Brooke Adams

Ms. DeLeon is finishing her student teaching experience in May.

Laci Ekoniak, Feature Writer

Where’d you go to college and what’d you major in?

Ms.DeLeon: I went to YSU and majored in Integrated Math Education, with a 

minor in General Psychology.

How has your experience been so far at Struthers?

Ms.DeLeon: I have really enjoyed my time here at Struthers. The staff has welcomed me as one of their own without making me feel out of place. During my first week here, I was about 27 weeks pregnant with my daughter, so initially, I was a little nervous/intimidated that I would be judged by both the staff and students. As my time went on, I realized that I had absolutely nothing to worry about because the students absolutely loved talking to me about my future daughter. Fast forward to after winter break, when I came back from maternity leave, the students all asked to see pictures of her and asked how I was feeling. Overall, I have felt like everyone here is so welcoming and has my best interest in mind. 

What is your goal as a student teacher?

Ms.DeLeon: My ultimate goal is to graduate this May with my teaching degree and license. I’d like to continue developing my teacher/student relationships to give me some experience with how I want to connect with my future students.

Does Mr.Matzye let you teach some of his classes?

Ms.DeLeon: Yes, Mr. Matzye lets me teach some of his classes. I’ve completely taken over his first and sixth period classes; they are Algebra 2A and Algebra 2B. I’m hoping I can eventually take over his Geometry class and maybe one of the two Algebra 2 honors classes. This would help me expand my teaching experience within different subjects.

Do you have any schools in mind you would like to teach at?

Ms.DeLeon:  I’d like to move to a western suburb of Columbus, so I have been looking at districts out there with open job opportunities. I have looked into Hilliard, Dublin, Grove City, London, and Marysville schools, but I do not have a specific school in mind just yet.

What is your greatest strength as a teacher?

Ms.DeLeon: I think that two of my greatest strengths as a teacher is that I am still young and can connect with my students about some pop culture things. Students like to talk about things that interest them, so it makes it easier to talk to them when I also share those interests. Also, my second strength as a teacher is that I understand that all students learn differently and learn at a different pace. This allows me to accommodate those students who need a little extra help, but also accommodate those that pick up on the curriculum faster. I also try to work one-on-one with students that I know really struggle in math.

How do you handle stress in a teaching environment?

Ms.DeLeon: I handle stress in the classroom in different ways. One of those is I try to take deep breaths because I know sometimes the issues can arise because students struggle with outside factors: family, friends, work, etc. I try to take that into consideration before getting frustrated with them. I also handle stress through creating detailed lesson plans with detailed notes for the students. This allows me to enter the class with a plan without getting overwhelmed with what needs to be done. I try to cater the lessons to the needs of each student, while also making sure that it follows the state standards.

Why should a school system pick you over someone else for the job?

Ms.DeLeon: I think that any school system should choose me over another teaching candidate because I’m a hard worker who strives to meet the needs of each student while meeting the curriculum requirements. Many current teaching candidates try to just expose their students to content to check it off the standards list, but I like to take the time to ensure student mastery within the curriculum. I want my students to walk out of my classroom feeling confident and having learned something. If they can learn just one thing when they walk out of the classroom, it will encourage them to want to come back. I also want to get involved with the extracurricular activities that schools have to offer. I played softball at YSU, and one of my goals is to coach softball for the school district that I am employed by. This could be through middle school or high school. Also, growing up, I created a club called “Titans Connect” which helped bridge the gap between the students of the academic classes and special education classes. We spent study halls and homerooms creating team bonding activities so that everyone could be included. We also hosted a field day and separate prom for anyone involved in Titans Connect. A goal of mine is to start something like this in whatever school district I end up in.