Christmas Party Day

My second visit to my student teaching school was a blast. It was this past Friday (with all of the Christmas plans my family had, I just now have time to sit down and write this) and it was the Christmas celebration day. We watched the Polar Express, sang Christmas songs in front of the parents, and had a party. It was hectic but very fun.

During the Christmas program where the students sang for their parents, my teacher told me to sit with the students. I was the only adult in the seats with them and it was very awkward because the students stood up to sing and I just sat there. The good news though was that none of my students got in trouble by the classroom aids sitting on the floor because I was there to reming them to keep in their seats and not to mess with each other.

The thing I am most worries about is one student in particular. There was one writing activity we did during the day and she did not do anything or even seem to know what was going on. She did not even have a paper. I am confused as to why my teacher did not say anything to her but I did not ask because it was a hectic day and if she did not notice the girl, I did not want to be the one to point it out.

I am glad for the aid in the classroom because I think she will be a great tool. Because she has worked with my teacher in position similar to mine, it will be helpful to ask her questions about my teacher. I think sometimes it is difficult to phrase your own expectations but to have someone like the aid explain them to me would be helpful.

I am very excited to go back in January and really get started on everything. I am really looking forward to being there every day.

My Teaching Inspiration

As student teaching approaches, I find myself looking to my teaching inspiration over and over. In first grade, I knew I wanted to be a teacher and the assistant teacher in my class (back when every class had two teaches because money wasn’t as tight back then) really encouraged me to continue wanting to be a teacher. She retired a few years after I was in her class and gave me tons of teacher supplies to play school with. I still have a lot of it… And I still play school with it but now I have real students!

The second person who inspired me is my childhood neighbor. She allowed me to come into her classroom every day during my home room period in middle school and every day after school my freshman and sophomore year of hs. She always made me feel like a teacher and helped me learn more about being an effective teacher than any of the college classes I have taken. I still have a picture of her class sitting on my desk to remind me how much I love kindergarten.

The final person who has inspired me is Laura Bush. Former First Lady and former teacher, her story is one that has inspired me since I first remember seeing her on television after the events of 9/11. I have read her book over and over and have fallen in love with her views on reading and teaching students to love reading. My love for reading and First Ladies, inspired by Mrs. Bush, has inspired me to always remember what is most important, that students love learning. I cannot wait to spend every day helping my students discover what is so great about lifelong learning!

“A love of books, of holding a book, turning its pages, looking at its pictures, and living its fascinating stories goes hand-in-hand with a love of learning.” -Laura Bush

One Month

Tomorrow will be exactly one month before I officially start student teaching. I am getting more and more nervous as time ticks by. I am excited to work with my classroom teacher and get to know my students but for the last 19 years I have been in school doing pretty much the same thing every day and having the same work habits. Now I have to step up and be the one in front of the class every day. I am beginning to have some doubts about my abilities to be a good teacher.

I am quite excited though. In one month, I will be in different place, for better or worse. Things will never again be as they are now. I didn’t go to school for 3 1/2 years to not use what I know and do what I love. I am excited but nervous but excited. It’s going to be great! At least that’s what I keep telling myself…

 

It’s Getting Close

This morning I discussed with my boss at my part time job about how this is my last month at work. Having to do that was not pleasant but it is a step closer to actually student teaching. My university does not let it’s student teachers work during their teaching semester so I had to do it.

Standing in the office, I realized how close it really is. I have fifteen class days left of my final semester of college. I was unaware of how close things really are. I have been waiting for three and a half years to be in the classroom every day and it is within my reach now. Every day, beginning in January, I get to be a part of a classroom full of tiny people who I will never forget.

I cannot wait!

Teaching Tip #1

After my first visit to the classroom I am student teaching in, it was easy to begin picking up on great things my classroom teacher was doing. On this first visit, I observed the students’ reading time. When the students went to get their books for independent reading they choose up to five books. Each book from a different basket. My teacher explained that the students took one or two books at their reading level and selected other books from baskets based on their interests in other topics. The students could then read for a longer, less interrupted time because they had all the materials they needed.

So for teaching tip #1 let students take many books at once to allow them to read for longer, uninterrupted times. 

I think this is especially great for kindergarten because the students have such sort attention spans. Having a variety of books to choose from helps the students build on their reading endurance. It also keeps them interested in reading. Having choices and freedom to move from one book to the next well help students stay interested and excited about reading.