Mariel VanLandingham '16

My most memorable moment from TPP comes from my student teaching, the day I figured out how to connect with a struggling, disaffected student in my 12th grade academic class. The student was looking at fancy cars on his phone instead of doing work and when I came over to check on him he tried to play it off by asking if I liked the car. I said that I preferred my old Volvo stick shift to flashy cars, but the student was amazed that his teacher -- a girl -- knew how to drive stick. In that moment, I got to know this student better as a person but I also gained this student's respect. It was a win-win!

Millburn High School is a suburban public school to the west of Newark. Starting in the fall 2017 I'll be teaching 10th grade American Literature.  I'm excited to get in the classroom again and start getting to know my students. Also, Gatsby is our first unit in the curriculum and I'm thrilled to start with such an amazing text. But I'm nervous too: this is my first time really on my own in a classroom and handling a lot of the other duties of being a teacher that my cooperating teacher continued to handle during my student teaching.