Clark welcomes new student teacher Ms. Hairapetian

Now student teaching with Ms. Dominique Evans, 25-year-old Meleeneh Hairapetian is part of the teaching program at CSUN. 

Ms. Hairapetian is required to student teach for two semesters, this semester being her last semester student teaching.  

Ms. Hairapetian is a Clark alumna that graduated in 2013 and had both Mr. Gruss and Ms. Evans as her teachers. Now, they are teachers she looks up to, since Glendale Unified let her finish her program requirements at Clark. 

Meleeneh Hairapetian wants to be a biology or environmental science teacher because she has always found biology very interesting, and it has always been her favorite science. “Biology, to me, has always been very interesting because it’s all around you all the time. You are biology and your environment is biology.” She believes it’s the easiest science to study because it isn’t as hard as physics or other sciences with all their fancy tools and experiments. “You get to grow things and observe life, which is so complicated and cool, that you could just study it forever.”

Having recently been a substitute teacher at different schools in Glendale and now a student teacher, Ms. Hairapetian is really excited to become a full-time teacher with her own classroom. There are many differences between substitute teaching and student teaching because with substituting, the classes and students change every day, but this is her first year being with one group of students the whole way through. 

“Having my own class, getting to plan my own lessons, seeing my own students, and just being in charge of everything is all exciting to me because it’s so different from substituting or student teaching.” Ms. Hairapetian can’t wait to have a class of her own because although she has some freedom with being a student teacher, she does not get to plan everything herself.

“I’ve always wanted to be a teacher. I knew I’d end up teaching but I didn’t know when,” she explains how her plans changed a bit from the coronavirus pandemic and she started teaching sooner than she thought she would. “You don’t go into teaching if you don’t truly love to teach.” 

Ms. Hairapetian aspires to be a balanced, approachable teacher that students will feel comfortable talking to. She wants to inspire her students to work hard and accomplish good things, but does not want to be the type of teacher that just makes her students’ lives harder for no reason.

As a teacher, seeing her students really put in the effort and achieve something that they are proud of will make her proud. She hopes that her future students will love learning in her class, and, even if the subject isn’t their favorite, she hopes they find something they enjoy in the subject. Ms. Hairapetian doesn’t expect her students to be perfect or have all As, but seeing progress in her students would be a huge accomplishment for her.

“Teaching is like a mix of scary and exciting; like I’m scared of curriculum changes, which is something that scares all teachers, but I also can’t wait to teach my own class.”