November 20, 2018
NEWBURGH, N.Y. -
Mount student Kelsey Simeone student taught in the first grade classroom of Mary Lynn Conklin at Cornwall Elementary School. The two shared more than a classroom this semester – they also both attended college classes at the Mount.
Seniors Kelsey Simeone, John Paul McLoughlin, and many of their fellow pre-teachers at Mount Saint Mary College celebrated a major milestone: They spent the semester on other side of the classroom as student teachers in local school districts.
Hailing from Newington, Conn., Simeone is an English major pursuing certification in Childhood and Special Education. She spent part of her student teaching experience with students at Cornwall Elementary School in Cornwall, N.Y. and it confirmed what she already knew: she’s on track for a great career.
“Student teaching has provided me with the opportunity to truly see what it’s like to be a teacher,” she explained. “I’ve been able to see that this is really what I want to be doing for the rest of my life.”
Simeone felt prepared for the challenge, thanks to the rigorous Education program at the Mount, including opportunities to observe and teach in classrooms since her freshman year. “In my classes at the Mount, I learned how to prepare and plan for a lesson, design activities that were individualized for my students, and how to incorporate technology into my teaching,” she noted. “I’ve used what I’ve learned during student teaching, and what I learned definitely works.”
Her cooperating teacher, Mary Lynn Conklin, is also a Mount graduate. The Class of 1999 alumna continues to build upon the strong core teaching techniques she learned at the Mount.
Simeone is especially grateful for the connections she has made through student teaching. “I think the most rewarding part of student teaching thus far has been being able to meet so many people through this experience,” she said. “I have gotten so close with my students, and I know I will still keep in contact with them.”
And as much as she admirers her students, they admire her back.
“After I was done [with a lesson],” she recalled, “one of my students came up to me, gave me a hug, and said ‘Miss Simeone, you’re the coolest teacher ever.’ That is definitely one of my favorite memories from this experience so far.”
Meanwhile, farther north in Ulster County, McLoughlin was beginning this foray into student teaching at Highland High School in Highland, N.Y., where he taught several sections of high school history classes.
McLoughlin, a History major on the Adolescent Education certification track, hails from Newburgh, N.Y. He’s passionate about connecting the past to the future to help students learn in a hands-on way.
“Figuring out each students' learning style can be challenging, but rewarding when you feel like the student is starting to learn,” he said.
He put those skills into practice when teaching a lesson on corporations and shareholders in the Gilded Age. In his observations, McLoughlin had noticed that this particular group of students was interested in superheroes, so he created a lesson comparing the historical topics to Batman’s alter ego, Bruce Wayne, who happens to own a corporation with multiple shareholders. The lesson, he noted, was a success.
RIGHT: John McLoughlin got to put his skills into practice through a student teaching placement at Highland High School this semester.
With student teaching coming to a close, McLoughlin is grateful for the experience and excited for the next chapter – a classroom of his own.
“Student teaching has made me look forward to my own classroom someday,” he said. “My cooperating teacher has given me great advice, tools, and lesson ideas to do for when I am on my own. The Mount has also given me a lot of confidence and has thoroughly prepared me to eventually have my own classroom.”
It was the students themselves, however, that gave him the most assurance of his future: “It is rewarding to see that the students want you to succeed and become a teacher."