Thursday, August 27, 2009

First Week

Even though there is still one more day left in the week, I think it is safe to say that I survived the first week of school (hopefully I won’t regret saying that later!)!!! I am more tired than I ever thought I could be…but other than that I have basically loved every minute of it. I honestly don’t know how people who traditionally student teach in the spring make it without seeing the beginning of the year. There is so much crucial information about the students that is gained during the first few weeks and I feel so blessed to be able to experience it all… I am so grateful for this year-long student teaching experience!

Oh, where do I even begin????! Well, we have 18 students in our class and were “given” the most “difficult” students in 5th grade. My CT is known as the classroom management guru so they felt that if anyone can whip them into shape, it is her. This scared me at first, but I now understand how great of an opportunity it will be to work with students who will help me work out the kinks in my own behavior management strategies.

So, here are some of the experiences I have had during this first week:

- Beginning of the Year Staff Meetings
- Grade Level Planning Meetings
- Lunch in the Teachers’ Lounge
- Before School Meetings with Parents
- Learning how to meet the needs of a student with Autism
- Fire Drills
- Assessing Oral Reading Fluency
- Small Group Instruction
- Doing After-Lunch Read Alouds
- Repeating my directions 1,000 times over
- Getting students caught up when they come in 1 hr. late for two days straight (important factoid: the student lives directly across the street from the school)

Today, we had a problem with a class bully talking about other students, in particular one girl who is overweight. Well, word got back to my CT and she has absolutely ZERO tolerance for bullying. She confronted the bully and let him know that his behavior was unacceptable. She then asked him if his mom was home. Now, at this point I’m thinking that she was going to make a phone call home. But ooooooohhhhhh no……she said “Okay, let’s go!”. The “let’s go is referring to going across the street (literally) to his house to talk to his mom face to face. I don’t know who was more surprised: me or the student!!!! Well, we both walked him to his house and my CT explained the problems we’ve had with him. She gave him “the look” so we knew everything was out of our hands from that point. After I got over my shock, I realized how great of a move that was! Going to his home showed him that what happens at school doesn’t stay at school and that there is no approval of such hurtful behavior. Even though I see the power in what my CT did, I don’t know if I would’ve had the guts to do that!!! That’s okay though, I’m only 4 days into this whole “real teaching” thing but I’m definitely learning the ropes!

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