Student teacher returns to Bellevue West

Leah Larson, Layout Editor

Becoming a teacher is no easy task. According to Vinny Harvey, a student teacher at Bellevue West, most colleges require their students to complete 60 hours of practicum, which allows them to receive firsthand experience and learn more about their future career. But for Harvey, it was double that amount when he decided to double major in both music and Spanish education.

Harvey completed his Spanish practicum during the 2017-2018 school year in Spanish teacher Machaella Fogarty’s classroom. He had previously completed his student teaching in music at Lewis and Clark Middle School.

“I think she’s a great teacher and a good person to learn under,” Harvey said.

He was given the choice to student teach anywhere in the community, and he decided to return to Bellevue West. Sophomore Allyson Seelbach said she thought this decision meant the school had very good students.

“He likes our students,” Seelbach said. “We’re respectful and he’d rather come here than other places.”

Fogarty also felt honored after hearing about Harvey’s decision. Having a student teacher enter the classroom required a large amount of collaboration between the two. Despite the changes, Fogarty said she is lucky to have Harvey.

“He gives his input, I give my input,” Fogarty said, “It takes a lot of work.”

According to Fogarty, the most important thing to learn about teaching is not just how to provide the material, but also how to get to know students on a personal level. Harvey is learning to do just that while continuously making positive improvements in his teaching style.

“He’s always been very strong, confident, focused,” Fogarty said, “But I feel that since it’s been a year, he has good disciplinary action in the classroom. He’s got a great sense of humor and is very in tune to students’ feelings.”

Harvey said he wanted to be a teacher ever since high school, where he was a member of honors choir and studied abroad in Spain. The task of learning to be a teacher, however, does not come without difficulty.

“Every semester, you’re always kind of nervous and you want your lessons to go well,” Harvey said.

Despite the nervous aspects, Harvey is excited about his plans for the future. He will be working as a choir director at Ralston Middle School next school year. As of now, his favorite part about teaching is seeing students engaged and enjoying the learning process.

“I love being able to watch that lightbulb click,” Harvey said.