Choir hosts student teacher


Abi Bartusek

Ms. Taken directing concert choir.

Abi Bartusek, Writer

Ms. Talken? More like Ms. Singen. A new student teacher has joined the New Prague High School choir team. Ms. Talken is only at NPHS for 6 weeks; therefore, she does not have time to help with a concert. Even though her time at New Prague is limited, both Mrs. Thietje and choir students are excited to have her around.

Mrs. Thietje decided to bring another student teacher in because St. Olaf reached out and asked if she would be interested in hosting another student teacher; she happily agreed. When asked why she enjoys hosting student teachers she said, “I think they teach me, too. I love having conversations about music education with them. I also love that they get to work with NPHS Choir students because we have a pretty supportive environment where they can feel comfortable trying new things.” Specifically with Ms. Talken, she said, “I’m looking forward to seeing her make connections with the students, to experience success, and get to know her.” She said Ms. Talken “is easy to talk to, kind, and asks really great questions.”

Ms. Talken, who started at NPHS February 7,  grew up in Kansas City, Missouri. When asked why she wanted to become a teacher she said, “As many teachers do, I had a few teachers in high school that were incredibly impactful for me. I hadn’t done any choir before high school and really only joined because my sister convinced me, but of course, ended up loving every minute of it. I became very close with my choir and theater teachers, but especially our accompanist, Steven. He was one of the brightest lights I have ever had the pleasure to know and became both a friend and a mentor to me. He passed away suddenly my junior year of high school, and in the coming months and years the choir room was the place that I was able to find some peace. I am still in awe of my teachers and everything that they did for us in the wake of his passing. I only hope to be that kind of teacher for my future students and create a space where they too can find some joy and peace.” 

Unsure what grades she wants to teach, she is glad she chose to be a choir teacher. “Connecting with students and getting to make music with them is easily one of my favorite things in the world”. She most looks forward to getting to know the students at New Prague and getting to make music with them. Her least favorite part about student teaching at the high school is having to get up at 5:30 every morning, she “did not miss that part of high school.”  

Some things she said she can bring to the choir students at NPHS is “some new energy and fun warmups.” When asked what her biggest fear is when it comes to student teaching she responded, “Obviously the pandemic has dramatically impacted the world of teaching and changed education forever. I think that just not being prepared for some of these unexpected changes is what I am most nervous about, but I am looking forward to learning!”

Students were very eager to meet her, and now that she is here they are very grateful to have her around. After only a week of having Ms. Talken in class, she started teaching choirs. Students find her very accepting and caring but most importantly an amazing teacher.