Students in a rush and excitement gather all their necessities, clipboards, pens, and class plans, to head out the Main Street doors to go to neighboring Post Elementary School. Finding joy in being surrounded by elementary students the young learning teachers take notes, listen to and take with them what they see in the class. The novice students take on the new challenges to help them in their future as teachers..
“IPET is the acronym for Instructional Practices in Education and Training. It is an incredible program wherein high school juniors and seniors are paired with mentor teachers on other campuses to learn best practices for and with students in a classroom setting,” IPET teacher, Ilizabeth Starr, said.
Students have different motives and inspirations to be part of the IPET program, yet, the share one passion, their love for teaching.
“What made me want to be a part of IPET is my dream goal is to become an educator since I was a little boy. I watched my cousin grow up teaching at the University Of Houston and ever since I laid eyes on him, I knew what I wanted to be,” Alex Avila, senior, said.
As part of the program students feel free to be themselves and call each other family. This pushes the students to keep moving and keep a positive mindset on everything for the kids and themselves.
“I have learned that as a teacher we have to be positive, even when life is tough or [we’re] tired, [we] have to remain with a sense of professionalism and put the students first,” Stephany Morales, senior, said.
The young teachers know what dream they are chasing, and what they are expecting in the form of challenges in the course.
The biggest challenge the students face is nervousness regarding speaking in front of a whole class. Speaking to groups is a skill that is practiced a lot before the high school students meet their own elementary students to overcome the first day and first lesson jitters.”
Students having to face nervousness, butterflies, and anxiety in their systems face the reality of some trouble in the program.
“[One] of the challenges I’ve faced in this program is the lesson plan. A lesson place is a detailed step-by-step guide that outlines the teacher’s objectives for what the students will accomplish during the lesson and how they will learn it. I sometimes struggle with open ended questions. Open ended questions are a big part of the lesson plan,” Angela Ibarra, senior, said.
The returning students even were afraid their first time on entering their classrooms.
“Last year, I used to be so scared leading up to the first day we went to our classes. I was anxious about whether my students would like me, and I was nervous about making mistakes. However, when I walked in on the first day and met my class, I realized I did not have anything to worry about. I knew that everyone appreciated me being there because my students and my teacher were so warm and welcoming to me. They wanted me to be there, and overcoming my nerves was one of the biggest challenges I had face,.” Mis Tran, senior, said.
Starr sees the potential and positivity in the students, and believes that they can overcome their challenges in the program.
“First and foremost, I want my students to know that being an educator is a truly noble profession. I want them to recognize that there is a certain grace that they each epitomize just by virtue of having the willingness to explore teaching as a career. Lastly, but equally important, I want them to always remember that they first teach PEOPLE and that content and theory are secondary to relationships, transparency, and genuineness,” Starr said.