By Lillian Bowe
PNT staff writer
A native of Mexico, Amanda Jasson only knew how to speak Spanish when she enrolled in Dora schools at age 15.
She remembers struggling to learn English.
“My teachers were really patient with me and showed me what a teacher can really do,” Jasson said.
After graduating high school, Jasson thought she wanted to be an accountant and enrolled at Clovis Community College to pursue that degree, but left after a year. Not too sure what she wanted to do, she got a job as a teacher’s aide at Elida School. With her experience in high school and the encouragement of the teachers at Elida, she began to pursue a teaching degree at Eastern New Mexico University.
Since January, Jasson has been student-teaching at Valencia Elementary.
Vera Jones, interim coordinator of ENMU’s Teacher Education Pro-gram, said student-teaching provides real world teaching experience.
Jones said the first two weeks, student-teachers observe their cooperating teacher. The next four weeks they will be teaching the class under the observation of their cooperating teacher.
Jasson, a 34-year-old mother of three, is working with fourth-grade teacher Elvira Iturralde.
She teaches her lessons in Spanish as part of Valencia’s bilingual program in which students learn English through their language art classes and taught math, science and social studies in Spanish.
Despite the required 100 hours of classroom observation, Jasson found out she was not as prepared for classroom management as she believed.
“It was one of my weaknesses, but Ms. Iturralde really has her management under control and I will be implementing her style of management to my own classroom,” Jasson said.
Jasson said student-teaching has been a really great experience.
“The kids say the funniest things, but I can’t laugh with them or chaos ensues as they will laugh with me,” Jasson said.
Jasson plans to graduate in May with a degree for kindergarten through eighth grade, but she has not decided what she wants to teach.
“If I could I would teach them all,” Jasson smiled. “I just love kids. They bring me so much joy and I can’t wait to teach.”