The first few weeks of student teaching have been a total blur! I'm starting to see how hard it is to manage life as a mom of 2 with a husband who doesn't have very flexible schedule while teaching essentially full time. It is exhausting to say the least!
I have really enjoyed working in both of my placements so far, although I am also becoming more aware of my own weaknesses as a teacher. One of my biggest stressors has been trying to fit all of the content into the lessons that I've planned. As a teacher, I really enjoy connecting to the kids and being able to have 2-way conversations so that they can share their own thoughts and feelings.
There are definite positives to allowing students to share, is it helps me to understand them better, and allows them to become more invested in the lesson. It also has the benefit of activating whatever background knowledge a child has on the topic that we will be discussing. My problem as a teacher though, is that I get caught up in the conversations and lose time that I needed to spend on working through new content or time that they needed to spend writing to show what they learned. Language Arts is my favorite subject to teach, as I'm able to weave in a lot of social studies and engaging literature with the kids.
I'm in a 3rd class this year, and am definitely struggling with how academically challenging the math content that we are using is! We're using the math lessons from Engage NY, with some adaptations, and there are so many pieces that were mostly unfamiliar to me. Now I'm becoming more competent teaching using tools like number bonds, tape diagrams, and arrays. I was skeptical at first, and there are still some elements of the lessons that aren't really developmentally-appropriate for our class, but I am seeing how the different visual representations connect with different learners in the room.
This week I'll be co-teaching more math with my Cooperating Teacher, as well as having my first observation in my ESOL placement. Its a busy week, so I'll leave this post short for now.
Thank your kids' teachers for all they do, its definitely the most challenging job I've ever had, and I get to leave the take-home parts of the job for my CT, such as grading and planning assessments!