A Day in the Life of an Aspiring Teacher

Archive for December 2010

I’m going to include my advice to future student teachers:

My advice would be: don’t be afraid to ask questions. In the beginning, my CT had given me a lot of information about the curriculum so when I asked her questions I felt like I was bothering her. Now I wish I would have asked more. I wish I would have known how much my students could handle, how hard I should push them, extra information about them, what I should be covering/ what I needed to get through this semester.

Planning was a very important aspect of being able to stay on top of things. I planned early because I had the whole summer to plan. My CT gave me a copy of the curriculum over the summer and I planned a whole unit plan for one of my preps over the summer. The main thing to remember is to not get worried if things get pushed back or moved around. I ended up cutting a bunch of activities because my unit took almost 2 weeks more than I had anticipated. You never know how things are going to go once you actually start teaching.

Remember that your students are people too. I had a unique experience because all of the class I taught were “co-teach” which at my school means I had all the students with IEPs, students that had failed English before, and “the failure kids”. I had to keep reminding myself that my students were not dumb, they simply had extremely difficult lives. I think sometimes it’s difficult to remember that sometimes students do actually need help and are not simply trying to get out of an assignment. Though it may be more difficult for you, your students will really appreciate it in the end. Some of my students that said they will miss me the most are the students that other teachers deemed “worthless”.

Try to remember how high school students think, read, act, etc. Remember that they will not interpret a text the same way you will. You might have to lead them along a little bit. Don’t be surprised if students open up to you about their private lives.

Make sure you know everything about the assignment you’re teaching in case the students ask questions. Make “cheat sheets” with facts about the topic- just in case. (Especially if it’s Emily Dickinson 🙂 )

Talk to everyone. Go to the lunchroom during lunch (even though they may not talk about everything you want to hear or you may not know what they are talking about). I bonded with a lot of other teachers during our lunch period. Most of the teachers in our “pod” (a group of 8 classrooms) and the teachers I ate lunch with said they would recommend me to the principal for the position that is open next year. It’s great to have contacts with people. I also visited other classrooms to watch teachers teach and learned a lot from each of them. Later, I was able to ask questions of the other teachers as well.

Have fun. Do your best. Ask questions. Enjoy your time- it goes by quickly.

 

 

Today I had a bunch of students ask me not to leave. I also had students ask me why our co-teacher couldn’t leave and I stay. They wanted me to write them letters before I left and they all wrote me messages on a scrapbook page. I miss them already. I never imagined how attached I would become to all of my students, but I really did get attached. Though some of them were extremely frustrating, I really cared for all of them and they really gave me a great semester and a lifetime of memories.

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