Learning to Teach: Inside the School of Education is a new blog by David Reichard, a junior elementary and special education major from Greenville, PA. David will share his experiences studying to be a teacher and stepping into the classroom as he prepares for his future. You can reach David at reichard005@gannon.edu.

learn2teachHi! Welcome to my blog, and thanks for checking out Edge.

At some point during your college education, you will ask yourself, “Are the classes I’m taking actually preparing me enough for my future career?” Lately, I have been reflecting on the required education classes that I have taken in the past three years. Without question, Gannon University’s School of Education has prepared me to confidently enter the teaching field. Keep reading my blog, and I’ll do the best to explain how.

Unlike other colleges or universities, Gannon requires education majors to experience a classroom setting their first year here. Yes, as a freshmen you will complete a ten-week practicum, which is like pre-student teaching.

As a freshman, I was able to observe a fourth grade classroom once a day for 10 weeks. Although I wasn’t necessarily teaching, this is where I began gathering ideas that I could incorporate into my future classroom.

Sophomore education majors who focus in early, elementary or special education will complete two three-week placements (secondary education majors still have practicums but they are structured differently – secondary students have three 10-week placements prior to student teaching). I was able to experience a first and second grade classroom.

Now, I came to college with the strong belief that I only want to teach fourth through sixth grades. My view has changed. I now feel more confident and capable of teaching younger students.

Recently, I completed a placement working with students with autism. I will admit that I was nervous and unsure how to teach students with autism – this was my first experience working with students with special needs, but these students ended up truly touching my heart.

Although these pre-student teaching placements are the most beneficial learning experiences, I also want to comment on the education classes at Gannon. The common idea that if you are going to college to be a teacher you will take classes about finger painting and coloring with crayons is a fallacy. Classes have prepared for teaching by writing lesson plans, knowing the Pennsylvania State Standards, collaborating with parents, completing IEPs and understanding No Child Left Behind.

Gannon has offered me the right education classes. Although I have a year left, I am ready to begin teaching and opening the doors of education to young minds.

Thanks for checking out my first post.


Stuff you might also like:

Check out what English/ secondary education major Mitch Meighen is up to.

See David in this Inside Gannon video.