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  • Writer's pictureStudent Ambassadors

Student Teaching Experiences: Houston, Texas

The McKay School offers unique opportunities for early childhood education, elementary education, and special education students to complete their student teaching semesters outside of Utah. Our current two programs, Houston, TX and Washington DC, are great opportunities for those wanting a new or diverse teaching experience. Here to tell us all about her experiences student teaching in Houston, TX is elementary education alumna Stefania Amado!

Tell us a little bit about yourself:

"My name is Stefania Amado, I am originally from Guatemala but I grew up in Houston, Texas. I am engaged to my best friend and we will be married in the end of March! Both me and my fiancé are from Houston and we plan on staying here. Some of my hobbies are watching movies, working out, and cuddling with my dog Astro."

What grade did you teach in Houston?

"I taught 5th grade English Language Arts when I was doing my student teaching at Jones Elementary. In Texas, school is very different than in Utah. Usually by the time you’re in second grade, you have more than one teacher that you switch with some time during the school day. That being said, I only taught English language arts all day, all semester long! This means I had 70+ students split into three classes that would rotate. I love every single one of those students!"

Why did you decide to do your student teaching in Houston?

"I decided to teach in Houston because I felt prompted by the Lord to teach there. I always wanted to move back to Houston after finishing BYU, and fortunately I got to move back early to continue my student teaching there."

What are the biggest takeaways and things you've learned because of your experience in Houston?

"Some of my biggest takeaways from my time at Jones Elementary is how important it is to look at all of your students as children of God. I had many students with behavioral plans that were listed as “difficult” and even a “danger” to others. However, I came in with the same love our Savior would show and ended up making the strongest connections with those kids. Even though sometimes you may feel defeated by a group of 10 year olds, you have to remember that they are just kids. Take a deep breath, love them, and serve them."

What's next for you? What are your plans now that you've finished your student teaching?

"Now that I have finished student teaching, I am working on taking the exams to get my Texas teaching license. I plan to start teaching in August for the 24-25 school year and most definitely will try my best to teach 5th grade because IT’S THE BEST! I cannot wait to start teaching as Mrs. Pietsch, to help my students feel loved and help them know their potential."

Anything else you'd like to add?

"If you are considering student teaching in Houston, you need to come in ready to learn. As a Houstonian, living in Provo was a big culture shock for me because it is basically the opposite of my city. Come in ready to learn about multiple cultures, religions, and to grow your love and appreciation for how beautifully diverse Houston is."

If you would like to learn more about student teaching in Houston or Washington DC or discover all the opportunities available to McKay School students, set up an appointment to meet with a student ambassador here.

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