Erica Moyer and Megan Schutz, North Plainfield School District
Erica Moyer: When I first started student teaching, I was a student teacher and Megan was my cooperating teacher. When I started I wanted to be the best teacher I could be, and Megan was a good role model for me, and helped me be able to connect with the kids. I had to learn all about classroom management, and how to control kids. Classroom management is the hardest thing. When I first started, it was nerve wracking, of course, but she was there to help me. She let me take full control of the classroom, which nowadays, that doesn’t happen anymore because of evaluations changing. But back then it was so nice because if I made a mistake, she let me fix it, and it was a great learning experience, and I grew from it.
Megan Schutz: I mold the student- teachers on how to be a teacher before they graduate. The first thing I wanted Erica to know was how to work with the kids, how to build relationships with them. I had a plan in place where we were using a clip chart, and how to motivate the kids to move up and down the chart, and then letting her go, and make her mistakes and learn from them. I never needed to jump in to help her though, there was never a life raft needed to help her. I was working with Erica for a semester, but we have known each other for 10 years since that time. She started teaching at the school and we stayed connected ever since. We come to the teachers’ convention every year, our annual trip, and I get to brag about my protégé right here.
Erica: We have jewelry parties that we go to; we both have kids and see each other at baby showers, weddings, bridal showers — the whole thing. Megan wasn’t just my cooperating teacher, but she became a genuine friend.
Megan: I am extremely proud of Erica. I am sad that I had to leave the school that I met her at in West End for Somerset, but I still see her. Whenever we see each other, it is good friends coming together.
Article and Photograph by Gregory Andrus. If you have a teacher you would like to nominate for this popular series, please contact Gregory at firstname.lastname@example.org