Student Spotlight
All In a Day’s Work

What’s it like to be a student teacher? Follow along on a day in the life of senior health and physical education major Tommy Kendall and learn why UIndy grads make great employees.

7:45 a.m.

Tommy Kendall pulls into the parking lot at Jeremiah Gray Elementary School in Indianapolis. Students don’t arrive until 8:05, but this UIndy senior health and physical education major has a lot to do before then. As a student teacher, Tommy is responsible for teaching physical education to all students from kindergarten to fifth grade. He gets the gym equipment set up for the day and heads off to a professional development meeting.

8:50 a.m.

The first class of students arrive in the gym for a 40-minute period, getting a high-five from Tommy on the way in. “I think it helps to create a positive learning environment,” he said, “and it’s a fun tradition.” During class time, Tommy teaches healthy habits in addition to exercises and fun games that burn off some extra energy. One more high-five sends each student out the door to the next class.

9:40 a.m.

Tommy settles in with a group of first graders to help them with their reading skills. For 90 minutes each day, he works with the students to teach them words, read them books and ask them comprehension questions. “To be a good teacher you’ve got to get out there and practice,” he said. “Just jump in and get involved as much as possible.”


“If you find a job doing what you love, then it won’t feel like a job.”

11:10 a.m.

Time for one more gym class before lunch!


Tommy brings his own lunch and eats in the teachers’ lounge with staff from the school. “I enjoy getting to know the other teachers and being part of a team,” he said.


Elementary school kids need a chance to unwind, and even the student teachers help with recess duty. “I like to connect with the younger kids,” he said. “The kids are excited at this age.”

1:30–3:40 p.m.

Tommy teaches three more gym classes before the school day ends at 3:40. “I’ve heard many kids say that they love the new gym teacher,” he said with a laugh. “My cooperating teacher at Jeremiah Gray really helped to integrate me well and slowly let me take on more and more of the teaching responsibilities. I feel like I’ve been well-prepared by UIndy for this experience and I’ve been given great direction and help along the way.”

More than 25 scholarships are available to School of Education majors.