Samantha HerrTeach Minnesota
Why did you become a teacher?
I’ve wanted to be a teacher since sixth grade, and I always knew it would be kindergarten.
What was your pre-service training experience like, and how did it prepare you for the classroom?
Pre-service training (PST) was great. I had a lot of challenging students, but I knew that I had the support I needed from the program. I tried things I wasn’t comfortable with but learned new techniques.
What support from your coach was the most valuable?
My coaches constantly remind me that I am human and that I make mistakes and my students make mistakes. If I am here giving my 120% it is better than me not being here at all.
Have you formed relationships with fellow cohort members? If so, how has that been helpful?
Yes! Our cohort became very close. We hang out outside of PST, too. We talk about how we are teaching at different schools and that will be hard because we all started this together. I feel comfortable asking anyone in my cohort anything.
What has been the most rewarding part of teaching?
I love building relationships with students. Creating a safe and comfortable environment with students is the foundation for them to open up to you.
What advice would you give someone who is applying to Teach Minnesota?
Stick it out! As much as you can, go home after a long, long, long day and soak into the passion you have for teaching because that will keep you going.
What do you wish you'd known before becoming a teacher?
Classroom management is a big part that no one talks about. We talk a lot about relationships, about curriculum, about families. Without classroom management you don’t have anything.
And be flexible. Be as flexible as you can, because you can plan all day and all night and things might not go the way you planned. And that’s ok.