SNC Sophomores Observe, Learn, Teach at NDA


Staff Writers, Journalism I

Seven SNC students are infiltrating NDA classrooms to see if teaching is their calling, their career fit.  The college sophomores pair up with a veteran, help out in the classroom, tutor in guided study halls, grade papers, and even teach a few lessons.   Journalism I students have interviewed the future teachers.    

                                           Braxton Thompson                                

From the small town of Boyd, Wisconsin, Braxton Thompson is now at Notre Dame Academy.

Thompson is one of seven St. Norbert students who are observing Notre Dame teachers to see if the career they have chosen is the right fit for them.

The St. Norbert College students are not only given the chance to observe but they also get to teach a lesson to the class for the entire period.

Thompson attended Stanley Boyd High School where he was involved in various activities.

Thompson was in about every club they had at his school, including NHS, math team and  science club.

In addition to various academic activities, he was also involved in a lot of physical activities.  He played football and basketball and ran track.

Track was his stand-out sport due to the fact that freshman year in high school St. Norbert College sent Thompson a recruitment letter for him to run for them.

Being his first year of high school, he “didn’t really think of it, but the more I thought about it” the more it geared him towards St. Norbert.  

When talking about why he chose SNC, he said, “It seemed like the right place to go.” It gave Thompson more of a home-like feeling than other schools.

He plans to go the education path and pursue a career in teaching Spanish, his favorite subject in school. Thompson took Spanish class every year in high school

“For the longest time I thought I was going to be a 4th grade teacher,” he said.  But his Spanish teacher back home did a really good job of involving him in class and helping him find his love for Spanish class.

Many of Thompson’s teachers were good role models for him. They coached the sports teams he was involved in, and because they were able to spend time together, they had the opportunity to build good relationships.

He remembers his teachers giving so much to him that he would like to give back by pursuing a similar career.  He hopes to work either in Green Bay, because he likes it here so much, or going back home and teaching there.

 –Melanie Luna Guererro

                                              Karly May                                             

NDA recently welcomed a group of St. Norbert College students eager to observe specific teachers to gain experience for future careers.

A college junior, Karly May is a determined and hardworking student who will be double majoring in Organismal Biology and Education.

“In 10 years I hope to have a job as a high school biology teacher, married with children, and living in Wisconsin,” explained Ms. May.

May is originally from a northwest suburb of Chicago with the rest of her family still living there.

Attending St.Viator High School in Arlington Heights, May was involved in volleyball, softball, Ambassadors Club and NHS.  She also attended retreats with campus ministry and was a tutor.

When choosing a college, Ms. May knew she wanted a smaller, private college that wasn’t too close to her home in Illinois.

“I visited SNC multiple times and fell in love with it more and more each and every time I was there. I know I chose an incredible school,” said May.

NDA’s Mrs. Joy Mayer, who teaches biology, proves to be a perfect match with years of experience.

“I have gained a lot of knowledge through observing,” said May. “I am paired with Mrs. Mayer, and I am learning some very valuable teaching tips from her. She is lively, organized, and a brilliant teacher. I love the way she approaches the classroom and helps the students learn as much information as possible.”

Mayer has also had a positive experience in the classroom with the help of Ms. May.

Karly May has observed my classes for two weeks and has helped with daily tasks in my classroom,” said Mayer. “She taught her first class today. She was professional, knowledgeable about the topic, and related well to the students.”

 —Ciara Van Dreese

                                           Tekoya Cosby

From Wausau, Wisconsin, Tekoya Cosby has made his way to Notre Dame Academy as one of six new Sophomore Block students from St. Norbert College.

Back at home, Cosby attended high school at Wisconsin Valley Lutheran and graduated with a class of 30 students. It was here that he found his passion for reading and writing.

“I realized in high school that I wanted English and literature to be a part of my life. I love the critical thinking aspect of literature and I truly believe it has the power to change people’s perspectives and even lives,” he stated.

As Cosby began searching for the perfect college to study English Education, he realized that all of the bigger universities he toured were “overwhelming and didn’t really feel like a home.” Then he stumbled across St. Norbert College.

“I loved the community atmosphere that St. Norbert has to offer and I immediately knew that’s where I wanted to be. The cost-effectiveness for me personally was also a plus since many English Education programs take five to six years to complete versus Norbert’s where it is four,” explained Cosby.

Another factor in his college decision is that St. Norbert College students in general have a good reputation both on campus and when they go to apply for jobs.

“I have always been amazed at the quality St. Norbert College block students we have gotten and I am not the only one who feels that way,” said NDA English teacher, Mrs. Carolyn Brown.

From the short time he has been at NDA so far, he has shadowed English teachers Jean  Thillman and Brown. From their teaching, he has particularly liked the discussion-based approach and plans to use this type of activity often in his own teaching.

In the future, Cosby hopes to complete his masters degree in education and eventually pursue a career as school principal.

“Back in middle school I spent a lot of time in the principal’s office. Yes, I was quite the troublemaker, but the principal was also my basketball coach at the time so I was around him a lot. He was one of my role models, and I hope to be that for someone in the future as well,” said Cosby.

