Eight student teachers at Howard Elementary finish training this week

By By JAMES COLLINS / Niles Daily Star
NILES -- Eight student teachers at Howard Elementary are saying their good-byes to the school this week as they finish up their final week of instruction.
The school has served as a cluster site for Western Michigan University this semester by providing a learning environment for six Western students and an additional two students from Bethel College.
The six Western Michigan University students are Sondra Staggs, Kristin Trail, Denise Beckman, Mary Beller, Heather Racht, and Ginger Schumm. The two students from Bethel College are Bart Benjamin and Debbie Kline.
Assistant principal Gretchen Hart said this is the most students teachers the school has ever had at one time.
After years of college courses instructing them on how to be good teachers, the students finally got some hands-on experience by assisting their assigned classrooms with teaching duties and classroom management.
While the transition from being a student to becoming a teacher may have been nerve racking for some of the college students, they are all coming away from the experience with nothing but positive remarks.
They have also got some valuable career training by being included in the school's staff meetings, helping out at parent-teacher conferences and observing classrooms throughout the school.
In a group interview, the student teachers expressed their gratitude to the the "supportive staff" and "smart students" at Howard for providing such a great learning environment.
To thank the school, the student teachers will be making breakfast for the entire staff on Friday. Many of them will also be bringing in treats and thank you notes for their students.
Perham, who hosted Beckman as a student teacher this semester, said it has been a positive learning experience for everyone involved.
As excited as the students are for their college graduation this Saturday, they are not looking forward to leaving the classes they have come to know so well.

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