Over this past holiday weekend, I realized that I only have 9 more days (8 now!) left on the term before I am heading back home 😮 This term has been immensely more successful in terms of my teaching and the positivity of the teachers around me. I have actually been able to teach full days with my cooperating teacher out of the room, or even not at school at all! There was a day when she had a substitute and I was completely on my own for management and organizing the day. I was nervous, but she gave me her confidence and the students did not turn the classroom upside down – heck, they almost tied with me in the point system I use! There are always certain parts of some days where the students are chattier and we have to stop more often to wait; however, I would not at all consider this term a failure. I have learned that I still love teaching elementary, and have grown confidence in myself as a teacher and with building relationships with my students. The same students that move my cooperating teacher through the roof have pushed my buttons as well, but by taking some of their rewards away, they were aware that I was in charge.
Tomorrow is my last time for teaching all day..this is bittersweet – on one hand, I am exhausted and ready for a break, BUT I love the students and have really gotten into the rhythm of how to teach the third grade class. I have applied to many jobs and submitted my EdTPA for approval – now I am just waiting to hear! I really want to have an actual job in January, and a passing mark for my license is a must 🙂 I plan to give many people Thank You notes and/or flowers for all of their help this term with financial issues, registering issues, and general help along my journey! I know I still have 8 days until I actually leave, but I am already feeling the ache in my heart for the kids and the experience. I will also miss my current roommate and her cat very much – we plan to see each other often though!
I really enjoyed this post! Even though spelling and grammar are big pet peeves of mine, I think it is important for children to learn to be themselves in writing and have confidence before spelling is important. As they become better readers, it will be something they notice on their own.
Do you remember the name of your kindergarten teacher? I do, mine. Her name was Mrs White. And I remember thinking she must be some older relation of Walt Disney’s Snow White, because she had the same bright blue eyes, short dark hair, red lips and fair skin. I don’t remember much about what we […]
FOUR MORE DAYS! 😮
Today I experienced my first somewhat snow day – we weren’t able to drive in the morning due to ice on the road so we came in the afternoon. There were very few teachers, and we sent most of the ones who were in rooms home. It was an interesting day! Driving back was rough though because the parking lot had iced over but I lived through my first “snow day” with school. We’ll see how the rest of the week goes with the icy roads!
I can’t believe we have finished having a full day of classes! We only a few more days with one afternoon class next week, and then we have no more in-class time. When I finish the final assignment for that class which is due in a few weeks, I’ll write about being officially done. BUT I am very close! This graduate program flew by in this last term – we have all grown so much in our experiences and with each other 🙂 It’s crazy that there are only a few more weeks until we disperse into our classrooms for setup and training. We are going to be REAL teachers soon! 😮
I knew it was important to have a group of teachers who are your friends, but keeping in touch with them all once you leave graduate school is even more important. Facebook will make it simpler to see how everyone is doing with their first year teaching, and texting/calling will help too! I am fortunate to have a good group of gals as my friends – and we can laugh, cry, share about normal lives as well as things only teachers understand. We still have about two weeks to hang out on a nearby basis, so we are all soaking in the time now 🙂
“We worry about what a child will become tomorrow, yet we forget that he is someone today.” – Stacia Tauscher
I found this quote when I was looking for one to put in my sidebar, and it really resonated with me. Education primarily focuses on testing that affects the next year, content that builds on itself, and skills that will be beneficial later in life. It is important to remember that children have things that affect them every day and they live in the moment. I don’t want to force them to live in the NEXT moment – connecting the content to their current state that day and what is going on around them should help keep the focus. Adults are often thinking days ahead with lists and events in the future, which makes it difficult not to teach children with the same mindset. There are also so many things that need to be incorporated into the curriculum in order for them to be successful. You can still tie those in, but don’t make them the whole point of the lesson. They don’t know the later content yet, so why would you bring it up? Take each step in the process as it comes, without talking about how it will help them in the future. I think this was an important topic to discuss because schools are stuck in the mindset of “tomorrow’s child,” and it is up to the teachers to alter this in their individual classes. The teaching style doesn’t need to be changed that much – just the way you explain concepts and connect it to their current lives. Many teachers automatically use the reason that it will be useful later when their students ask why a concept is important. Later doesn’t help them in the moment right now; let’s channel today’s child now and worry about tomorrow’s when it comes.
I am fortunate to be in a program that has excellent supervisors and individual support systems. The educators really are here to help us be successful with our classes, field placements, and the whole process of getting a job. They breakdown what’s needed to receive our license, make sure we understand when everything is due, and even discuss the interview process. This past Friday, we had a meeting about interviews in which two teachers gave a list of possible questions to be prepared for, as well as how to act/dress and what to expect. This meeting was very informative and we are having practice interviews in a few weeks to get us ready for the job fair in April. It is exciting to know that they are there for me to fall back on if I am freaking out. As teachers of future teachers, they really show us what’s it like to be a good educator (no matter what age group you are teaching, even adults!). They are perfect examples of how to truly care about your students 😀
In this fast-track Master’s, it is necessary to remember that we have wonderful resources to take advantage of when we really need it. I have been attending all the preparatory meetings and really listening to what they have to say. I have also emailed and negotiated issues with them when something arose. Your peers are very useful if they know the answer, but when they don’t, feel free to email the head of the program or someone else in the department. They are more than happy to answer and make you feel comfortable! Be grateful to your mentors and all the time/effort they put in – you won’t have them for much longer, so keep in touch as much as you can.