Interview with a New Colleger

Our recent New College student-teacher interns shared all about their recent experience here at Saint Stephen's.

Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past two weeks, you would have noticed our four New College student-teaching interns roaming around campus, taking part in lessons, and participating in discussions. 

This group is a mix of New College students (each studying different majors) who may be interested in becoming teachers. The interns spent their time shadowing teachers in the Upper School, discovering what teaching has to offer as a possible future career. 

Our New College visitors really got to know us this year, finding their comfort zone.  

The Gauntlet sat down with two of the New Collegers to talk about their experiences here on campus. Below is our interview withAdrienne Hill, a second year student studying History, and Claire Newburg, a third year student studying Literature and Linguistics. 

Q: What are some things that stick out to you here at Saint Stephen’s?

(Adrienne) The quality of education. Here there is a wide range of classes that I didn’t have in highschool. [For example] Mr. Hoonhout’s Otherness English seminar. I think this class could be a college class. 

(Claire) The teachers are so intelligent and highly qualified, where at my high school the school was desperate for teachers, and that definitely showed. 

Q: What was most surprising to you about our school coming from a college perspective? Are there similarities/differences? 

(Adrienne) Students have to do a lot here, such as answer questions and pay attention in the classroom. [A similarity is that] a lot of work is put on the students where they have to be responsible for their own learning. 

(Claire) One thing that surprised me is that I am used to the college workload, so when I sat in on an English class and their homework was to read 10 pages, I was surprised there wasn’t more. Professors have assigned an entire novel for homework. 

Q: What is something you recommend students knowing when going into college? 

(Claire) It’s not as scary as you think. You don’t have to be incredibly smart and have a 4.0 gpa, all A’s, and extracurriculars to get into college. There’s always going to be a college out there that is right for you. At college, don’t go overboard but join a club or two so you are used to getting out of your room and spending time on things other than homework. The more time spent in your room, the less likely you will want to leave it. 

Q: Was there a big shift going from living at home to having to become responsible for yourself? 

(Adrienne) It can be both a scary and freeing experience. You have to make appointments and go to the doctor on your own, and I struggle with that, but I love being able to do whatever I want, whenever I want. 

(Claire) Financially, I had to learn how to budget. I have a secret cat that my mom doesn’t know about, and so I recently took her to the vet, and I did that whole process by myself, and I was so proud of myself. 

Q: “Good and Bads” of Saint Stephen’s student community from an outside perspective? 

(Adrienne) I’ve noticed that some students remain inside their bubble, and aren’t willing to acknowledge other perspectives. They are very set in their own ways, [and] it’s very obvious sometimes in the classroom. 

(Claire) There is a little bit of a lack of willingness to understand. [However] I feel like that comes with the stubbornness of being a teenager. There’s a small percentage of slacking students but they do stand out. 

Q: What is your opinion on the student body after walking through the halls? 

(Claire) I watched two girls spend an entire block period making a Tik Tok, and I was so interested in what they were doing. Vine was the thing when I was in high school, but not many people made Vines in school. It definitely shows my age. Walking through the hallways and being seen as an adult is weird. When I go back to college I’m the kid, but walking here it’s like the parting of the Red Sea.

Q: Biggest thing you’ve learned through this experience? 

(Adrienne) I learned that I am old. I didn’t think there was that much of a gap between me, a 20 year old, and an 18 year old, but there is. I would think that students could relate to me more, but no. It’s also weird coming from college where everyone is there to learn something, so you’re always surrounded by people who want to actively learn, [whereas] in high school people have to be here, so it’s weird seeing the difference. 

Q: Any last comments? 

(Claire) The amount of technology that is used in the classroom has increased so much from when I was in high school. Saint Stephen’s uses a lot of technology in the classroom, which is cool on one hand but also can be very distracting. [For example] When I did my lesson just now, I had handwritten notes, and everyone had their computer open and I felt like a dinosaur.