Confessions of a New Student Teacher

Confessions of a New Student Teacher

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I’m almost at the end of my second week of elementary student teaching. I’m loving working with the kids at my school, and I’m having a great experience so far. Here are the highs and (not so low) lows so far and what I’ve learned.

Waking up is hard to do. I have to take two buses to get to my school, and I’m usually up at 5am to get ready and to make sure I have enough time to eat breakfast and make lunch. Today I woke up at 4:30am to write this blog post! Sad face. I’ve never had more cups of coffee during the day in my life.

I also end up falling asleep at 9pm on the dot. Not because I’ve planned it and decided that 9pm is the best time for me to go to sleep and get enough rest for the next day… It’s because my eyeballs hurt if I keep them open past 9 during the week. Last weekend my idea of a good time was a four hour nap on Saturday.

It’s cool to see how the things I’ve learned in the Art Education MAT program really do come together. If I didn’t feel that way, I honestly wouldn’t say anything about it.

I’ve got a student in one of my third-grade classes who can’t help but fidget, talk, get up, and move around in the middle of a lesson, etc. Through various conversations I’ve had and overheard about him, he can be really frustrating for some of his teachers because he distracts other students. He gets yelled at and disciplined so much that he’s become totally desensitized to it.

Since he’s someone who obviously needs to be able to move around when he works, I thought I’d try giving him (and the rest of the class so he wouldn’t feel singled out) the option of standing and working, working at his table, or working on the floor. He picked the floor. I helped him decide where to start on his drawing and periodically stopped by to check on his progress, tell him he was doing a good job, and point out the areas in his drawing that I thought he did particularly well with. I don’t know if he’s ever been so quiet and focused in his life, but it was amazing. At the end of the class, I told him I was really proud of him, and he said he was proud of himself too. Positive reinforcement and praise can go a long way—especially with students who are used to getting told what they are doing wrong instead of what they’re doing right.