Hello fellow #education friends, peers, mentors, etc.
I am absolutely loving internship so far, and really… it is only my third day! My supervising teacher allowed me to do some “easy teaching” today…meaning, I basically gave a spelling test, went over it, and introduced some new vocabulary. It was awesome!
The group of fourth graders I have are FANTABULOUS! (I know, I know, it’s not a word, but that is how I feel about them!)
Anyway… I have a question for you all…
I will be doing some remediation for the tier 2/3 students in math and reading (2-5 students per group, depending on the day). I want it to be informational, yes…but also, not “I’m falling asleep with my eyes open” boring. What types of interactive remediation activities have you tried/do you use in your classroom?
…were actually quite good.
I really think I am going to love these forth graders. They all seem so bright and focused, and they are all very respectful, and for the most part have gotten all the procedures down, and it is only the second day.
As for me, this week was meant for me to just watch and listen, to get acclimated with the school/classroom/teacher/students. The layout of the school is crazy, but I figured it out. The classroom is set up pretty standard… white/smart board up from, teachers desk up front in the corner, six rows of four desks, and the back wall with two areas for centers/groups/remediation and a set of four computers. But it looks awesome! Like I said, the students seem great so far..and I’m excited to see what they can do later on in the semester.
And my teacher… Whoa! is she great.
Three things I’ve learned so far these past two days, just from watching my supervising teacher:
So, all in all, I’d say the first two days of internship went well, I’d say 9 out of 10. I don’t know if a day can ever be a 10 out of 10, but I think that’s a good thing.
How did everyone else’s first day(s) go? Any stories to share? Any words of wisdom to pass on to this rookie? :)
1. Don’t nap. You’ll find that teaching is exhausting. Always. And you’ll be tempted to come home and fall asleep immediately. What will happen, despite your best intentions, is that you’ll end up falling asleep for 3 hours, waking up at 7pm, and not being able to get up when your morning alarm goes off. Instead, go to bed early when you’re tired.
2. Write down everything. At the end of the day, write a note about what went well and what needed work. Found a random activity online and printed it last minute? Save it somewhere. Had a great learning moment with a student? Write it down. One of them said something hilarious? Write it down.
You may think you’ll remember their comments, that sweet note you received, or the search terms you used to find that article. After all, student teaching is so vivid in your mind! You won’t. Trust me.
So write it down. [Also even if you never teach that curriculum again, you may run across a colleague who is. They’d love the resources!]
3. Don’t be afraid to ask for help. Everyone knows you’re a first year teacher. They were all first year teachers too. Admitting you need help is not a quick ticket to a non-renewed contract, it’s a sign of maturity. Don’t know what to say in a parent letter? Ask for examples. Unsure if a student is just testing your limits or if there’s a serious issue? Ask a colleague who knows. Overwhelmed by the amount of grading to do? Find out the systems the veterans use. Let them help you - they’re teachers, that’s what they want to do.
4. Don’t be involved in the gossip, but don’t be the outcast. In every school there is a social hierarchy, even among teachers. Don’t try to plant yourself right in the middle. You aren’t a high schooler any more. If the “popular kids” are negative and gossipy, don’t let yourself be pulled down by them. But on the flip side, don’t always be a hermit. These are the colleagues who will take your carpool duty, help cover your classes, and offer meals when you’re sick. My encouragement is to eat at least one or two lunches a week with the big group, if you’re prone to being too much of a loner. If you’re prone to being involved in the drama, eat at least one or two lunches in your room. It’s a balance - you won’t hit it right, but you’ll be better off for trying.
5. Let yourself not be perfect. If you’re reading this, you’re probably involved in the #education community on Tumblr. That means you want to be a good teacher. No, a great teacher. And that’s awesome. Your students will be far better off with that sort of attitude.
But those lofty ambitions come with lots of disillusionment and discouragement. Things won’t be perfect and even though you know intellectually things won’t be perfect, it’ll still hit you like a ton of bricks. You might even question if you’re supposed to teach. When that comes, hang in there. Keep going. It’ll get better, and you’ll feel better and it will all be okay. And although you may be a good teacher at first, none of us are great teachers right away. So let yourself be a first year teacher, give yourself the grace to make mistakes, and keep moving forward.