Through My Classroom Window

Hey all! Thanks so much for spending the semester with me and reading all about my fantastic time in student teaching. Now I am setting off into the big wide world to (hopefully) have my own classroom of little minds to work with! In case you want to read about my new adventures, you can take a peek Through My Classroom Window and see how things are going! You have been great readers and I appreciate all of your views and comments! Let’s continue the adventure together!

 

Goodbye 

All goodbyes are hard. This one was no exception. I said goodbye to my classroom teacher today. Well not exactly goodbye… We both knew it was time to leave and she said, “I know.” And I said, ” I’m walking away now.” I had to turn around because I was on the verge of completely loosing it. I did completely loose it right before I got to my car. I could hardly get my keys out because I couldn’t see. 

All of the things I could have said, had planned on saying, and I said, “I’m walking away now.” I should have said thank you a few more times. I should have told her how great she is and how much I appreciate everything she has done. I know I could not have done it without crying, though. And snot running down my face was about the last thing I wanted to have happen in front of her.

 I know it isn’t the end. We promised to stay in touch and share ideas and talk about our students. I am sure I will email her questions and she will answer them fabulously like she always has. I’ll send her goofy pictures of me on vacation and she will do the same. People like her are hard to find and I am so very lucky to have placed in her room. I am ready for the next adventure and I am so thankful I have someone like her standing behind me. 

Since my student teaching is over and I am no longer a student teacher, this blog will come to an end. I am sure another will pop up in its place. I haven’t decided yet what to call it but I will let you all know as soon as I do. It has been a real treat working with the people I did. My classroom teacher thinks I can do this and she is way smarter than I am so I guess I will take her word for it. I guess we will find out. 

So long, student teaching. So long, kindergarten 2015-2016. Hello, new adventures! 

More on the Last Day

As I said before, today was the last day of school for the kids. I am going in tomorrow for the teacher work day just to help my teacher out and maybe make the day a little less boring for the both of us. I am afraid for tomorrow to end. I know I am ready to go out and face the world because I had someone so fantastic to show me how but I am worried about leaving my safe place. I have really come to love my school and the people in it. I had the very best mentors a person could ever ever hope for. 

My expectations for the semester were well exceeded by the amazing, dedicated people I had the pleasure of working with. Life is a little better and I am a little more confident in my ability to actually make a difference for my students every day because of this. I cannot say enough how much my life and my views of the world have changed for the better this semester. My students and my mentors truly made me feel welcome and at home. Even when I was arguing over rules, or hearing tattling or being hit, at the end of the day I knew I was in the right place. It was definitely the right place and it was just so because of my classroom teacher. 

I told her if I was ever half as good as she is, my students would be very lucky and I meant it. She wrote to me that I have the drive to give kids what they need. I am awestruck because if someone so wonderful can say that about me, I must be doing something at least a little bit right. I can do this. I know I can. I think that might be half the battle right there. Knowing I can do this and having someone who believes in me; that’s more than enough to allow me to try my best and not be afraid. 

I will not be afraid! I can do this. I definitely could not have done this five month ago but I absolutely can now. I owe it all to a couple of great ladies, a challenging yet loving class, and place I never expected to fall in love with. When I originally heard what school I was student teaching in, I was a bit, well, scared. I hadn’t heard a whole lot of good things about that place but boy did the teachers there prove it wrong. 

It’s time to say goodbye and look forward to the next adventure. And I know it will be quite the adventure and that I am not alone. I can do this and it’s all because I had some ridiculously perfect help! 

A Conversation on the Tetherball Court

A weekend at camp has left me sore, tired, slightly bruised, and absolutely encouraged! During lifeguard recertification one of the camp staff told me she noticed that this year I am much more confident than two years ago when I was first trained. A lot has happened in those two years and I guess I am different than I was two years ago. I didn’t notice the change until she brought it up because it was definitely a slow change. Now I look back over the last two years and realize camp has made all the difference. I am not so nervous and I don’t feel like I am always making the wrong decisions or bothering people. That this woman who I haven’t talked to extensively noticed that about me is super encouraging. 

