Favorite Times Of The Year

I can not believe I have not written anything in three months. It is totally not like me! Anyway, I finished my first student teaching placement! It was six weeks and it was the most challenging thing I ever did. I had some heavy hitters … EXTREMELY heavy hitters. It got to the point where it was a danger. However, I can talk to you about anything that happened in person since it would be too much for me to write here.

And of course, however, I have so much to say in the six weeks.

However, I am reflecting on the fact that it is hard to believe I am 10 weeks away to becoming a certified teacher and accomplishing my dream that I have wanted since I was young. I am beginning my new placement (10 weeks) on Tuesday, and I am happy to say that I finished my 6-week placement!

Although, do I want to work starting January? I might have to think about it. It all depends on the projects that need to be finished or pursued. I worked hard for over 4 years. I know for sure though I want to start in September. After all, graduation ceremonies are now in June; there are no more December graduations for SCSU and I find that interesting. I guess Tom Petty was right when he said “the waiting is the hardest part.”

And not to mention the commercial for SCSU is going well.

We finished the voice over, all the music parts of the filming, and recently all the teaching parts. The only thing that is left to film is the interview. The commercial should be finished and on television soon.

And with finishing my first placement – What an eventful six weeks.

I stood in front of 23 kindergarteners who have never attended preschool. I learned to teach them how to write their names, identify and write numbers, identify and write shapes and colors, taught them the days-of-the-week and months in a calendar along with the “calendar time” tradition, and so much more. To me, this means that I had 25 opportunities to make a difference. I know what I have to work on, and I know the progress the students made but most importantly, the progress I made. I know that it was so cool watching the students bring to life scribbles on their pieces of paper on the first day of school.

And as a student teacher, I know I will cherish every drip of sweat, every sore and aching muscle, every crying child, every late night drive home after being in the classroom for hours after school, and more. I will cherish these things because its teaching … and I LOVE TEACHING.

Perhaps, for some, a statement like the one above is absurd. If so, then they do not understand and most likely will never understand. Teaching is the equivalent of spring: A time when new life is born; it is a sense of excitement that is in the air. Teaching is a work that is realized: Children develop skills over time. For me, to watch this happen is nothing short of miraculous. Something one taught comes alive in a classroom. And over time, the child grows into a mature being.

Right! You think I have finally cracked up! Well, quite the contrary. Teaching is the start of a new year for teachers. It is a chance to begin anew. It is a chance to meet new people and work with more people to continue to refine goals, ideas, processes, and not to mention: objectives! And all teachers join together and begin the creation of an art form that puts content and skills into motion.

I have began this journey. I know that I will put in 40-hour days. I will be exhausted. I will laugh. I will cry. I will watch my students find joy in their accomplishments. I will smile when my students cheer as they achieve each milestone along the way. I will sweat with them outside on the playground, and I will freeze with them inside the library media center. I will crawl into bed each night late, only to find myself getting out of bed early each morning. I will put some “pep in my step” to be somewhat physically limber enough to keep up with my students during breaks of swings and recess equipment. I will find joy in every wrong thing I do when it is done with commitment and thought, and I will celebrate when my students problem solve and learn on their own. At the end of this student teaching journey in 10 weeks, I will watch my students do all they learned from me and I will do nothing but smile and be proud of them the entire time.

And I know this was all true for the six weeks I spent for in my first student teaching placement. I have closed one chapter of experience, and will enter a new chapter.

However, what made my first placement special was the new lifelong friends that I made. I look up to all my friends for guidance and uplifted spirit. They were there for me when I broke down one day, when I needed to vent about different things that happened during the day, and so much more. I honestly would not know what I would have done if it was not for Sue, JoAnn and the other Sue, and Alma – who was the teacher assistant in my classroom. If they were not there during my six weeks, I honestly would have walked out the door.

These friends are the real heroes. They deal with far more crap than most professions do. The most important lesson I learned from my six week placement was from them: They taught me that it was okay to have feelings; it was okay for me to feel like I did not do anything right. They taught me that. And because of that, I am a better person because I realized that certain things were out of my control. I realized that education consists of support systems. They were my support system because they “got it.” They understood it because they lived it. For countless years and years and years.

To my friends and colleagues who share in the joys of this time of year no matter what job it is, our smiles say it all. To my friends and colleagues who do not share these feelings, perhaps you might think about what it is that makes you happy. Teachers should have their own type of hippocratic oath that includes “Do no harm.”

For if WE, the teachers, are not in it with them from start to finish, we do harm. For me it is simple: When teaching becomes a JOB, it is time to step away because all we would be doing is hurting our students.

So while I am sad to leave my first placement because I found a home with the people I connected and worked with, I have to make a new home. It will be, however, strange not to walk through the school doors knowing that everyone I got to meet and know will be there with me ready to start a new day. Although, that is not to say I will not have new people ready to start each day with me. Here I come!! I am almost there!!

Education: A period of time when committed teachers take on the world and the world cooperates.

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