Teachers face the unexpected

Situations that college education does not prepare educators


Emalee Cantlin

Picture drawn by Emalee Cantlin

Mike Layher, Assistant Web Editor-in-Chief

When going into a career in education, future teachers are informed of the basics of their jobs, yet there are countless situations that college does not prepare teachers for.

English teacher Mrs. Soper graduated from the University of Michigan in 2005. In June of that same year, she was hired at Northwest High School.

Soper’s professors were realistic when describing what a classroom setting would be, however they did not prepare her for any surprises.

“There was one really bad sub report, but they didn’t tell me anything, just that they were atrocious,” said Soper. “Later, after making students write letters explaining, I found out that they were lifting each other on their shoulders to kill bees in the middle of the classroom.”

Though no questionable events have happened this year for Soper, past students have found ways to make teaching interesting for her and other teachers alike.

Psychology and English teacher Miss Dryer graduated from Albion College in the class of 2007 and began teaching in 2008.

Between spending her time in 2007 at different schools as a substitute teacher and the eventual transition to full time at Northwest, Dryer additionally has stories to share.

“I had a portable classroom my second year at Northwest,” said Dryer. “In the middle of reading Frankenstein, one student stood up with his hood up, reached to his side, and pulled out a light saber. Then someone in the back of the room stood up, took their hood down, and pulled out a light saber and they had a fight in the middle of my class.”

The “fight” ended soon after and the students continued reading as if nothing happened. Similarly to the duel, teachers experience student behavior they are not prepared for.

English teacher Mr. Hammond graduated from Spring Arbor University in 1999. Coming from a family of teachers, Hammond naturally had a passion for helping kids.

“I find that laughter and a great deal of love goes into how you handle all situations,” said Hammond.

This solution formed after years of experience. It was not until Hammond had his first observation hours in various classrooms that he learned what to expect.

“I once had a student get sick as they were coming up to tell me that they didn’t feel well,” said Hammond. “This was apparently out of both the mouth and the booty.”

Though events such as this could scare some teachers, Hammond finds that it is crucial to approach each day with a clean slate.

“I will never be ready for what the day holds,” said Hammond. “That is why I love what I do.”

Although college does not always prepare educators for the unexpected, the experience they encounter throughout the years further cultivate their ability to handle these situations as they come.