The Life of a Student Teacher: Abby Huskisson

An in-depth look at ADM’s Choir student teacher Abby Huskisson.

Abby Huskisson rehearsing with her choir students. it prepared them for their upcoming concert in December

Abby Huskisson is a student teacher this semester, teaching Concert Choir, ADM Singers, and AP Music Theory in the choir room with Becca Cassel.

Huskisson is attending Drake University and chose it for multiple reasons. She said, “I liked the distance from home and the positive atmosphere of the staff and student life, everyone was enthusiastic and wanting to be involved.” She has always loved music and theater along with working with kids so she decided to go into teaching because she can combine all three together and share her love of music and theater with kids of all ages.

She lives in an apartment near Drake and commutes about 30 minutes here. Her typical day consists of arriving at school and doing some planning with Mrs. Cassel and working together to make goals for each piece of music they’ll go over with their choir students. She spends her Tuesday evenings in a seminar where her teachers assign extra homework to go along with student teaching and talk about overall how student teaching is going. Her weekends consist of going outside and meeting up with friends. “A lot of my friends are teachers as well and are student teaching during the week,” she said. That makes it hard for them to get together during the week. She also likes to do yoga, do Drake assignments and just keep a healthy balance between normal life and teacher life.

Huskisson, along with student teaching, has learned multiple new skills that she believes all teachers should know. “I learn the administration side of teaching like meetings, grading, planning, assessments, and logistics of what it’s like to plan for a random day of classes,” she said.

She believes she and Cassel work very well together and she picked ADM because she felt a connection with Cassel and knew that she was the cooperating teacher she wanted to learn from. She and Cassel work together on lots and lots of planning together for their day. They discuss goals for rehearsal and what they need to get done before concerts. They also discuss the process of learning music, and short and long term goals for different musical pieces. Cassel also taught Huskisson one very important thing: “She taught me how to be specific and effective in rehearsals.”

Huskisson has learned tons of things from student teaching this semester and she believes they’re all going to help her be successful in her future. She said, “I’ve learned how to be a consistent teacher and lots of classroom management skills, how to conserve energy properly, and how much I love spending time with children of all ages and lastly making music.”

She already has interviews set up in the Des Moines area, Chicago, and New York for positions in teaching or substituting in a music or theatrical setting. As the semester winds down and we move onto the second semester, Huskisson is grateful for the opportunity to student teach here at ADM and said, “I have loved being here at ADM and how many opportunities there are for extra curriculars inside and outside of music and how I’ve built my confidence here.”