The Student News Site of St. Charles North High School


The Student News Site of St. Charles North High School


The Student News Site of St. Charles North High School


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Student teachers gain valuable experience at North

Student teachers Patrick Grant, Aubrey Wray and Mark Ebert. (Lynn Singh)

Every year St. Charles North teaches not just students, but also teachers. This semester North has welcomed six student teachers in various departments, including Fine Arts, Math, Wellness, English, and Social Studies. 

Student teacher Aubrey Wray is in her senior year of her undergraduate program at Northern Illinois University. Wray has been working with students since her junior year. This is the third school she has been at since she started teaching. She arrived at North this semester. Wray’s inspiration to start teaching came from her love of art.

“All throughout my school career, I’ve been really into art and I kind of just wanted a way to become more involved with that, and inspire other students to pursue art after high school,” said Wray.

 Her transition from learning to teaching has been smooth due to her program at NIU. 

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 “NIU is really good at giving you a lot of classroom experience so I’ve been in the classroom since the beginning of my junior year, so I feel really prepared,” said Wray.

Within any new job, there are going to be surprises. Wray’s surprises came from the respect she was given by students at North. 

“I was definitely expecting students to kind of ignore me at first, but (students) have been super welcoming right away and have given me respect right away as well,” said Wray. 

Wray emphasized the importance of having a commanding presence in order to keep student’s attention.

“The main thing that they like to talk about is your teacher presence and your teacher voice,” said Wray. 

Student teacher Patrick Grant started here this semester, excited to teach English. 

Grant did not originally plan to become a teacher. He started his post-secondary education with a major in business at DePaul.

“I originally went to DePaul to get my degree in business, that worked for a year, and I quickly realized it wasn’t for me,” said Wray.

He went back to Depaul for his Masters Degree in Education. Teaching at North is his first full teaching experience. 

Grant’s aspirations to become a teacher started during high school. 

“I remember back when I was in high school, the teachers that stuck out to me. I was hoping, especially after doing the job that I wasn’t enjoying as much, I wanted a career where I was making a difference,” said Grant. “I have multiple family members that are teachers, my mom and sister are both elementary.”

Specifically, Grant prefers teaching high school. 

“My high school experience- I had fun, but there were times when it was tricky, so I liked the opportunity to help students if they were going through something like that,” said Grant.

His transition to teaching has been relatively smooth. 

“At first it was definitely nerve wracking,” said Grant. “But as time went on I was able to kind of know the kids more, and connect, that doesn’t mean there are still not challenges or awkward moments. I think it’s the only way you can actually become a teacher- just do it. It’s a lot of adapting, which is fun,” said Grant.

Just like Wray, Grant was surprised at how quickly respect was earned.

“I totally expected the students to be standoffish, I thought I’d have to earn their respect. During my schooling, I heard all these horror stories about classes turning into chaos. But I’m not sure if it’s just the kids at North or the community, but everyone was very welcoming, and I was able to earn their respect easily,” said Grant.

Grant encourages future teachers to not let emotions deter them from teaching.  

“If you’re nervous about being a teacher, that’s okay, I don’t think that ever goes away. A big part of this job is managing that nervousness. It’s full of moments where you’ll question if you’re doing things right, but at the end of the day you’ll always feel rewarded,” said Grant. 

Mark Ebert student teaches in North’s math department. Ebert is a NIU student, he spent two years in general courses, and then two years of math and math education. At NIU, their system has it set up so students earn a mathematics degree, and then add a teaching degree in addition to it. Unlike the other student teachers, Ebert has been at North since August. He spent first semester observing and this semester he is student teaching. 

His inspiration to become a math teacher stems from his family and love of math.

“I come from a family of math people, specifically math teachers,” said Ebert.

 “My mother worked in corporate for a long time and then retired to teaching, and fell in love with it. My older sister went into teaching right after college, and I’ve been tutoring, and I said ‘You know what? I’ll give it a shot and see where it takes me,’” said Ebert.

Ebert has had an easy transition to North due to the support that North provides. 

“I get to work with other math teachers to help me create lessons, and see what works and what doesn’t,” said Ebert. 

Ebert has found comfort in the community that North provides. 

“It’s really been awesome to be able to meet all my classes in advance and kind of get to know (the students) and get to know the community around here, and as I take more and more involvement in it, it’s been a really easy transition because I already feel at home,” said Ebert. 

Ebert believes that balance is important when becoming a teacher. 

“I think to become a teacher you really need both [a love of math and want to teach]. Especially in college, you’ll find a lot of professors who really love math, but don’t really love working with students. You can always tell- because the class won’t seem as fun,” said Ebert. 

Teaching is a job that is a complicated job. However, Grant believes it is always worth it.

“It’s one of the most rewarding jobs in my eyes,” said Grant. “I think if you want a job that is consistently different every day, something that surprises you, If you want to laugh everyday, then teaching is the perfect job.”

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About the Contributor
Lynn Singh
Lynn Singh, Staff Writer/Media Team
Lynn is a staff photographer for Stargazer. She is a Sophomore, and this is their second year on staff. Lynn engages in student journalism because there is something special about capturing moments that bring students together.

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