Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Student Teaching and Snow Plowing

Welcome to Greenland folks!

Oh wait, we're in NJ, not the inside of a snow globe.  Today was my first day as a student teaching!  I loved it!  My kids are precious and I can't wait to spend the next 7 weeks with them!  I'm doing my first 7 weeks in a self-contained Autistic Support classroom grades K-2.

Okay, the truth about student teaching.

You will feel like you are in the way.  You never know what to do.


You don't know the classroom rules.

You don't know the kids' limits and what they are trying to get away with.  You inevitably end up looking completely incompetent because you are being played like a fool.


Yes, yes, very funny.  You have once again proven that you are infinitely smarter than Miss K.

You don't really know the kids yet.  You're trying to figure out personalities, learning styles, and behaviors.  It's really hard but it's the most fun you're ever going to have.

You feel completely overwhelmed because you don't know the assessment portfolios or anything like that.  I'm learning how to do them.  I also learned how to give 2 different assessments today.

You wonder if you're any good.  You wonder if you're going to fail...and fail big.  Like people who wear harem pants in public.  That kinda failure!  I asked myself, "Are you doing this right?  Are you actually good at this?  Do I stink?  Was I nice enough?  Was I too nice?  Oh, no I don't know what that term/acronym means!  I have to tell her, but how will that make me look?" multiple times today.

You learn the classroom's climate.  My co-op told me that in her classroom they always try to create an atmosphere where the students feel cared for and happy.  She said that teachers who are really uptight, that uptightness, reverberates to the students.  Then she said that they all really love the kids.  This made me smile and happy.  My mom works in a room that is similar to this classroom and everyone in her room is the exact same way. I love the attitude, climate, and atmosphere of this room.  It's just a positive, supportive, and loving place.

Everything melts away when you are working with the kids.  You forget all of your problems, concerns, self-doubt, inferiority, (and yes you do lose some self-confidence), because for those hours you're in the room, all that matters is the kids.  You just fall in love with them because they like being there with you.  How many careers allow you to say that all of your co-workers actually like you?  Not many.   Teaching is a beautiful thing because you matter.  Just by smiling at the kids and being there with them and talking to them, matters.  You don't have time to worry about a bad grade, the snarky driver who cut you off in the morning, the jerk you dated, nothing.  You just focus on them.  It's therapeutic, what those little kids do when you walk in the door.    

Anyway, the school I'm interning at did not close early like EVERY other school in the DelVal, so I was facing the very real possibility of driving home in the snow storm.  On my way home, I plowed out Camden and Burlington Counties (you're welcome public works...I'll send you my bill), drove 11 mph, took 80 minutes to drive the usual 20 minute route.  It was not fun!  I was so scared!  I drove like a Gramma and didn't even care.  I was crunched over the steering wheel complete with bear/claw like hands.

An hour and 20 minutes later I wound up at my house.  But now I had a new problem.  The streets weren't plowed yet so my little Cobalt became Plower 1 and demolished the snow.
I came in like a wrecking ball!  (sorry I tried to help it, but I just couldn't)  Literally Madden was a SNOW BEAST!  So I turned onto my court and now the biggest problem:  I couldn't find my curb/driveway.  The snow had covered the entire court evenly and I had no idea where my driveway started and the grass stopped.  I did miss the flower pot though, so that's a win.  I parked in what I think is my driveway (mostly because I couldn't find the curb) but then my car stopped moving because the snow was too high.  I decided that was a great time to park.  So Madden was abandoned in my driveway.  

Daddy and Deb got to come home early, too!  We're gonna have some BBQ chicken chili and brownies so the snow day will be absolutely awesome!



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