Teachers have to go to school the same as anyone. They go to college and in order to graduate with a teaching degree they need to student teach for a semester. That is exactly what is happening now in Erin Mann’s classes. Ms. Wybenga is a senior at Colorado State University studying Chemistry Education and will graduate in May after a semester of student teaching. What student teachers do is they begin the semester watching and learning from who they are student teaching with and they gradually work into a co-teaching role where they take over more and more of the activities and responsibilities in teaching the class.
Wybenga’s coming to student teach with Mann started to come about four years ago when Mann was teaching at Arapahoe. Ms. Wybenga was Mann’s student and they had conversations about doing student teaching together.
“We had actually kind of talked about it way back in the day, and then I had to student teach and I was like ‘Hey are you still teaching?’ because I hoped that she hadn’t retired yet,” said Wybenga.
Mann loves having a second person helping teach and work with students.
“In my classes when kids are working on problems, or when kids miss a class one of us will go forward with the class and the other will help the student get caught up and understand. So that is a big help,” said Mann
The having a second teacher helps the classes get work done and makes doing labs easier.
And with all of the help and good things that come with having a second teacher, there are no issues or difficulties.
“I don’t think it makes anything harder because we talk about what we are doing and we plan everything together so we are pretty much on the same page,” said Mann.
Both Mann and Wybenga said that the student teaching experience had been a lot of fun and very enjoyable so far. They also both agreed that maybe one of the students they are teaching now may want to come back and student teach one day.