SNC Block Students Eager to Gain On-Hands Experience, Knowledge of Teaching


Nick Bumgardner, Editor-in-Chief, Advanced Journalism

In what has become a yearly tradition at NDA, the St. Norbert College block students have completed their first week on campus.

College sophomores, these SNC students have the unique opportunity to be paired up with NDA faculty and get a taste for teaching first hand.

The five weeks spent in the classroom are critical, as they can serve as a gauge to determine if a career in education is the best fit for them after all.

Additionally, the experience serves as a gateway to SNC’s greater teacher-education program, with block students being evaluated by their field supervisor and cooperating NDA teacher during their time at NDA.

This year, NDA welcomes nine SNC block students in total, doing their pre-student-teaching in the science, art, math and English departments.

Joseph Hanlon, working with English teacher Jean Thillman, is one of these nine.

“I have a lot of goals that I want to accomplish in the field of education. All I’ve heard are great things about all the teachers at NDA, so I hope to gain as much knowledge from them as I possibly can,” he said.

“Honestly, I never really wanted to go into education to start.  My dad is a teacher and his dad was a teacher/professor/administrator before him, and I really just wanted to go my own way.  But, in the fall semester of this year, I took an education class just to see what it was about, and I absolutely loved it.  I could not be any more excited than I already am about going into education, and I’m looking forward to starting this experience at NDA,” Hanlon continued.

Michele Mahlock, NDA Registrar and School Quality Specialist, has been tasked with acclimating the SNC block students to their new home away from home.

As part of her role on campus, Mahlock worked tirelessly to organize block student schedules, place them in classrooms and ease the transition from the student desk to the teacher desk.

“The SNC sophomores are at various stages in their decision-making processes about becoming teachers.  I hope they leave NDA after five weeks of meaningful experiences with increased self-awareness about the teaching vocation and whether or not that is their calling,” she explained.

Ana Karademas, who spends most of her time with veteran English teacher Carolyn Brown, has already impressed her NDA supervisor. 

“Ms. K, as we call her, is eager to be involved. She has been a major addition to our classroom and a big help to me.  She is comfortable with the students, has learned all their names, proofread essays and helped me with technology,” said Brown.

As the school year begins to wind down for NDA students, SNC block students are just getting started, hoping to gain valuable experience, education and connections in the coming weeks.