Student teachers temporarily join David City High School


Kaylee P.

Student Teacher Nicole Phelps demonstrates how to use a railroad track for conversion in chemistry to junior Trisha H. Phelps is temporarily taking over Sander’s three chemistry classes.

Kaylee P.

DCHS recently welcomed student teachers Nicole Phelps and Christina Sereda from Concordia University. For seven weeks they get the chance to watch teachers in the classroom and try units on their own before graduating college.

Phelps joined science teacher Amy Sander and is temporarily taking over Sander’s three chemistry classes. Coming to Nebraska from Rapid City, S.D., Phelps hopes to learn more about lecturing and applying everything she learned the past four years of college. Phelps said she wants to offer visual elements to help with memory retention and learning.

“[Student teaching] gives them more examples that they can then try to implement,” Sander said. “It kind of reassures them that a lot of the same ideas are always out there and they’re being used.”

Phelps said she was nervous yet excited for student teaching. She added that she likes being at DCHS and has noticed that it is a very warm atmosphere.

“I really like it here because it reminds me so much of my own high school,” Phelps said. “All the students really know each other and love to talk to everybody from what I can tell so far.”

Phelps explained that student teaching will help prepare her for the future. The skills that she is going to learn  will end up being used in her classroom for the rest of her teaching career, she said.

“I think that it ultimately starts here and only goes up,” Phelps said.

Sereda, from Old Bridge, N.J., is joining English teacher Jarod Ockander. She is teaching the book “Of Mice and Men” by John Steinbeck to Ockander’s junior English classes. Sereda said that student teaching is a great chance to get started since up to this point student teachers have only studied how to teach.

“We’ve looked at the bike and we’ve learned all the parts, but we’ve never actually gotten on the bike,” Sereda said. “So this is our chance to get on the bike and teach a little bit.”

Sereda said now that she has started instructing she has gotten the chance to see more of the background of teaching.

“[Student teaching] gives you a real life perspective,” Ockander said. “All the other practice is good, but not nearly as close to student teaching.”

At the beginning of her first teaching experience, Sereda said she was scared. Sereda hasn’t had the chance to teach novels or long units until now. Sereda said she hopes being here will help her learn to teach novels and to allow her to develop relationships with students.

“I think it’ll benefit me. For one, I’m working with a really good teacher,” Sereda said. “Just seeing [Ockander] be relational with the students gives me hope for the future.”