Cheyenne Lavender

Sharing Personal Experiences & Student Teaching

Issue 23: January 31, 2024

Sharing personal experiences is important in everyday life and has many benefits for oneself as well as one’s peers. A primary benefit of sharing personal experiences is the ability to help build bridges of understanding between different individuals from different backgrounds, cultures, and walks of life.  Another benefit of sharing personal experiences is that people who may be experiencing the same thing can relate to what is being shared or they may be able to take what you have said and use it to help them learn for their future self. When we open up about our experiences, we create opportunities for empathy and connection as well as the opportunity to teach others about an experience that they may encounter one day. I personally have learned that having a network of people that help you to succeed by sharing what they have been through is an amazing tool to have in this life.

I would like to share my experience of my first month of student teaching as a senior at McMurry who once was a freshman wondering what student teaching would be like. I hope that it helps another education major down the road. My experience as a student teacher has been extremely terrifying but equally rewarding. I have learned that faking it till you make it was the best advice I have ever gotten in my entire life. I have learned this month that I am going to mess up, and I can’t be afraid of it because it is going to happen at some point. This is a learning experience and I need to utilize all the information I am given to become a successful teacher. A lot of information goes into becoming a teacher; you must be a sponge and soak it all in. When my older friends who completed their student teaching shared their experiences with me, it helped me to feel not so scared because I knew other people have gone through the same things I am going through, and it helped me to not feel so alone. Teaching is a passion—not just a career. If you are on this path, you chose it for a reason.

Some advice that I was given was that I will make it through as long as I don’t give up on myself and to keep pushing through no matter what.

An Alum of McMurry who graduated in 2023 suggested that “All of you that may begin student teaching in semesters to come, keep your head up, dress to impress, and act like you belong there because YOU DO! I am not going to lie to you, it is going to be difficult because you aren’t comfortable at first, you will get there though. This time of discomfort will allow you to grow, you all will be amazing teachers, good luck!”

Learning from the experiences of others can help us identify potential downfalls, ensure we have accurate information, and can provide us with strategies and knowledge we might not otherwise have. I encourage everyone to listen when people are sharing their experiences because it may help you one day. You should also share your personal experiences with others. You may be their lifesaver.