The best thing that happened this weekend was sitting on the tetherball court with a group of camp staff, who are also educators, talking about school, students, funny stories, and teacher problems. Two of them currently work in schools, one works outdoor education, and the other is studying English education. It was so nice to get all my fears and funny stories out. It was very encouraging to talk with other new(ish) teachers about the first few years and the differences between high school seniors and kindergarteners (which we discovered are really not that different). I love that I have just joined a profession filled with such amazing, dedicated people. 

I am very much ready to have my own classroom.Through these   conversations with impressive people, I have realized that I am no where near perfect and that’s is okay! I realized that it will take more than a semester to be as fantastic as my classroom teacher. Her fantastic-ness is the result of a lifetime of work. I can’t figure all that out in one semester and that is okay! My camp friends have really made a big difference in my life and I love that they are so supportive even when I may not have spoken to them in two years! I feel great and now I just need schools to start posting their jobs so I can start applying! I can do this and it’s all thanks to camp and the fantastic people who work there and can change my worldview in an hour conversation while sitting on the ground on the tetherball court!  

Missing the Missing Miss Haley

So I took the class I was subbing in outside today to see the police officers and their police dogs. As soon as I saw where the cars were parked, I knew there would be trouble. The cars were right in front of my classroom windows. I got my sub class settle down and seated and I purposely stood behind them facing away from the windows. I had this feeling that my class was in chaos on the other side of the windows. They were. My classroom teacher told me that they were spastic over the fact that I was outside doing something without them. I feel kind of bad that they saw me having fun with another class because ultimately (at least in their minds) I belong with them. It also made me feel pretty good because they were so interested in me. 

I told my classroom teacher if she is ever having a bad day just go teach another class because the students are really excited to see you when your not in the room all day. It’s a little nice that they miss me. I guess I am making a bigger difference than I thought… I am taking these little moments like this and when they stop in the classroom to hug me on the way out to recess as signs that things are better than I often view them. Students I constantly yell at and make move their clips are some of the ones coming in and hugging me. It’s pretty nice. This is why I teach. I have a group of kids who I care so much about and who care about me even when they may need a little extra dose of discipline. They need someone there for them and I honestly I need someone who depends on me. 

My classroom teacher said that the students needing her there is why she stays even after the awful things she has gone through while teaching. It makes total sense now that I have seen it from a distance. Sometimes seeing things from a birds eye view makes all th the difference in the word! 

Being the Sub: Day 2

Yesterday was my first day as a sub. I subbed again in the same room today. I was supposed to be floating from room to room as teachers had conferences but the teacher who was out yesterday was out agian today. I spent all day alone in the room for the first time. The student who cried yesterday cried again today. 

A police officer and his dog visited the class today. We went outside and sat in the grass. I had two students so afraid of the dogs they were in tears and hanging on my legs. I let them hang onto me. They calmed down after a little bit. Then the officer said that the dogs look for illegal drugs… Of course, one student asked, “what are drugs?” The officer looked at me. In my head I was thinking, you got yourself into this buddy. Don’t look at me to dig you out. I told the students that illegal drugs are medicines your shouldn’t have. The students really enjoyed the officer being there so that was good for them. 

So I had three students cry, one student give five minutes of recess, one parent yell at me, and I got my jeans all dirty at recess and had to wear them dirty the rest of the day… I guess it was a pretty good day! 

My classroom teacher came in and checked on me a couple of times. I really appreciate her. I know I say that every day but I cannot say that enough. She stayed a little late today to talk with me about everything that went on today. I love that she does a little extra for me. I love that she does the same for her students. I love that she cares so much. Every time I talk to her she looks at me seriously. She does the same for the students no matter how ridiculous their stories are. I want to be able to do that! 

So you win some you loose some, right? On those terms, it was a pretty good day! 

