December 29, 2015

Student teacher now fully licensed at Hazen

BY DANIEL ARENS
One college student found her student teaching experience in Hazen to quickly turn into something more. Now, immediately following her graduation, she has become a fully licensed teacher at the Hazen Elementary School.

Kari Kaelberer initially began looking for a student teaching opportunity with Sandee Schwab in the second grade classroom but, over the course of the summer, applied for a summer opening as a fourth grade teacher following a vacancy in that grade. Kaelberer was accepted, although she did not know until the week before school.

The school board, having trouble fi nding a teacher to fill the position, approved Kaelberer but, as she was technically still a student teacher, they brought Charlotte Rohde in to help supervise Kaelberer in her new teaching responsibilities.

“I was still doing typical student teaching,” Kaelberer said, but noted that she had more responsibilities than a student teacher normally would, including having to keep control of the classroom once she had it, whereas most student teachers gradually transfer their control back to the actual instructor.

Rohde, who was brought out of retirement, had experience with second grade teaching, and helped Kaelberer’s transition period as student teacher. Rohde gradually handed more and more subjects over to Kaelberer until midterms, when Kaelberer fully took over. Afterwards, Rohde remained till early December to continue to advise and give feedback.

“I felt like I was ready right away,” Kaelberer said, but noted that striking the right balance between her teaching position, her own school work, and her family life was a challenge.

“It was an amazing learning experience. You learn more in one semester in the classroom than all the other semesters.”

Kaelberer, who initially considering both nursing and education, attended Jamestown College in the early 2000s, but left after marrying Jesse Kaelberer. After a period of time settling down and beginning a family, Kaelberer resumed studying at Bismarck State College, where she began to take classes geared towards an education degree. She finished teaching through an extended learning program through Dickinson State University, although she did not visit the campus until her graduation earlier this month, working instead through online courses.


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