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Whitney Carter
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I am about to graduate with my Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT) and when I started student teaching, I realized how little my classes prepped me for what teaching would really be like. I heard about all of the great adventures my professors had in teaching, but none of it prepared me to teach students. I feel that student teaching has been a real eye opener for what teaching is really like. It is not how everyone imagines it to be, especially in special education. I've seen my mentor teacher give hygiene talks, look for lice in a student's hair. None of my classes prepared me for this. I was so focused on creating the best lesson plan, jumping through hoops for my college, that I forgot who I was there for, I'm here for the students. Once I found that focus again, I have enjoyed teaching so much more. I was able to relate to this post, thank you!
As a student teacher, I have had moments where I am so focused on my "perfect" lesson plan and I forget about who I am teaching. I have gotten to the point where I need to focus on my students and see what they need. Lesson plans are great, but they don't allow for the flexibility that is needed in the classroom. It was refreshing to see that it is common to get focused on other things, even though we know we need to focus on the students. Thanks for the great suggestions.
Those were some great tips. I especially liked the tip on leaving a note for the teacher. I know I would like to know how my students did for the substitute, so it is a great idea to leave a quick note with how they did. I also liked the suggestion on looking at emergencies as opportunities, especially if it gets back to the principal with how well you handled a situation. I'll have to keep these in mind should I start off as a substitute.
This post had a lot of great advice for new teachers. I especially liked the suggestion on laughing with your students. It is easy to get caught up in meeting standards, deadlines, or whatever else is thrown at us as teachers. As teachers, we need to remember to laugh and have fun with our students, especially since they are the reason we became teachers. I will definitely have to come back to this post for future references.
I like your idea of having students earn rewards for what they want to do in-class, like sit by their friends. This is something that I would definitely like to implement in my class, one question I have is how do you keep track of their "funds" or is it entirely up to the students to keep track of their "funds"? Did you create any graphic organizers for yourself, basically how did you keep it organized for yourself? Also, a suggestion is you could have students trade in their "funds" for a raffle ticket at the end of the quarter or semester and they could win a big prize. It could be as simple as you were cleaning out your home and instead of donating a duffelbag you raffle it off. I hope this helps!
Right now my life is "wake up, school, nap, dinner, sleep, and repeat." I was starting to wonder if something was wrong with me! I am student teaching in SPED and I am exhausted constantly. I finished up my general education placement at the end of September and I was finally getting used to the routine, but now I am at a new school and getting used to life as a SPED student teacher. I have 6 weeks left and I am pooped! Between IEP's, teaching, planning, and everything else in between that I have to do I feel like I have no time for myself. I have tried to work it so I have everything completed by the weekends so I can enjoy my free time. I know that teaching is important to me and I want to give it my all but if I don't take time for myself I will burnout quickly. This post was a great reminder to take care of myself!
One piece of advice that I found really helpful is finding something I love and doing it. I don't want to lose sight of what waits for me beyond the walls of school, but in the meantime being a teacher is also important to me. I'm getting to the point where student teaching seems to be flying by and hopefully I'll have my own classroom soon but I don't want to get caught up in always grading papers. I need to remember to make time for myself and my loved ones, especially since I am now planning a wedding on top of everything else!
I like your advice on writing down three things to help you focus on the good things of the day. I really think the last one is beneficial because it's important to constantly remind yourself why you're teaching. I've had many days where I've though to myself, "I can't do this anymore, I don't want to do it anymore." I think if I start writing these down everyday, even on days I am not struggling, I can go back and reflect when I am having a bad day and see the passion and drive that is there.
Whitney Carter is now following The Typepad Team
Oct 12, 2013