By Meghan Watelet ’14
Walking through the doors of the education department for the first time, I had an immediate flashback to elementary school. The walls were filled with cursive templates, Harry Potter banners, and a map of the world that I could easily spend hours examining. The first day was nerve-racking as the professors handed us a 20 page syllabus and a pre-packaged teaching kit to take into our first internship. My mind immediately went in circles as the professors described not only our classroom assignments, but also our internship in a local eighth grade classroom that was part of the class. I kept thinking — when did I grow up so fast? How could I be in charge of a classroom of eighth graders, when I was still a student myself? For the first time I realized that I was finally going to start learning how to become a teacher, and in three short years, I would have a classroom of my own.
Since this first internship, I have completed five more, working with students from the ages of four to eighteen in English, special education, and English as a Second Language classrooms. I have worked with local students in Pittsburgh, as well as recent young refugees from Nepal.
At many colleges and universities, students wait in anticipation of entering a real classroom until they begin student teaching their senior year. However, W&J has prepared me to take control of my own classroom through teaching lessons to my classmates in our mock classroom at W&J and by teaching students of all ages in the community. Stepping into a classroom has become second nature and has helped me transition from student to teacher.
Meghan Watelet ’14 is an English major with dual certification in Secondary Education and Special Education. She is part of the sorority Kappa Kappa Gamma, the service fraternity Alpha Phi Omega, and is an editor for the Red and Black Newspaper.