Another week is past, and now I’ve completed six weeks of student teaching. I have learned a great deal so far, but it’s clear that I have a great deal left to learn about this profession I have chosen.
For one, I still am working on my organization and planning, which can be effective but tends to be very scattered and, well, unorganized. I know what I want to get at, but how I do it is the hard part. I think I’ve been fairly consistent in my instruction, but there are obvious deficiencies in my planning technique. Part of it is time spent doing it, and I need to remedy that sooner rather than later.
I also am still struggling to keep myself moving forward with classroom management, and some of the things I’ve been doing (like neglecting to watch students carefully who should be working independently) are practically sophomoric. Yet again, I know better than that – why am I not getting it?
The seniors started turning in research papers today; I have eight of them now to try and grade over the long weekend, along with the aphorism books that the juniors turned in the beginning of last week. Those have been my focus, since they need to be nailed out quickly to make way for the much more tedious research papers.
As usual, my students are teaching me things that I sorely needed to be reminded of at this stage. Their aphorism books – compilations (either as a book, video, or Power Point) of 15 aphorisms, each accompanied with a graphical illustration and brief explanation of the quote – have on the whole been very well-done, demonstrating a significant amount of time and effort. Some of their explanations and comments, additionally, have been thoughtful and sophisticated, and I’ve thoroughly enjoyed reading them.
Some of these aphorisms remind me of my own deficiencies, but more than that, they remind me that there is a way to end the cycle. For instance, one of the quotes that particularly stood out to me was:
By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.
There’s no question that this quote is incredibly applicable to me, and I need to remember this – so much so that I’ve already made a cover sheet with it to go on the front of my planning binder. (Yes, I really do need that much of a reminder.)
As I said to my seniors today, everything done in the classroom is a learning experience for a teacher (or, as I should have added, at least it should be), and these projects have reminded me of the attitude I should have toward learning and my own planning. If I ever forget that, then I need to move it on down the line.
I hope that inspiration can carry me through the weekend. There are great things ahead, I think, and I need to make sure that the little details, all of those things I should plan for, don’t bring down the house of cards that is already a bit unstable. I think it can work – now let’s see it happen.