Trial By Fire: Round 2

This morning started out like any regular morning. I came in, got supplies ready, and started working on the morning message. My classroom teacher stepped out so I answered the phone when it rang. It was the teacher from across the hall. She had gotten sick and had called in only minutes before. She had no plans written out for a sub. I assured her I would get something ready for her. At this point, my students were already all in the room and my teacher had gone over to the other room to get things ready. The office called and told me I would be subbing. I sent one of my students down to tell my classroom teacher that we needed to switch. She walked out and said she already knew because she was the one who called and told them I could sub. I am so ecstatic that she would do that for me. Apparently, she actually thinks I can do this. If she wasn’t afraid to stick her neck out for me, she must think I am doing a pretty good job. 

Anyway, I went over and had no plans, don’t know all of the students’ names, and have no idea what most of the things on her overview schedule mean. My classroom teacher came over and gave me supplies for what I did yesterday  with my class. I managed to get through the day with no planning problems which is really nice considering I like to plan way far in advance. Now that plans were made, I had to actually get the students to listen and do what I asked. Things were a little rough with one student in particular at first. I had delt with him during tutoring but that was only an hour. I now had to do it all day. The first hour was rough but I stayed on his case. The rest of the day was great. Barely any interruptions from him. I told him I was leaving a good note for the teacher and let him read it and stick it on the the other note I had written about a not so great student… Oh, that not so great student…

It wasn’t until the afternoon that this one lost control. He was playing at the drinking fountain and I told him it was time to leave and that he had plenty of time to get a drink so he could not have one now. We made it two feet from the classroom door before he sat down and sobbed. I told him if he got some work done he could have a drink but not until he did some work. He sat and sobbed. I stood in the doorway in full panic! What do you do with a student who refuses to move? I knew I couldn’t leave him in the hall bedside if I turned my back he would run off or the principal would walk by and see him crying in the hall. Standing across the hall was another teacher and I knew I had to move him while she was there to witness. I put my hands flat on his back and scooted him into the classroom. The other teacher grabbed the door and shut it behind me. He sat on the floor and cried but at least he was in the room. I left him crying so that I could get the other students going on their work. This was not the end of the drama with this one. 

He managed to sit and I helped him get started on his work. He got three done and I said, “thank you for doing some work. Would you like to get a drink now?” Rookie mistake… He went out in the hall and a moment later I felt like something wasn’t right.  I walked out in the hall… He was no where to be seen. There is a drinking fountain right next to the door and he wasn’t there. I sent the classroom aide from my classroom, who was helping me in the room I was subbing in( and thank God for her. I do not know what I would do without her!) to find him. He had gone to the bathroom without asking. And like every bad infomercial selling anything, that’s not all! Later, he was running in the room and crashed into another student. He sobbed again. At this point I couldn’t handle it and I looked at his face there were no marks or bumps and I just let him sob on the floor until he got up and banged it on something else. The aide took him to the nurse. 

I really enjoyed this opportunity because I got to see how the other teacher does things in a very firsthand way. There were many things I loved about how she did things in her room. I also got to know another group of kids. I had been in the room for recess before but spending all day in the room was interesting. They are different from my class but no less complex. 

I missed my class a whole lot today. I didn’t have much time to think about what they might be doing but when they saw me in the hall and called out for hugs my heart melted. Then on the way out to recess, quite a few of them stopped in the room to say hello. It was really nice to think that they missed me and cared enough to come see me. I had recess duty so I saw quite a few more while I was out there. 

The very best part of the day was when my classroom teacher popped in while I was cleaning up at the end of the day and said, “Well, you’re still alive!” She had a really big smile on her face. I almost cried because how can you not want to cry when one of the most fantastic teachers you have ever met looks proud of you? It was also nice to have her there to talk with at the end of the day. It was my first day of paid teaching where if I failed no one was there to step in and fix it. I think I can do this and if I can’t, well I know I have someone I call and ask for help!