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Head-and-shoulders photo of Michelle Stillson

Michelle Stillson

Teach Minnesota

Elementary, 3rd Grade

What was your pre-service training experience like, and how did it prepare you for the classroom?

Pre-service training was intense, but in good ways. I did a lot of introspection to identify how I want to teach, and I received a lot of support from my coach and other Fellows. Everyone was willing to share when they found something that works.

What support from your coach was the most valuable?

My coach tailored feedback to my own personality and needs. They knew how to phrase things so I would listen and not feel dejected.

What advice would you give someone who is applying to Teach Minnesota?

Be 100% committed to the program. Even when you aren’t here you are thinking about it and figuring things out. Have a good support system in place.

Imagine that you’re speaking to someone who is interested in becoming a teacher but is hesitant because they’ve heard it’s so challenging. What would you tell them?

Yes, it is very challenging. Most of the challenges come from personal growth and really homing in on your skill set, your assets, and your teacher identity. Through challenge and struggle comes learning.