Student teachers from UNCG take over third quarter


Sophia Carson

UNCG senior and student teacher Matthew Bullard writes on the board in preparation for the day. Bullard is currently serving as English teacher Sarah Hutchinson’s intern for 10th grade.

A new semester at Northwest brings in college students new to the profession of teaching. Universities across the state and nation offer aspiring teachers the opportunity to teach under the supervision of a licensed teacher in a classroom at a public high school, and many of these student teachers are here at Northwest.

Those here at Northwest are seniors from UNCG, completing the final step in their journey to become fully licensed teachers.

“It is definitely a new experience–I’ve never done this before,” UNCG senior and English student teacher Natalie Abernathy said. “But it’s really helpful, and it is helping me to become an educator. I’m in front of a classroom, and the students are great; I’m not dealing with anybody trying to challenge my authority.”

These interns joined the school on Jan. 6 and have been assisting and shadowing. For the duration of third quarter, many of these teachers will bear the full class load of their OSTE (On-site Teacher Educator).

Aubrey Strickling is a student-teacher for the theater education program at UNCG. Strickling started her journey during her freshman year of college.

Strickling is currently in her observation phase; she is taking attendance and observing theater teacher Abby Cockman-Turner. She will soon begin teaching lessons full time and gaining confidence in her teaching abilities.

“After this semester, I will graduate and hopefully find a job in the theater teaching community,” Strickling said.

Strickling hopes to find a job in an elementary school, but she loves high school, as well. Strickling believes her desire to teach came from her mother who was also a teacher.

“I wanted to be a green pea until I was four, but I wanted to be a teacher immediately after that,” Strickling said. “I just have a really big love for kids and being able to teach and help them.”

Though it is hard work, Strickling has pushed through and is excited to begin her next phase of teaching full time as a student-teacher.

Along with the student teachers in their observation phase, there are also some who have moved on to their teaching phase. One of these aspiring teachers is UNCG senior Matthew Bullard, who isassisting a 10th grade English teacher Sarah Hutchinson.

“It’s been a really good experience so far; I’ve had a really good mentor for sure,” Bullard said.

By sophomore year of college, students interested in teaching must have already declared a major and have begun applying for internships and student teaching positions along with taking a test in order to be apart of the teachers’ academy and show that they at least know the basics. They need to make a specific score on the test and have a GPA of at least 3.0 in order to get in.

“For other careers, internships are optional, but for teaching, if you don’t do it, you’ll get a ton of points off and can even fail the class,” Bullard said.

After interning and graduating, students must find a job to continue their career.

“I wouldn’t mind working here (at Northwest), but it all just depends on what schools have openings and how competitive it is,” Bullard said. “(I) am hoping to teach 10th or 11th (grade English).”

Their teaching phase ends around the last week of March, and they go back to observing and finish up the semester April 3.

They leave Northwest’s halls with new knowledge and experience going into their new teaching careers.

“I really am excited; I’ve learned a lot, and I’m going to learn a lot,” Abernathy said. “I now know how to interact with the high school students better, and I’ve learned what type of lessons are effective and not as effective. I’m excited to connect with high school students going forward.”