From Student Teacher to Cooperating Teacher

Posted November 9, 2022

From Student Teacher to Cooperating Teacher

By Roxie Zeller

This fall All Seasons Preschool of Eagan has its first student teacher! We are all very excited to welcome a teacher-in-training, Lexis Rodriguez, to show her the magic that is All Seasons.

Technically she is a “methods” student who is still early on in her early childhood education program. Most of her time here will be spent seeing how what she is learning in her college classes translates into an actual preschool classroom. She will set up a few activity areas around the room and lead a few group times, but mostly she is here to watch.

There is a lot that student teachers learn when they are in a placement. They notice things they hope to bring into their future classrooms, get an idea of what kind of school they want to teach in, and note how the teachers interact with each other and the children. Having Lexis in our room is especially special to me, as I graduated from the same college, and many of the professors I once had are now hers. Because of this I have spent some time looking back on my own practicum hours (hours spent observing in various classrooms) from when I was in college. For me, what stood out the most was how honored I was that a teacher would open their room for a stranger to learn from them.

During my training, I had many amazing placements where I saw the importance of trusting young children, having personable relationships with families and children, and the beauty of child-led learning. Of course, my time student teaching at All Seasons stands out among all the placements I had, as it opened the door for the job I have now. I saw the mutual trust that the teachers developed with their students as children climbed trees, played with sticks, used real tools, and mixed paints in glass jars; these are all things many preschools would not allow. I saw how important it is for all the teachers in a school to stand by each other and brainstorm together ways to solve tricky situations. Most of all when I was at All Seasons, I saw the loving relationships that the children had developed with the seniors in memory care. I walked away from that placement knowing that working in a nature-based program was where I wanted to be.

Now that it is my turn to open my classroom to potential new teachers, I hope we can be a placement site where they will walk away with a positive view of what early learning can be. Hopefully, our student teacher sees the respect and trust we have for our preschoolers, the benefits of going outside in all weather, and all the growth and learning that can happen both in the classroom and out when you follow the children’s lead.