Sunday, September 6, 2009

I Can't Seriously Be Old Enough For This

I remember having student teachers when I was in elementary school and I swear they were at least 30 years old. I felt like they were so much older that I was. They seemed so grown up and like it would be forever before I was anywhere near their age. And I couldn't have been any more wrong. Those student teachers were probably only 20 to 22 years old. And while they were much older that I was at the time, turns out 21 is creeping up on me very quickly.

I'm suddenly a lot more grown up that I realized. I don't live on campus anymore. I have to worry about paying bills. I'm teaching in a classroom, considering how I'm going to get my masters and what I'm going to do after graduation. My friends are getting married or will be getting married soon as we find ourselves planning their weddings in our spare time (or in the car since we no longer have spare time). It's all very strange, yet, most the time, enjoyable.

The most enjoyable part of this growing up business is most definitely the teaching part. I am in first grade at the World Language Academy. It's a charter school where students are taught in English and Spanish and learn Chinese. It's about 45 mins- 1 hour away from my school. It's a lot of driving every day, but totally worth it. I was fortunate to be placed with an incredible teacher. She's very young but has a lot of experience and I am continually amazed at what a great teacher she is. I feel like I have so much to learn from her and a very long way to go before I am even half of the teacher that she is, but I am so thankful for the opportunity to learn from her. I only wish I had more than 6 weeks in her classroom before I move to my next placement. Mondays I get to sleep until 6:30 because we have our Classroom Management class from 8:30-11:30, but Tuesday- Friday I get up between 4:30 and 4:45 every morning. There are 3 other girls also placed at WLA and we meet in the school parking lot at 6:30. We're there from 7:30-10:30 and by the time we get home we have just enough time to grab some lunch, sometimes change clothes, and get our stuff for class. Then we're in class until 4 or 4:30. Tuesday and Thursday I have my art class from 5:30-8:30, but right now we get out early most of the time, which is nice. So that's 22 hours of classes. Yeah, I'm crazy. On top of that, Mondays I have chapter council, Tuesdays is chapter, Wednesdays is Bible study, and Thursdays (soon) will be Grey's nights with some of my sweet sisters. And bed time is somewhere around 10:00 but I wouldn't mind one bit if I could somehow change that to about 9:30. I just aged 40 years.

So yes, it's really busy. Yes, normal people know not to take 22 hours of classes in 1 semester (at least I'm doing it with my best friend! what better support system could a girl have?). Yes, I'm exhausted and slightly stressed. But I love it. I seriously wouldn't change a thing. It's going to be an intense 2 years, but it will be worth it. These kids are worth it. And even when the real school part is kicking my butt, the students at-what we call little kid school-make it all worth it.

some highlights from week one:
-fire drill on the first day
-little boy puts paper towels in the toilet and flushes it 3 times. needless to say, it over flows.
-little girl: what year were you born in? (I think they're just starting to learn about years and stuff) me: 1989 little girl: you were born in the 1900's?!?!
-one girl told me that she has a real fairy godmother and that she was coming to stay this weekend. she was also bringing her boyfriend but she doesn't like her boyfriend because he tells jokes that aren't funny.
-another little boy using his pencils as chopsticks.
-their spelling. right now we are focusing more on sounding words out and knowing sight words rather than accuracy. most of the time you can figure out what they are trying to say, but sometimes I feel like it's in a different language.
-there is one little girl who is extremely quiet. I have been watching her and haven't really even seen her talk to many of her classmates. as I get more involved around the classroom, I have been trying to make a point to talk to her and check on her work and stuff and she is really starting to open up and smile more. Those are the kinda things that make it worth it.

I can't wait to see what the rest of the year has in store!

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