It was a little more than 10 years ago that Silver Lake College senior Renee Troullier was a student in Angela Schardt’s 5th grade class at Jackson Elementary School.
Today, Renee can be found standing in front of Angela’s 5th grade class at Madison Elementary School as a student teacher. Instead of math and English, she’s learning how to take control of a classroom.
The placement was serendipitous. “I actually didn’t know she was the same person because she had gotten married and changed her name,” Renee said.
Angela, whose maiden name was Radandt, recalled that Renee’s 2003-2004 class was the first class she taught.
“Your first class is just this special group of kids. You realize you have to be responsible for them to be successful and have all these hopes and dreams for them,” Angela said.
Renee is only the second student teacher she has had in her career.
“It’s hard to give up control of the class to someone else,” Angela admitted.
“What’s especially hard about 5th grade is that the teacher has to cover every subject and move swiftly and seamlessly from one to another,” she said.
“Our teacher candidates truly look forward to student teaching because it’s the ultimate learning context in which they can ‘try their wings,’” said Sister Marcolette Madden, SLC Associate Professor, School of Education.
“That’s where, under the guidance of a cooperating teacher and college supervisor, they hone their teaching skills,” she said. “The Teacher Education Program at Silver Lake College has been exceptionally fortunate to have top-notch teachers from surrounding school districts serve as mentors for our student teachers. This strong partnership contributes exponentially to the professional growth of our candidates.”
When she was in 5th grade, Renee had no desire to become a teacher. She wanted to become an actress or singer, a typical dream for a student that age.
It’s wasn’t until later on, when she began giving tours of the Wisconsin Maritime Museum’s fully restored World War II submarine, the USS Cobia, that she gave serious consideration to becoming a teacher, she said.
“When I started teaching students who came to tour the Cobia, I realized I love to share what I know,” Renee said.
Some of that love of teaching may have rubbed off from family members. Her maternal grandfather was a teacher at Wilson Junior High School and her mother and her aunt and uncle all worked for the Manitowoc school district.
Renee is a Silver Lake College senior majoring in elementary education with a concentration in social studies. She has just begun the student teaching portion of her education and will move on to Wilson Junior High School next semester.
“She was fortunate to start at the beginning of the year, so she could see how a classroom is set up, how the initial assessments are done. She is learning behavior management and how we develop routines in math and reading. It’s all the little details that matter,” Angela said.
“I’m enjoying it so far,” Renee said. “I enjoy the experience of being with Mrs. Schardt all day long to see how she does what she does.”