So, I'm student teaching full time now. It's going well- today went amazingly well. Yesterday, I practically lost control of two periods, and just managed to finish everything. Every day I'm getting better, but there are still really awful periods to remind me that I've still got things to learn, which I am becoming more and more aware of on a daily basis.
A few things-
Let kids own their learning. Instead of doing regular notes for the immune system, one of the cooler body systems, I had them help me write a story about a gang of (they came up with the bad guys) who had a war with the police force. The students owned the story, and then I gave them the opportunity to just copy down the notes and summarize how the parts of the immune system work, or to make a story, comic, picture, etc, that got the gist of it down.
They owned it. It was amazing. They were motivated, and I saw some amazing work coming out of them that showed really strong understanding. Ironically, the students who tend to not get it as strongly did the generic notes, whereas many of the students who are either unmotivated or do the best academically did really amazing work. While I like foldable lecture notes, I'm thinking I should give them an option to design their own learning creatively more. It was my cooperating teacher who kind of spurred me in this direction, and she was wise to do so, as it is really helping me break free and find out my own teaching style, and how to make it effective.
Next thing is to eat well. I'm saying this on a grumbling stomach, but that's because I wasted a bunch of time catching up with family, which is a whole different type of self care. Still, I notice a major difference between me being well fed and me starving- although at the same time, I'm very worried about putting on weight as I don't have as much exercise time as I once did. That being said, I weigh 135 lbs last I checked, so I'm probably okay. Teaching really takes a lot of energy, and one of the things I'm noticing is I'm a pacer- I am constantly using proximity as a classroom management tool, and I really enjoy being dynamic and moving all around the classroom, it keeps the kids on their toes.
There are simple things, too- pause before picking on the first person that raised there hand. You always get the enthusiastic boy that loves to answer stuff, but after a few seconds, you might get someone else. Another thing, if a student asks a question, don't address them directly. Tell the entire class what they just said, so you don't lose them. It took me a while to realize that, but it's painfully obvious.
I wish I had a list of these painfully obvious things.
Anyway, I need to sleep.