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As the final weeks of my experience at Dunn Middle School quickly approached I began to reflect on my experience as a whole. All of my initial opinions have changed since the first time I walked into Dunn. I feel so much differently about Mr. Kiernan, the students, and the school experience in general. The closer to the end it got, the more sense of accomplishment and relief began to overwhelm me. I was so proud that I, for the past few weeks had been a real teacher. Up until the end I didn’t feel like a real teacher I felt like something else, I can’t explain what, but I began to realize that the students really saw me as their teacher. They respected and liked me just as much as Mr. Kiernan, and the best part, they learned just as much from me as the would have if Mr. Kiernan had been standing up in the front of the room. However, I also found myself feeling very relieved. For as much as enjoyed my experience, I was ready for it to be over.
The final weeks of my experience at Dunn were the most eye opening. After talking to Mr. Kiernan over a casual lunch I learned a lot more about him personally and why he does what he does. My opinion on him has changed immensely since the first day. I went from thinking that he was a mean teacher who didn’t really care about the students or what they learned to realizing that he is one of the most caring teachers I have ever met. He loves to teach. That’s the best thing a teacher could do. If you don’t love to teach, then you will not succeed in the field. He cares more about his kids well being then most in that school. He is the baseball coach outside of the classroom and even checks up on the players in the off season. I still may not agree with all of his teaching strategies, but I do think that he is a good teacher. Caring about the well being of the students, I quickly learned, is sometimes more important then what they learn about math inside the classroom here at Dunn.
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