Thursday, March 31, 2011

Second Wind

Ok well I guess I'm over the whole frustration thing already. That was fast! The past few days have been great. I am starting to get really comfortable with the kids and the lessons that I've been teaching.

We had field day today with different schools and I ran into many "blasts from the past". It was like I was walking down memory lane...I saw the staff from the school where I was a Paraprofessional back in 2009 which sparked my interest in Special Ed, was overjoyed to see kids from my first Special Ed placement, and ran into the principal from my first student teaching gig. Looking back, I can say that I am proud of how much I've grown over the last 2 years. I went from being a shy and insecure aide to a confident "almost gonna be" teacher, ready to attack my very own classroom. It's exciting!

I've been sending job applications to a few different school districts (even though I have one that I rrrreeeaaallllyyyy want) and am trying to organize my notes and supplies so I can start planning as soon as I get a contract. It may seem like I am jumping the gun because I practically just started this placement, but I am 1/5 of the way finished here and there is only a month and a half until graduation/certification. Wish me luck :)

Monday, March 28, 2011

Let the countdown begin, por favor

While I am enjoying this placement, I find myself extremely frustrated at having to start all over again. I went from teaching full time to trying to "learn the ropes" all over again. I can handle the change in school, curriculum and staff, but having to learn how to teach to new students is really tough. I taught my first flub of a lesson today (well, in this setting anyway) and it was quite disheartening. Maybe the fact that I am only dealing with 5 students versus 25 is the thing that's the toughest for me to adjust to. "Good teachers are always learning and adapting"...this has been drilled into my head for years. What I am experiencing is normal, but that doesn't minimize the frustration. I'm confident that I'll get the hang of it soon enough. I just need to stay focused and remain dedicated to the students. Isn't that the real reason why I chose this profession? For now I'll keep plugging away, trying to remain true to who I am and to why I am here. That being said, only 34 more working days until graduation. :)

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Looking On The Bright Side

Good morning world. Yesterday was my first day in my newest student teaching placement. It went well. I definitely missed my 2nd graders and mentor teacher, but am trying to stay positive and to look on the bright side.

The Jr. High kids are great. I have 5 students in the class that are full time, and one that comes in for Math instruction only. The overall environment for Special Ed is a fabulous one. I am confident that I will have the support needed to really enjoy this placement to the fullest. My newest mentor teacher is a doll. She ended our first day together with a hug, which was super duper sweet. She is dedicated to these kids and will have a lot to teach me about Special Ed.

I start teaching Science this Thursday. It's super quick, but I need to teach ASAP due to AIMS week getting in the way of teaching hours. Yay. =oP

All in all, looks like this should be a pretty good place for me to decide if self-contained is the way to go. I'm hoping the rest of my cohort is having a fabulous time with their new placements. We're almost done, guys!!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Saying Good-Bye

This week has been a tough one. As my final days with my second graders were flying by, I kept trying to keep myself busy...the more "free" time I had, the more my heart ached at the thought of having to say good-bye at the end of the week. These students, this classroom, the teacher, the school building...all of it has been like a second home to me over the last 9 weeks. I feel as though a huge chunk of my heart has been ripped out and will remain in these walls, with each of these students, for eternity.

My sneaky little students (and mentor teacher) put together a surprise going away party for me. It took place this afternoon, and left me speechless and on the verge of tears. I kept saying to myself "It's not your last day. You can say good-bye tomorrow." over and over to keep from bawling my eyes out in front of the kids. I love these little guys SO much. They put together two awesome baskets full of school room supplies, flowers, a book full of letters from each student, and a photo album. I will cherish these mementos forever. Good-bye my little second graders. I will miss you more than you will ever know.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

An entry just for the sake of a new entry

Teaching is a LOT of work. I knew I would be busy with lesson planning and grading, but this is nuts! I've cut my lesson planning time down substantially but grading papers is such a drag!! It seems to never end, and then when a new week begins, it starts all over again.

Yesterday I had to record one of my lessons. I watched some of it last night, and I have to say that I was pleasantly surprised. Aside from my usual oddities like speaking in random accents, pulling weird faces, and messing up words, I think I look pretty decent as a teacher. My final observation in this setting is on Thursday, but I am not too worried about it. Nothing seems as scary as having the principal come in for an observation ;) Bring it on, ASU Supervisor. Do your worst. I got this.