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The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.

As I talked about last semester, I am a Secondary English Education major currently doing my student teaching. Last semester was just observations with the occasional teaching; this semester, however, it’s the real deal. For the past 4 weeks, I have been teaching English to 8th graders. Over winter break I thought a lot about if I would be a good teacher or not; if they would take me seriously or if I would be pushed to the side. Much to my surprise, everything is going well! Teaching is coming naturally to me. 

While in the classroom I’m getting the hang of it, outside of school has been another story. Trying to balance being both a college student and a professional has been rough. A lot of my friends are having late nights and sleeping in, going out while I’m in bed at 9:30 pm. I feel like I’m missing out on the second semester senior experience. Of course, don’t get me wrong I love teaching and I love being in the classroom, but I lose out on so much always being here. I lose my weekends to lesson plans and grading, my mornings to waking up at 5:30 am and rushing out the door, my evenings to recuperating and getting ready for the next day, and I completely lose my spring break. 

Even though I feel I’m missing out, I get to experience something new and exciting, not to mention the stories I have accumulated. My favorite stories have come from working on argumentative writing. I was having students argue about something they believe in, much like a newspaper column. To get the kids to start thinking about arguments, we asked the question “Is a hotdog a sandwich?”. We had some mixed results, but one student said that a sandwich is bread, meat, bread. To which another asked if a grilled cheese was a sandwich with those rules, this lead to a conversation about having a grilled cheese but not melted and had raw bread….yes you read that correctly. Raw Bread. 

My students and I have our laughs and I feel like they really accept me as a real teacher, not just some college student with an ID badge. I can’t wait for the rest of this year, and what is yet to come afterward.

Brooke is an English education major at IUP and plans to graduate in spring 2022. Alongside Her Campus, she has also performed with the IUP Dance Theater and is part of the Kappa Delta Pi honors society and the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE).
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