  –Olivia Vanden Elzen

                                              Kate Tichacek

Majoring in English Education, Kate Tichacek is a St. Norbert College student completing the education department’s mandatory sophomore observation block at Notre Dame Academy.

These St. Norbert college students will spend five weeks at Notre Dame learning by  observing teachers, working in hands-on situation and generally gaining exposure to the teaching profession.

Tichacek feels as if she is reliving her high school days.

To her “it feels weird to be back at school from eight until three, to not have breaks in between classes,” and “to go to eight classes every day rather than just having four every other day.”

However, Tichacek has changed greatly since high school.

The college experience “has definitely made [her] more independent and responsible.”

In high school, “the teachers help [students] if [they] miss a day of school or are missing assignments, but in college it is all on you.”

Since beginning her journey at St. Norbert, Tichacek has known she wants to enter the workforce through English education.

She has “always enjoyed reading” and “loved going to English class” because it was a subject that came easily to her.

Once becoming an English teacher, Tichacek wants “to have a very interactive classroom” with a lot of discussions and activities instead of long lectures or strenuous note taking.

She wants her students to be “thinking about material on a deeper level” and relate information more to their lives.

Tichacek looks up to her past high school English teachers who brought intense passion to their classrooms; she “wants to be like them.”

Before she could choose her career choice of teaching English, Tichacek chose St. Norbert to call home for four years.

Moving from Illinois to their cabin in Wisconsin when Tichacek was just ten years old because they loved it so much there, St. Norbert was not far from home.

Both of her “two older sisters went to St. Norbert,” but she also feel in love with how pretty and small that campus was.

Tichacek looks to stay in Green Bay or go back to her hometown and find a job teaching English at a high school.

Tichacek said she has “already learned so much from both of [her] co-op teachers, Mrs. Hinch and Mrs. Gilson.”

She will continue to learn about classroom management, how to organize her lessons every day, and how to teach enthusiastically as she finishes up her five weeks at Notre Dame.

                                                                          —Caragan Olles

                                           Daniel Horvath

Daniel Horvath,  a St. Norbert block student, comes to Notre Dame Academy as an observer and to learn more about his passion for History.

Horvath, who is originally from St. Charles, Illinois, is now in his sophomore year at St. Norbert College.

Horvath chose St. Norbert over other various colleges because it has a “community feeling and St. Norbert does a good job making sure not only that everyone knows each other but also knows each other’s goals as well, and the campus is special too.”

Although growing up in Illinois, Horvath’s mother is from Neenah, therefore bringing her Packer genes to Horvath’s family.

Horvath touched all bases when it came to sports in high school. He played football, basketball, golf, and track and field.

When reflecting back on high school, Horvath will ultimately remember his friends and the memories he made with them.

Horvath learned in high school to not fall into the habit of procrastination because, as he explains, it “will not work in college.”

Horvath is currently observing Mr. Gray’s philosophy and history classes at Notre Dame Academy.

Horvath’s plan is to major in History Education. He is currently taking classes on History of Latin America, Literacy in the Content Areas, Adolescents with Exceptionalities and Instructional Methods for Adolescents.

Horvath has learned, from his time observing Mr. Grey, to always come to class prepared with the readings assigned, always have energy for class, and to not get lost.

In the future, Horvath would like to become a history teacher and also coach a sport, whether that being football, golf or basketball.

                                                                              —-Sam Schmid

                                           Karmen Schroeder

“I am having a wonderful experience at NDA. Everyone is extremely welcoming and helpful, especially when I get turned around in the building,” said Karmen Schroeder.

A teacher-to-be from St. Norbert College, she is currently shadowing at Notre Dame Academy and describes her presence here as very different from the local high school she attended.

Working with English teacher Sadie LaJoe, she is learning by observing her ways of teaching.

She described Mrs. LaJoe as an outstanding and highly educational teacher.

Schroeder is currently single but hopes to get married and have children in the future.

Schroeder attended Ashwaubenon High School, Home of the Jaguars. She stated that things here at NDA are quite different in terms of religious affiliation and general uniformity.

She grew up playing volleyball, but unfortunately had to quit after injuring her labrum sophomore year.

A fun fact about Ms. Schroeder is she plays the tuba and is part of the SNC band.

One of her primary reasons for attending St. Norbert College was she knew it had a strong teacher education program as well as its Catholic affiliation and nearness to home.

According to Ms. Schroeder, she grew up Catholic and still continues to practice her faith in everyday life.

An avid reader and writer, she felt English was her fit as a major.  She describes her high school teachers as “wonderful human beings.”

She is a firm believer that everything happens for a reason, and even though she is clueless of what her future might bring, she is very determined to complete her degree in English, even saying she is up for any challenges coming her way.

Schroeder states it’s hard for her to say where she might be in ten years, admitting her destiny is in the hands of God. But she does hope to make advances in her career as an educator, and eventually start a family.                                                   —Tania Antonio