The pressure to teach while standing in front of 35 ninth and 10th graders is a skill that one is never fully prepared to undertake, said Amber Tesh, a student teacher at Northridge Academy High School.
“Nothing prepares you for teaching,” Tesh said. “Every class is completely different.”
The CSUN alumna said college gave her the basic skills she needs to become a teacher. The full experience of teaching, however, comes from being inside the classroom.
“I love my kids,” Tesh said. “I like English. It is fun to teach something I’m passionate about.”
The 24-year-old is currently in her last semester of student teaching at Northridge Academy, where she teaches freshman and sophomore English classes.
On her first day teaching at the school, Tesh revealed her age to the students.
“It’s a whole different world when you are young and look like them,” Tesh said.
Student teachers at Northridge Academy observe their master teachers in the classroom during their first semester. In the second semester of student teaching, students instruct the classroom with the assistance of their master teacher.
Connie Semf, principal at Northridge Academy, said students benefit from having a student teacher because they are closer in age.
“We love to have CSUN student teachers,” Semf said. “It’s a very good experience for our kids and for the college students.”
Sandra DaLie, English teacher and a master teacher at Northridge Academy who guides and trains student teachers, said she is pleased with the quality of students who come from CSUN.
“We get a lot of CSUN students that come here to get classroom experience,” DaLie said. “When we come into contact with CSUN students we see how well-prepared the credential program has made them.”
In July 2001, the Carnegie Corporation of New York and other founders asked CSUN to participate in a goal to improve the quality of teacher education.
The program became known as Teachers for a New Era.
Northridge Academy was designated a TNE clinical site when it opened in September 2004.
“Since we (are) a part of this project, there is a lot of communication and collaboration with CSUN to make the experience of the teacher candidate a positive one,” DaLie said. “Our main commitment is to student teachers from (the) CSUN Secondary Education (department).”
After Tesh completes student teaching this semester, she will teach sophomore and junior English classes at Canoga Park High School.
Tesh’s passion for teaching stems from her personal experience in school. She made a decision to become a teacher during her senior year in high school.
“I was able to see the difference that teachers make and how it can completely change you,” Tesh said. “I didn’t come into this profession to change the world, but if I could be that person for one or two kids then at least I made a difference.”
Valencia Bankston can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org