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Amazing Mentors

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To The Editor:

I would like to thank the teachers, students, administrators, and community of Brasher Falls for giving me such a wonderful student teaching experience this past semester.

Thanks to the patience and guidance of my amazing host teachers, Margy Snyder and Christine Compo-Martin, I have never been more excited to be entering the field of education, and I will forever be indebted to both for welcoming me into their classrooms.

I’m not sure that most people understand the risk that teachers take when mentoring a student teacher. Doing so doesn’t mean that they are immune from APPR ratings, or that the onus is no longer on them to insure that their students perform well on Regents exams. Though they are often not the ones in front of the class during this time, it remains their responsibility to ensure that the students continue to achieve at a high level.

It’s still their names on the reports, good or bad, and really it’s an amazing amount of risk for a teacher to take on with no extra compensation in it for them. They take this risk and extra responsibility solely out of a sense of duty to the educational community. They do it because, as one host teacher explained, that’s just what you do.

I feel that I was also the beneficiary of some remarkable timing for this student teaching placement. It is a period of transition at St. Lawrence Central, with changes at superintendent and high school principal, and I was fortunate to have had the opportunity to witness important administrative changes that I might have missed had my placement in the school come at another time.

As a result there were facets to the education that I will take away that not every student teacher is fortunate enough to enjoy.

Thanks to everyone at St. Lawrence Central who made my student teaching placement so special. Wherever I end up, in whichever classroom, whatever the district may be, I will do my best to earn the favor that you did for me by welcoming me into your school and continue in the educational traditions and high standards that I saw around me every day of my time there.

All the best,

Geoffrey H. Van Duyne

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