Student? Teacher? Both. ‘Zero regrets’ for first-time teachers in CMS during COVID
By Annie Ma - Posted Feb 19, 2021
For years, Leah Rausch thought about becoming a teacher. As a child, she recalls, she would line her stuffed animals up in her bedroom, forming a makeshift classroom with her toy students.
After 17 years working in the restaurant industry, she returned to school to finish her undergraduate degree at UNC Charlotte. In March, as the coronavirus pandemic forced universities and K-12 schools to move learning online, she began to wonder if now was the right time to enter the field as everything seemed uncertain.
“After the shutdown March, we were approaching the end of the semester and I confided in (a professor),” she said. “I was like, ‘I don’t know what to do. I want to continue with education, but I just don’t know if it’s a good idea.’ And she said, ‘Nope, you need to do it, you need to get in the classroom as soon as possible.’”
So in May, Rausch began her graduate degree in teaching. Aspiring teachers in North Carolina are required to spend 16 weeks in a classroom, observing a veteran teacher before leading their own classes. That requirement for teacher certification hasn’t changed as a result of the coronavirus.
Student teachers like Rausch find themselves at the intersection of virtual teaching and virtual learning.