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Reflections on My First Week of Teacher Certification School

UVEI Interns 2015It’s not often in life that you get to press the reset button, but that’s kind of how I feel about my experiences this past week. On Monday I started the teacher certification program at the Upper Valley Educator’s Institute in Lebanon, NH. As I drove the hour to and from the school each day, I did a lot of reflecting on where I’ve been and where I’m going.

Going back to school was a big decision, but after four days of “class” I’m pretty certain that it was the right one. I’ve realized how much I miss learning, and how much I miss sharing what I’ve learned in the classroom. I’ve realized that despite the fact that I am an introvert, I thrive on social relationships and being around people. Maybe I’m an extroverted introvert? Is that a thing? I’ve realized that I appreciate being home all the more when I spend a good portion of the day away. It feels awesome to be back on a regular schedule.

One of the great things about the program I am attending is that it is designed for people who already have at least a Bachelor’s degree, and many of us are coming back to teaching from other careers (though most of us have experience in education). We all bring a great deal of life experience along with us, and for many of us the path leading to where we are has had its share of ups and downs. This has helped allay some of my worries about pursuing a new career path at this point in my life. It’s also been fun to watch a bunch of adults singing Tooty-Ta (maybe I should be going into elementary ed!).

One of the lessons I’ve learned these past few years is that the path of life doesn’t have to be linear, despite the fact that I spent most of mine to this point following the path of a college professor. Go to high school, get a college degree, get a Ph.D., get an academic teaching job, get tenure, get promoted, etc. A little over two years ago I intentionally veered off that path since I wasn’t sure I wanted to follow that road for another 25 years. There have been twists and turns in the interim, and it has led me to where I am today.

Next week I head back into the classroom as a teacher intern in a very different environment from the one I’ve lived in for most of my adult life. I have apprehensions about the experience, but also a great deal of excitement. I’m ready for this challenge, time to move ahead!

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About Peter Larson

This post was authored by Peter Larson. Pete is a biology teacher, track/soccer coach, and dad (x3) with a passion for running, soccer, and science. If you'd like to learn a little bit more about who I am and what I do, click here, or visit


  1. I am entering my fourth year of teaching after doing this same thing. It has been almost six years since I hit the reset button and can tell you it is among the best decisions I’ve ever made. Good luck on your new adventure.

  2. I honestly think some people are just born with a love for learning and sharing knowledge, and I’m sure a lot of Runblogger came from this same passion.

    I guess at the end of the day, the most important thing about life is touching other’s lives in a deep way.

    This sounds like a great change for you, good luck!

  3. Teacher cert school: many love it, many don’t. It’s one of those things where you get out of it what you put into it, and it clearly sounds like you’re getting a lot out of it, and your students will get the rewards of it. The positivity you’re showing now will be reflected in their performance data. You are going to be a great school teacher. (I did the same: swapped a promotion & tenure letter for a teaching certificate.). The way you post here, especially about how to interpret certain research on running physiology and dynamics, and how you manage discussions/comments shows what kind of teacher you’ll be. HS kids will love your approach.

    Good luck on the beginning of your internship!

    • Thanks so much BC! Three days in the HS classroom so far and really enjoying it. Very different job environment than academia in a positive way. I feel I know exactly what I need to be doing at any given time, and it’s all about how to perform best in the classroom. As an academic, it was hard to feel like work ever really ended since there was always the research side to fill the gaps.

  4. Look for a #TBT of your post tomorrow on UVEI’s Facebook page. Thank you, Pete!

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