Student teachers leave


Yesenia Folgar

Once the semester ends on Jan. 30, Ms. Vargas will have finished her student teaching for Cal State Long Beach. ”I heard a lot of good things from Downey,” Ms. Vargas said. ”It was just what I was expecting.”

Moises Martinez Cortez, Writer/Community Editor

Student English teachers are preparing to conclude their stay with their master teachers and students after spending an entire semester at Downey.

After a five-month program which gives college graduates real hands-on experience in teaching, student teachers in the English department such as Ms. Vargas are now getting ready to leave their position. Ms. Vargas, a Cal. State Long Beach graduate, has taught freshmen and juniors for master teachers Mrs. Macomber and Mrs. Roveri in the S building since September.

“I wanted to teach at Downey because I had heard very wonderful things about the school,” Vargas said, “so I requested it and they gave it to me. I was very lucky and got Mrs. Macomber as my host teacher.”

Vargas admitted she enjoyed the campus and the students, however, she was surprised by a few things about Downey.

“I was a bit shocked by how attached high school students can be to their technology. It’s like they have to have their phones or ear buds in to function,” Vargas stated. “Also, the parking here can be horrible sometimes. You have to be in the gate before 7:30 or else you’re stuck in traffic.”

Vargas had to teach three classes and confessed there were students she grew close to.

“There have been a few students who have grown a lot from the beginning of the semester ‘til now,” Vargas said.

One of those students is junior Maria Perez. Perez, who has Ms. Vargas for Mrs. Roveri’s class, admits she will remember Ms. Vargas.

“She won’t give up on you,” Perez said. “If you don’t understand something, she’ll take her time and explain it.”

Ms. Vargas hopes to use her experience at Downey to eventually land a job educating teenagers. Although she admits she loved Downey, Ms. Vargas plans on moving to South Korea to teach English there.

“It’s a universal language,” Vargas said, “Everyone wants to learn English so I’m planning on applying for a job in Korea.”

Other English student teachers on campus include Ms. Kahlon and Mr. Fakhre. Mr Fakhre teaches for Ms. Flores and Mrs. Davies in the S-building and is newer to student teaching. Similar to Ms. Vargas, Mr. Fakhre was also intrigued by certain high-school tendencies. He confessed he was shocked by teenagers’ fascination with music.

“They have to listen to music even during passing period,” Fakhre said. “That’s not even the full length of a song.”

Ms. Kahlon on the other hand has had more experience with internships. Having taught for Mrs. Carlson and Mrs. Meade, Ms. Kahlon now teaches freshmen and juniors for Mrs. Ordway and Mrs. Piho.

“Downey was actually my third choice,” Kahlon said. “I came not knowing what to expect, but I actually really loved it here.”

Ms. Kahlon also had certain expectations about Downey. The size of the school was something new for her.

“It’s a really huge campus with so many kids,” she said, “it’s crazy.”

She admits she had to change her paradigms of modern high school and the students here.

“It was weird coming back to high-school after college,” Kahlon said, “you have to re-adjust to certain concepts like explaining to them [students] how to do worksheets.”

Ms. Kahlon’s students also enjoyed having her as their teacher. Junior Randy Chavez has Ms. Kahlon for his second period class and enjoyed her style of teaching English.

“She explains the lessons really well and helps me out,” Chavez said, “I actually like having her a lot.”

Although these student teachers will be leaving Downey, some of them have hopes of returning. After doing some tutoring, Ms. Kahlon plans on teaching at Downey one day.

Student teachers like Ms. Vargas and Ms. Kahlon will definitely leave an impact on their students. They themselves will soon be able to educate young minds and no longer be the students. Whether it is here at Downey or in a foreign country, this semester’s student teachers are sure to leave a lasting impression on their future students.