students.
What is a typical day for you at your Pre-Practicum? What are your day-to-day tasks and responsibilities?
I am currently placed in a first-grade classroom, which I absolutely love! One of the most rewarding things about being an educator is that each day is different. Sure, some things stay the same such as classroom schedule or teacher expectations, but little minds are truly unpredictable, and you just never know what they are curious about that day.
This semester, my pre-practicum experience is focused on math in the elementary classroom. When I arrive in the morning, the students are generally just finishing up story time on the carpet with their teacher Miss K. Students transition back to their seats and often begin writing in their journals, responding to the writing prompt of the day. Then, we typically transition to snack and listen to a story on the scholastic’s website, a great teacher tool that I will surely utilize in my classroom one day! Next, we complete our morning worksheet and begin our math lesson. Once math is completed the students head to lunch and I head back to Assumption for my class.
My day-to-day tasks and responsibilities mostly include being an extra set of hands in the classroom. I spend most of my time walking around the room helping and encouraging students to stay on task and complete their work.
What skills do you hope to gain from this internship?
Through this internship experience, I hope to continue improving my teaching abilities. For example, I hope to continuously develop my ability to construct well-structured lesson plans, continuously engage with different types of students and education professionals, and become more comfortable teaching material to students. Lastly, it is my number one goal to take this experience as an opportunity to ask questions and gain insight into what it looks like to be a professional in this field.
What are your career goals? How will this practicum experience help you reach those goals?
For as long as I can remember, I have always wanted to be a teacher. First, it is my goal to graduate in May with my degree in Elementary Education and English. From there, I hope to land a job in one of the surrounding school districts, teaching in either a first or second-grade classroom. In the next five years, I hope to obtain a master’s degree in Elementary Education or another specialty. This internship will help me to reach these goals because it will provide me the opportunity to practice my trade, become comfortable teaching to a multitude of students, strengthen my teaching practices, and work with other education professionals.
What advice would you give to a student who wants to participate in a practicum experience?
Be open-minded and always try your best to get involved in the classroom, forming connections with your SP and students.
If you are interested in sharing your experiential learning experience, email us at email@example.com to be featured next!