I (barely) survived the first semester of observations!
This column came out like an Academy Award speech so I’m sorry in advance, but I want to dedicate this award—I mean week—to everyone at William Adams Middle School in Alice.
To my mentor teacher, and my students: you’ve made this experience an overall great one and I couldn’t be more grateful.
As you can tell if you keep up with my nonsense ramblings each week, I’ve had a lot of challenges this semester. Being responsible for the “learning” of children is scary and it’s not something everyone is cut out for.
The whole point of our observations is to figure out if we really love teaching. It’s make it or break it for some of us and I’m so relieved and happy to say it’s reassured me once again that I’m where I should be.
This wasn’t my first pick for a school by any means, but it has taught me so much in the eight weeks I’ve been there. I have seen so many different aspects of the education system in this short amount of time. I’ve seen regular classes, pre-AP classes, GT classes, and mixed classes with special-ed students.
I’ve seen various teaching styles and I’ve seen various school days from department planning to writing workshops to standardized testing days.
I’ve let myself become attached to some of these studentsand it’ll be so hard to say goodbye to them. There are some who are not the best behaved, of cours, but they’ve all made a memorable impact on me in some way.
It makes my day when they tell me I’m “cool” or that they had fun with one of my lessons. I have at least one student ask me every day why I’m not staying with them longer and why I’m not going with them to teach at the high school when they get there.
I don’t think most adults feel the need for the approval of a 13-year-old eighth grader, but when you’re a teacher that’s trying to get through to them? That means the world. To know I’ve been able to teach them something in my short time with them has meant everything.
Let me be clear—my days in the classroom have not been perfect. I’ve seen bad behavior, I’ve gotten upset, and I’ve just been absolutely drained. But I learned something on every single one of those days.
I’ve seen things I want to implement in my own classroom (not to mention ways I want to decorate my classroom, but I could babble about that forever!) and even things I’d rather not do in my classroom.
I have to mention how grateful I am to my mentor teacher. It’s not easy to just welcome someone into your classroom and let them take over your class on occasion. She’s been so great and has given me so much advice and feedback. She’s let me plan my lessons according to how I want them and has put her trust in me to teach her students with her.
She’s shown me different methods through her own teaching style and she’s been so encouraging in having me observe other teachers as well to get a well-rounded view of being in the classroom.
I also want to thank my TAMUK supervisor. Seeing her is always a relief; I feel like my mama bird is waiting in the wings just incase I need help.
Her feedback and encouragement has meant the world and I only hope that I can one day be the educator that she is.
Last but certainly not least, I want to thank my other WAMS girls. We survived that 30 minute drive to Alice 3 times a week!
We’ve been a mini-support system for each other to talk about our lessons, our students, even our mentors. You girls were a big part of the reason I got through this semester so I thank you so much!
If this was a real award speech, the music would have gone off about 10 minutes ago and they’d be trying to get me off the stage. I may not have won an Academy Award but I did win something this semester. I won the opportunity to call myself a teacher.