Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Student Teaching Tid Bits Day 3

Welcome to Student Teaching Tid Bits. 
This is where I will do my best to document that which is my experience being a student while also being a teacher... a bit of a paradox. Want to come along with me through my experience of Student Teaching? Well if you don't then choose not to read.

So today I was just in my history classes. (Tomorrow will be fun because I'm just taking the dance classes, not teaching them yet! Yahoo!)

People's lives are difficult. My teacher had the students fill out an autobiography sheet and only she and I read them. Some of these 16 year olds really deal with a lot. Many come from single parent homes. Parent's leaving them at young ages. Some students just hoping to be the first in their families to graduate high school. Some students having to move away from certain areas to get out of gangs and drugs. It's thrilling that they have been able to stay clean just because of a simple relocation. Some students not sure whether or not they're pregnant. Other's still trying to learn english. It's just amazing what us humans can put up with. 

I look at my life... Nothing compares to the difficulties they face. 

This more than ever makes me want to make a comfortable, safe, happy, fun classroom. You think I can do it? Gosh I hope so. I bet it'll make me happy in return. 

It'll probably be a lot more work. And harder on me sometimes. But I can do hard things right? 

Sadly working with older students not many funny things happen... Some students walked in like 25 minutes late and said they went to the wrong class and didn't notice. :) Sorry kids. Tardy! 

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Student Teaching Tid Bits

Welcome to Student Teaching Tid Bits. This is where I will do my best to document that which is my experience being a student while also being a teacher... a bit of a paradox. Want to come along with me through my experience of Student Teaching? Well if you don't then choose not to read.

I want to enjoy this experience. Not just stress about it. I still feel completely unprepared. Really. I feel like I do not know anything! I feel I know how to teach, but when it comes to my content... I feel hopeless. So this leads me to stress. Which then leads me to not enjoy so much what is going on. So maybe this blog will help me stop and enjoy the day at hand.

Day 1- A Day (yesterday.)

It hit me that I was going to be waking up at 5:30 for the rest of my career. I did not like this. But then once the kids left at 2:10 I thought. Okay I do like this.
This week I'm just observing my teachers I'm working with. So no teaching. Which to be honest I'm finding might make it seem harder.
Back to yesterday. 1st period. All seemed fine. I noticed out of the corner of my eye a student violently throwing punches into the air in front of him. I thought it was just an accident at first. But it continued. Then he started talking to himself. I hate the fear of labeling students before I really have been told by someone with authority. But it was obvious that he has turrets syndrome when he started mumbling the F word under his breath. So while my teacher is going through the sylabus I sat there thinking. Okay what does one do in this situation? I believe that everyone has the right to learn. And that everyone can learn. But it just opened up a lot of "Oh man. How do I handle this the right way?" A credit to my first period, they handled it beautifully. No one said a word. It was awesome.
2nd period: two students with very obvious signs of Autism. One even announced it. This period didn't handle it so smoothly. But the teacher addressed it nicely to the whole class.
3rd period: prep
4th period: Nothing out of the ordinary. Just more thoughts of "Oh my freaking heck. I've really got to figure out what I'm teaching these kids."

You know what I desire most? Well, yes I've mentioned to make my classroom one they feel save in. But I also want to help students realize that they can do something they didn't think they could. Experience something new. Basically just accomplish something hard. Hard things are what fill up life. And it's how we tackle these hard things that make up our character. So many of these students, I was not unlike them, just want to get by. Some give up before even trying. I've been there. I don't like that about myself. So by making this my goal to help them, it'll push me to do hard things. Benefiting everyone.

Day 2 - B Day

This day I get to teach dance. Not much to say. Except I'm so excited to be dancing regularly again. It makes me so happy. I don't express myself verbally all that well. How I'm feeling. But when I dance... well it makes sense to me.

But observing the students in these classes... man high school kids are so funny. I'm sure I was just the same. And I must admit I am still this way to some degree. They just think they are so grown up and they have it all figured out. I just look at them and feel for them. I'm probably going to learn a lot about myself in this process.

So, so far. I'm still feeling overwhelmed and completely unprepared, and under qualified. But I also know, that I have the potential to do this and do it really well. So I've got to believe that with more vigor than believing the other stuff. Because the more I worry about negative thoughts, I get sucked into not having fun and enjoying. I want to enjoy this and my job. Not constantly worrying about what's to come.

Always things to work on... always.

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Student Teaching

I begin student teaching in 23 days... I wish I could say that I'm completely confident. But to be honest, I'm not. So many people tell me how good I'm going to be. And where that does give me confidence in my abilities there is so much to teaching that at times I think to myself "do I really have what it takes to be really good at this?" Because you know what? I want to be really good at this. I want to become a master teacher one day. I want my class to be a place that students want to come. Now, do I expect them to remember all the things that I teach them? Not quite. But I hope at least to make an environment where they feel safe and welcome and a place that they can succeed. I realize now in my adult life that I've never really pushed myself unless I thought I could succeed. This has led me to miss out on a lot of things. I grew up never really thinking that I was great at school, because turns out I am not good at test taking. And others around me would always point out my inability to spell, when it turns out that those two things don't make up brains. I'm good at others things. But very few classes in school brought that opportunity to see those other intellectual talents.
Okay now I feel as thought I'm writing my Philosophy of Education paper... which I'm sure I'll comment on later. But all in all, I really hope to create a positive classroom. And I'm know I'll be good at caring about my students and I'm pretty creative with my lessons and I can present information really well. It's just a whole lot of other expectations that are placed upon teachers from the school boards, parents, my college for my final thesis/project... just one thing after another. Always something I should be working on. Always something not getting done. Always something due. My poor brain then transplants these stressful expectations into poor health. I don't like it. Not one bit.
(Deep breath!)
Luckily I have people who believe in me. Luckily I'm not alone. But sometimes I just get a bit too nervous about it I don't even want to think about it.

That's all.

I'm a sucker for Romance....

Well thanks to C.K. I've discovered my weakness... anything and everything romantic. I mean I should have seen it coming. I've always been a sucker for the classic romance stories. My favorite part of Sleeping Beauty was the kiss. I've watched Persuasion and Pride and Prejudice far beyond the normal quota. So why have I not been looking for romance in a relationship all this time? 
So weird.
But seriously, after these many years of thinking that I figured out what I wanted, here comes C.K. going above and beyond cute.(I'd give an example but... I don't want to embarrass him. But trust me. I melt more often than not.)
Just goes to show you what a boyfriend/companion will teach you about yourself. So many things I never thought I needed in my life. But by golly am I grateful to have them.