Thursday, April 21, 2011

All Downhill From Here

(sing to the tune of Take Me Out to the Ball Game) Cuz it's one, two, three weeks then I'm done, with this teaching placement.
Just finished my 5th week in my Special Ed, Jr High placement. I gotta tell you, the last few weeks have flown by!! I have been an emotional wreck, but have finally started to feel at ease in the classroom. I had my first formal observation in this setting, and it went well. The students were great, and the lesson was fun (Science, my fav). I finally feel like a teacher again, and not just a weird floater. A lot of that probably has to do with the fact that I have taken over's funny because when I reread my posts from the first placement, I went through similar emotions. You think I would have expected this emotional whirlwind, but no, I just thought I'd walk in, and pick right up where I left off. Um, not so much!

We had an ASU intern in the classroom every Wednesday, and she just finished her hour requirements. We gave her a little going away party and made sure to inundate her with gifts galore! Flowers, cards from the students, Starbucks, sugar cookies, a basket full of teaching goodies, and a giftcard. She was completely surprised. We will miss her dearly!

I have 2 more weeks of full time teaching, and then I can start phasing out. I'll probably teach most of my final week, but I also want to observe other classes/schools, and have a district prescreening appointment to attend too. Wish me luck :)

(P.S. Picture is of me, Mentor Teacher, ASU Intern, and Paraprofessional. A student took the pic, and it's a little blurry, but you get the gist)

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Week #4, Gimme Some More

This week has been quite interesting. Students were taking the AIMS all week, so class periods were cut down to only 30 minutes. This shortened time period made it difficult to plan an entire lesson, but somehow I have survived ;) My poor MT has experienced some family issues this week and has had to either leave early, or call in a sub. Yesterday was sub day. We also have an ASU intern that comes in every Wednesday, so we ended up having 4 teachers for only 4 students. I was able to teach all day long, and was satisfied with the day as a whole. I am still trying to figure out classroom management but this week was much better than last.

Next week I have my ASU Supervisor Formal Observation. I am not really nervous...probably because I am teaching a Science lesson. I love me some Science. The lesson is all planned and ready to go, so let's just hope the kiddos are on their best behavior. I received a call from a local school district to set up a prescreening interview, so that's exciting. I'm so ready to have my own classroom at this point. Even though student teaching has been challenging, it has been a fabulous learning experience and I wouldn't have changed a thing.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Hokey Pete!

My third week in this new placement was pretty emotionally exhausting. I tripled my responsibility from last week, moving from teaching 1 period to teaching 3. This is no problem whatsoever, as I love teaching so much more than observing. I love teaching and working with the students, but I am really struggling with classroom management. This is so frustrating because I had it down pat in the last setting, so I know I have it in me to show authority. I keep telling myself that this will get better as I spend more time in the classroom, but it is quite the challenge as of right now.
This week I taught a lesson that was an absolute nightmare. I was teaching about dictionary skills and spent a lot of time writing the lesson and developing the materials. By the time it came to teaching the lesson, it turned out that everything I had planned went right over the students’ heads. I was standing there like a deer caught in the headlights and ended up having to just call it a day and plan for reteach the next day. Thankfully, the reteach went great! I spent the previous day making an ABC chart and taping it to each desk because students were struggling with ABC order. The lesson was broken up into smaller steps and this worked well with the students. Of course there were still a few areas that I could have perfected, but I was definitely happier than I was the previous day.
I am hoping that tomorrow and all next week I will be in better spirits. I have to keep reminding myself that I am still learning and really need to learn that it is OK to make mistakes. No one is expecting perfection so I need to just give myself a break.