Student teacher aids Allison Luskey

Jenna Wollitz helps to manage the classroom


Sophie Livingston

Jenna Wollitz assists health teacher Allison Luskey. She is a master’s student at Augsburg University.

Gabriel Kaplan

Graduate student Jenna Wollitz said she is enjoying her work at Park as she spends time back in high school in pursuit of her master’s degree.

“I am a masters student at Augsburg University, and I am going for my masters in education with an emphasis on health education,” Wollitz said. “Being a student teacher is a requirement for your master’s degree. It is essentially like an unpaid internship, so you work in the field doing all of the things that a teacher would do, only you do not get paid.”

According to health teacher Allison Luskey, Wollitz first started teaching at the beginning of the school year. 

“She started student teaching the first day of school, and she will be with us for about the first quarter,” Luskey said.

As of Oct. 15, Wollitz said she had only worked with seniors.

“So far we have had unit one 12th graders, and coming up next week, we will have unit one ninth graders,” Wollitz said.

Senior Anthony David said when he had health class, Ms. Wollitz acted as the teacher’s assistant and had not begun to teach full lessons.

“When we had group discussions, she would voice her opinions. Otherwise, she mostly just went around and either handed materials out or collected materials, sort of like a teacher’s aide,” David said.

Wollitz’s time at Park is meant to give her hands-on experience with real students and she will have an increasingly active role in the classroom over the quarter, according to Luskey.

“Student teaching is really a gradual process whereby the end of the process, you want that student teacher to really be taking control or command of the classroom so that they experience what it is like to be the teacher,” Luskey said. “The first couple weeks she did some observations, and we met about curriculum, and we did some lesson planning together. Gradually, she would take different pieces of the lesson and teach those pieces.”

David said he supported the requirement that graduate students must gain some teaching experience prior to receiving their master’s degree.

“It’s great practice,” David said. “I think it is a way to get first-hand experience, it is almost like an internship.”

Freshman John Lawrence enjoyed Wollitz’s teaching and supports her training through hands-on learning.

“She taught us what we needed to be taught and she did that well,” Lawrence said. “Sometimes a teacher doesn’t have enough time to help all the students and that’s why I think a student teacher is important.”

Wollitz said she likes being a student teacher, and she encourages other students to pursue a career in education.

“I enjoy it immensely,” Wollitz said. “I have been very fortunate in that Luskey has taken me under her wing, and I think I have learned a lot. I would also encourage a lot of people, if they are thinking about going to college or eventually pursuing their master’s degree, to just go for it and just do it.”