An elementary education senior is already teaching the fifth grade.
Monica Hiller began student teaching fifth grade classes at Rollingwood Elementary School, 6301 N. Ann Arbor Ave., in the Putnam City School District this semester.
Education seniors spend their last semester teaching at assigned schools around the area instead of attending classes at the university.
Hiller observed the Rollingwood classroom for 30 hours in the fall, so she knew the teacher and students before receiving her assignment. She said she does everything a “normal” teacher would do, like grading papers, setting agendas and running the classroom.
“I am at school from 7:45 a.m. to around 4 p.m. every day, unless my boys have a basketball game. Then, I stay and watch,” Hiller said. “I am teaching fifth grade math, which is my worst subject, of course. I do the same thing every day, but every day is totally different.”
When the students arrive at school, Hiller hosts a meeting where students share positive things that happened to them the day before. She then teaches three rotations of math, one for each fifth grade class. After lunch at 1 p.m., the students work on social studies or writing to prepare for the end-of-year writing test, Hiller said.
Hiller also said the position reassured her that teaching is her biggest passion, though she still wants to be a school administrator some day.
“I didn’t think I would love fifth grade, but I love the school I’m at and the age of the students I am with,” she said. “The best part is that I can joke around with the kids, and they know the difference between right and wrong.”
Hiller said she loves watching her students learn and grow every day while she develops a bond with them.
“They call me ‘Ms. Hiller,’ which I love,” she said. “One of them has called me ‘Ms. Hitler,’ but we got that shut down real quick. One of them told me, ‘You know, Ms. Hiller, you could be a really good teacher.’”
The worst parts about student teaching are the higher chances of getting the flu, feeling disconnected from OCU and the hours, Hiller said.
“I miss being a college student,” she said.
While student teaching, Hiller has remained active in Student Activities Council and Alpha Chi Omega sorority. She also coaches the Lambda Chi Alpha intramural basketball team.
Hiller said she hopes her senior classmates live it up during their last semester.
“It is really confusing to not be in college anymore,” she said. “It is so much fun to be doing what you love and were created to do every day, but it is really difficult to schedule time to see your friends when you are used to hanging out with them at Alvin’s at midnight. Enjoy it while you can.”