Thursday, April 21, 2011

Well then.

So, I've been student teaching full time. It's like, week 4 or 5 in, and I'm really tired all the time. It's one of the most rewarding, purposeful, and fulfilling things I've done in my life, but at the same time I am also staying at the school till 4-6pm, arriving an hour early often, and waking up at around 5am. I make a ton of mistakes, but I learn from them, and am slowly becoming a decent teacher. Not a great teacher, that probably takes years at least, but I have an awesome cooperating teacher who has very high expectations of me. Which I like.

This is probably one of the best things that's ever happened to me. It is also by far the most stressful. I have next to zero free time, and I'm always somehow behind. At the same time, I'm also learning a lot of cool time saving tricks- google calendar with attachments is my latest one. It's great, I can LP from anywhere.

In any case, I've got things to do. I'll probably post a massive entry at the end of this ordeal.


Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Busy at teaching.

So, I'm in the midsts of week three of student teaching. Last week I got spring break, which was a much needed vacation, but frankly, I already need another, it feels like. I'm really getting into the full swing of student teaching, and the stress level is ridiculously high. I'm pretty much in survival mode all the time, it seems like, and then things just get more stressful. But at the same time, I do feel like I'm getting better, despite the cognitive load being massive.

I'm realizing I have a lot of problems as a teacher. But then again, that's what student teaching is for, to iron out those problems enough that you can become a real teacher. It's molding me into an entirely new species, and the process is exhausting and can seem almost traumatic at times. This is the hardest I have ever had to work, and despite me spending almost every waking moment either at the school or at my computer working on LPs, I still suck. Usually I'm able to master skills easily, and gain competency with ease, but this, this is genuinely challenging. I'm trying to think of it neurologically, like I'm just building the massive amount of connections needed to handle such a stimulating and mentally challenging job, and that helps a little, but at the end of the day, I still am faced with the reality that I didn't teach a certain topic as well as I should have.

But I must march on, and remember that I will improve. I'll post more when I have time.


Saturday, April 2, 2011

The calm.

So, I have just completed my first full week of student teaching. The previous week I had a day off for a career fair, but this week I was there all 5 days, teaching 3-5 periods a day, usually around 4. I ran lessons, I disciplined kids, I learned a lot.

I'm now on spring break, which is very nice. I'm going to try to go on a little vacation to Portland at some point, but aside from that, I intend to lay low as much as possible and recouperate, maybe get some lesson planning done for the next two months. I've already planned two units out, and am working on the other two for science, whereas with math I'm a bit lost. I've planned a few lessons out, but due to my background and familiarity with science education, it's not nearly as easy.

My cooperating teacher has been giving me a lot of really good advice, and I've been doing my best to take it. The honeymoon phase has ended, and many of the kids seem rather neutral towards me, rather than the polite, pleasant youths I had gotten to know. I'm now witnessing all the different ways kids try to screw with teachers, which is... Exhausting. In fact, everything about teaching is exhausting at this stage. It's a very tiring job- I come home, and I just want to sleep. Some days I have a chance to, other days I go to meetings and make it home after 7. Still, there's a sense of purpose to it all, and a real want to make the educational experience as positive as possible for the kids- if it isn't, it'll be harder for everybody.

I have learned a lot of lessons, but I'll keep them off till another time. Right now, I'm just glad I survived my first week, and while I need this vacation, I really can't wait to get back into it. Also, I have recently found a goldmine of cool science videos and stuff, which, if I have time to filter through, I might post here. For those of you familiar with SA (somethingawful), they have a science thread on GBS. It's pretty cool.

Also, reading The World is Open and Uncovering Student Ideas in Science. Good stuff.