Miss Kalu: A Force to be Reckoned With

Student teacher, Miss Kalu, sheds light in the physics classroom and on what it entails to be a student teacher.


Dynamic teacher-student teacher duo, Mr. Chia and Miss Kalu, make physics an exciting class at Glen Rock High School.

With no stereotypical lab supplies or chemicals in sight, there are perfectly set-up tables, four desks in each, cleaned and ready to be put to use for another year of fanatical physics. An unfamiliar face greets students at the door: young and seemingly innocent. Is it a new student, teacher, or administrator?

New to Glen Rock High School as a student teacher, Miss Hera Kalu began the year working with Mr. Chia as his cooperating teacher. Miss Kalu has had all of her post-high school education at Rutgers University in New Brunswick, New Jersey. She graduated and received her undergraduate degree in physics and is now currently in the Graduate School of Education at Rutgers from which she will be graduating in May 2014.

Although it is a very uncommon profession, physics teachers love what they do and what they teach. According to Miss Kalu, physics is “really interesting” and “it’s a subject that I didn’t think would be my career.”

Although a small town and a small high school, Miss Kalu enjoys student teaching in Glen Rock. “I think it’s a great school, I have great teachers that I work with and everyone is very supportive,” she said.

Working with Mr. Chia has taught Miss Kalu much already, but the most important thing she has learned is to “really be confident, relax, and everything will be fine.”  She continued, “Don’t stress or over think something.”

On the flipside, for Mr. Chia this is a whole new experience, as this is his first time having a student teacher. “It’s kind of humbling,” he said. He added that it almost feels as if he is “passing the torch.”

After Miss Kalu finishes her student teaching here at Glen Rock High School Mr. Chia hopes that Miss Kalu “has the ability to take things lightly and to enjoy teaching.”

Working in a school for the first time can be intimidating and there is a lot of pressure, especially for young teachers. Miss Kalu feels that the scariest thing about teaching is that “you have to make sure you’re a good model for the students, and you don’t want them to fear you.”

Student teaching helps mitigate this barrier by getting to interact with students by teaching them and helping them in the class. Student teachers will also get feedback from their cooperating teachers. On the other hand, when Miss Kalu officially starts teaching her favorite part will be “when I see the students really get something and the light bulb goes on.”

Looking back at her earlier education, the person that influenced her most was her high school geometry teacher. He was a great role model and a great teacher that everyone looked up to.”