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Inside Education and Health Sciences

Prepared to Teach

Students in the Department of Teacher Education at the University of Dayton are in real classrooms from their very first year in the program. From short observational periods to repetitive visits in the same classroom and finally culminating with student teaching during their final year of the program, our students graduate with over twice as much classroom experience as required by the State of Ohio.

Here are interviews with four seniors who have been in their student teaching classrooms for a couple of months, and are wrapping up their experience in preparation for graduation on May 5.


Mason Grice-Tomlinson

Hometown: Dayton!
Major: AYA Social Studies Education

I'm student teaching World Studies (9th) and US Government (11th) at Stebbins High School. One of the main reasons I picked teaching is that I felt it would feel like I was doing something purposeful every day, and it has been just that. Every day has felt like there was a real purpose to it.

Going into the education field, or any field for that matter, can feel a bit daunting but I really do think UD has done such a good job at preparing us for what we want to do. When I face certain things at Stebbins I can genuinely sit there and think back to when one of the professors specifically discussed certain issues or ways to teach lessons that can help me out. 


Mary Horvath

Hometown: Lebanon, Ohio
Major: Pre-Kindergarten to Grade 5 Education
Minor: Psychology

I'm student teaching in 1st grade at Primary Village North, Centerville School District

My favorite part of student teaching so far is being able to build relationships with my students everyday. I have a great group of kiddos and they make my days so much brighter. I love learning about what they are interested in and asking questions about their lives. It makes student teaching really fun and it gives me a purpose, as I have to be the best version of myself so they can be the best versions of themselves! They make me laugh and smile like nobody else.

I was really nervous about being able to balance school, work, extra-curriculars, my social life, and self-care. There are easy days and hard days, but I feel like I am getting so much out of my last semester. I learn so much each day I go to school and teach, but also am growing in relationships with my students and my peers going through the same experience as me. I feel prepared to be a "real adult" in the future because of how this experience has shaped me.

It's hard to be fully prepared when you are student teaching because it's the practice that makes you better. However, the University of Dayton has helped me grow in knowledge that is essential to be an educator. I have learned behavior management strategies, the "whys" behind what I do everyday, how to keep students engaged and use data for growth. Without this education, my job as a student teacher would be so much harder.

Thanks UD for shaping me into an educator who is ready to take on the world!


Ally Kaiser

Hometown: Fort Recovery, OH
Major: Adolescent to Young Adult English Education & English
Minor: Music

I'm student teaching 9th and 12th grade English at Wayne High School in Huber Heights.

I think my favorite part of student teaching has been learning from the students. Every day is a new adventure, and I'm lucky to have a group of kids with diverse backgrounds, interests, and strengths. It has been really fun getting to know them and discovering how I can build my lessons around what they are interested in.

When I found out I was placed at Wayne, I was honestly really nervous about the class size. Coming from a high school where my graduating class was 68, the idea of teaching at a high school with 1600 students was a bit daunting at first. However, I have fallen in love with Wayne since I've been there, and I actually love that there's such a large student body and a ton of diversity. It's awesome! Being placed here has been great for me, and I have still found that my classroom can function like the small tight-knit classes I grew up in.

UD did a really good job placing us in a variety of schools. I got to observe at DECA, Dayton International School, and Chaminade Julienne. These observations allowed me to see different school settings and decide where I wanted to do my student teaching internship. 


Katlyn Zeman

Hometown: Park Ridge, IL
Major: Intervention Specialist (EIS) K-12 Mild-Moderate-Intense and Dyslexia Certification 
Minor: Social Work, Family Development

I am in a High School Self-Contained/Resource Classroom at Oakwood High School. I support students ages 13-21, in different grades, and with different needs. I have five full-time students and three additional students who flow in and out of the classroom. Daily, I teach social studies (2 sections), language arts (2 sections), transition, and vocation. 

My favorite part of student teaching is having a relationship with the students and staff. We have created such a good community that supports relationships, safety, comfort, communication, and life-long learning. Each day we share lots of laughs which makes the job easier. On the days when we need it most, we always make sure to come together and find the joy in the situation, where that's a win in the use of communication or a win in a new discovery about someone.  

I was excited to dive into the classroom world. In all reality, I feel as though I am prepared for the real world. I have been exposed to what it will look like next year, just without the pay. Although it was challenging to work out in the beginning, I have created a balance that allows me to prepare for school properly but also allows for myself to enjoy life outside. Overall, this is something that I had to navigate on my own, but I would not be able to do it without the preparation of UD. 

In the teacher education program, I was prepared for a lot of the paperwork, terminology, lesson planning, and content I would face. There are also a lot of good classes preparing us for evidence-based practices when working with groups of diverse students - across different factors like needs, economic status, and environment. In this profession, a lot of what you need to do is apply what you have learned, and UD has prepared us greatly for applying what we learned through experiential learning. 

I truly love teaching! The challenge is worth it to see the growth of my students. 

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