Learning How to Become a Teacher

by Coby Yollis

Henry Sanchez, a student from CSUN, has been teaching biology teacher Jennifer Green’s classes at John F. Kennedy High School since the beginning of the current semester. Last August at CSUN, he started taking classes to become a teacher. His current classes include Special Education, English Learning, Special Needs, Literacy in the Classrooms, and Student Teaching. The Student Teaching class has brought him to Kennedy so he may gain some teaching experience in a real classroom before starting his career.

Last year in October, Sanchez observed one period of Kari Kelly’s chemistry class. His professor then obtained permission from Ms. Green allowing Sanchez to teach her biology classes for a semester. Regarding the situation, Ms. Green stated, “I enjoy having a student teacher because I always learn new things from them since they’re still in school. It’s been nice to share the field of education with someone else.”

Sanchez didn’t always want to become a teacher. He attended Cleveland High School for four years. During those years in high school,he was focused on becoming a doctor. After starting biomedical classes at CSUN, one of his professors changed his mind about what career he wanted to work towards. “He really explained the applications of biology in real life. Before then, it had just been straightforward information,” Sanchez said. “I want to do the same for others.”

His time as a student teacher has taught him a lot of about teaching. He has now noticed why teachers are upset by things he used to do in high school, for example, starting side conversations during a lecture. Sanchez also has learned a lot about preparation time. He gained a further understanding about the significance of doing activities such as labs before doing them with students.

For high school students who want to become a teacher, Sanchez has many pieces of advice. Figure out what you want to teach first; you wouldn’t want to be teaching something that doesn’t interest you. There’s a lot of money out there for people who want to become teachers. Just looking around CSUN’s education buildings can provide you with lots of information about scholarships and other programs, including forgiveness loans, which can pay you back for your work. There’s lots of opportunities out there if you look for them. Lastly, Sanchez says, “Recently, the job market is not too good, but I’ve been hearing it should pick up.”

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