Week 1 is over for student teaching, and I have to consider it largely a success. I’ve been teaching one course entirely since Tuesday, and those students have been fairly responsive over that time. I’ve also learned quite a bit about these classes and about instructional technique in just these few short days.
I have been first very satisfied with how I’ve been able to work into this drastically different schedule. Despite being initially very hopeful about the changes that would come with this new lifestyle, I was somewhat anxious as well about how I would handle the transition. That anxiety is now long gone: teaching and being in the classroom is so comfortable for me that it has been sort of like fitting into the life that I’ve been wanting for so long. It’s almost second nature, and that has made this experience extremely satisfying just in that regard.
Teaching has gone well this week – we finished up our grammar unit yesterday and will be reviewing Monday for a test on Tuesday. I said before that I wanted to treat this unit like a Band-Aid, and it was in fact relatively painless. Part of what made this work is that there is a sizable portion of the class who already gets what we’re doing, and my challenge on Monday for the review will be to assess where each individual student is. Now that we’re moving out of a grammar unit, I can start focusing on the upcoming literature: transcendentalists first (excerpts from Emerson’s Nature and “Self-Reliance” and Thoreau’s Walden and “Civil Disobedience”), followed immediately by the anti-transcendentalists (Hawthorne and Melville).
I also need to start thinking about how to teach research papers for the seniors, which begins on Wednesday; taking over that class additionally will probably be the hardest thing to manage since it will involve a lot more preparation and juggling.
One last thought: I need to consider how I can use technology efficiently since I do actually have access to it. The high school classroom has a large TV with both DVD and VHS, and the computer in the room is connected to a projector. My co-op is also one of a few teachers who has a Mimio – essentially a device that can turn a normal whiteboard into a smart board. We’ve been able to get it working with some bugs, and I expect that we can get it going by the time I will be teaching 1984 in February, so I want to incorporate it into instruction if at all possible. My philosophy on integrating technology has been to plan without it and think of ways that it could be included if available, since I never know what my future district will have in case I use the materials again (hopefully!).
Now, off to do more planning. (If there’s anything I need to do, it’s to be diligent about staying ahead.)