Thursday, February 17, 2011


Man oh man are Thursdays TOUGH. The spunk and energy that I start each week has pretty much dwindled down to zilch by Thursday. Today I had to force myself to jump around and teach in a peppy, up beat voice....or we all might have fallen asleep. The kids are worn out and the teachers are worn out.
Speaking of sleeping....Our kiddos have Kindergarten Reading Buddies that they see every other Thursday. Today one of the little Kinders was leaning up against the wall while listening to her buddy read. The poor little love kept slipping lower and lower on the wall as she began to nod off. It's tough being 5 and in school all day. All you need is the robotic reading voice of a second grader to lull you to sleep.

I think I'm really starting to get the hang of this whole student teaching thing. I love the fact that everything I've been learning has shaped me into a better teacher AND a better mother all in one. The classroom management tips and strategies work just as well at home with two bickering kiddos. My favorite thing is when I catch myself using my "faked excitement" voice with an adult. I'm so used to pretending to be just knock my socks of giddy about student input that I start responding that way outside of school as well.

Only 3 more weeks in this setting...the time has flown by. I will have been with the 2nd graders for a total of 9 weeks. I don't want to say goodbye yet!!! They are so sweet and amazing, my heart hurts when I think of not seeing them daily. The positive in all this is that I am completely excited about my next placement. Jr High, which I love, and Special Ed, which I am passionate about. I'm just hoping that the kids are as amazing, and that my mentor teacher is half the woman that my current one is.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Formal Observation #1

Bum bum bum....fear, dread, nerves...that first formal observation is a nightmare! Constantly wondering what you'll forget or worrying that you'll mess everything up, it's a wonder we don't lose our minds.
My observation was yesterday. I taught a Math lesson at the very end of the day, which as we all know is the least productive time of day for 2nd graders who have been sitting in school for 7 hours. Unfortunately, this was the only time that worked out for all parties involved.If you've ever wondered what it was like to be fed to the sharks, try being observed in a classroom of 24 crazy 7 year olds.
The greatest part of it all was the fact that, of course, I over-analyzed everything and worried far more than was necessary. Despite a few mishaps (hey, what lesson is "complete" without them?!?!) the lesson went well. The kiddos were engaged and there were hardly any behavior issues. Hallelujah! The meeting with my supervisor that followed was mostly positive, with a few areas for refinement. All in all, I was pleasantly surprised at the feedback I received from the supervisor.
During the meeting, the school principal just so happened to drop by unannounced. Well, my mentor teacher and supervisor spent 5 minutes telling him all these great things about me (the lunatics). I am sure that I was as red as a tomato!! They talked him in to observing me teach a lesson later this month, AAAH!!!, so wish me luck there!
I have to be honest and say that I left there feeling mighty big-headed. And you know what, it's about time I started feeling confident in my abilities.
Cute story #2: During the observation, I read the book Game Time by Stuart Murphy. At one point in the book a character says "we are going to be Falcon food." I asked the students who knew what they meant by that statement, and a cute little girl looked up at me (they were sitting on the carpet) and said "it means that they are gonna get their butts kicked!"
From the mouths of babes. :)

Saturday, February 5, 2011

A (no longer) White Blank Page

Tell me now where was my fault, in loving you with my whole heart?

This past week was sooo much better than the last. My classroom management strategies were (mostly) successful and I spent a much smaller chunk of time lesson planning. I feel like I am actually getting the hang of this. Does it make sense that it's easier teaching the full day than it was just teaching mornings?? My mentor teacher said she noticed that I seemed much more at ease and comfortable this week. Thankfully I have found a mentor teacher that loves communicating just as much as I do. I taught a lesson this past week on Fact and Fiction. When I returned to my desk I found a white piece of printer paper that was completely filled with feedback from my teacher. I am so thankful that I am in her classroom. I was initially supposed to be in a different classroom, but this mentor teacher said she wanted a student teacher SO bad. I am glad that she fought for me because this is exactly the type of setting that I needed.

This semester has been amazing. I am crazy about every single student in my placement, even the more "difficult" ones. I am officially half way done with this placement. It is bittersweet because I am dreading the day when I saw goodbye to this 2nd grade class, but also know that it makes me one step closer to getting my degree and my own classroom :)