It has been quite a while since I first set up my blog here and posted. Since then I have done very little to customize my page, and clearly have not posted any new entries! I’m going to work on this!
I have just started a new academic semester–my last one as a student in a college classroom, as a matter of fact! Next semester I will be student teaching in a classroom! I am so excited! Before I get on that topic though…
I also recently began to teach a Sunday school class at the Church where my husband and I are members. I was very nervous my first day, and I let that get the better of me. Things felt very disorganized even though I do not think the learners noticed at all. I arrived later than I had hoped (I went to Church that morning and had just fifteen minutes to set up!) and from there things just never felt steady or ordered. I doubt anyone who had stepped into the room would have noticed anything but a bunch of first-grade learners enjoying lessons and activities, but it felt awful. My questions were too difficult, my attempts to get them thinking a certain way fell on less developed ears than they were designed form, and I left there feeling that I might have to ask the director to replace me. What a horrible experience for someone who is so desperate to teach young people!
This past weekend (the second session of Sunday school) went so much better! I spent a lot of time organizing my lesson and using sticky notes on the teacher edition (I can’t just make up my lessons even for Sunday school!) so that I would not forget anything. I did still forget one portion of the weekly routine, but I still had plenty for the children to do. I was able to manage the classroom while moving from activity to activity and keeping the children on task and engaged. Almost all the little ones had something to share for each discussion we had, and most of them worked pretty hard on their coloring, drawing, and writing activities. Now this was the kind of day I wanted and needed on that first Sunday!
The best part of the whole experience on the second Sunday, though, was how natural it felt to me to be “in charge” of a room full of first-grade learners (twenty of them to be exact!)! I suppose I was anticipating feeling like a “teacher candidate” for this whole experience (that is how pre-service teachers are labeled where I attend school) rather than a teacher. That is the opposite of how I felt. I felt that I was in my place. I felt that I could rely on my learning, knowledge, and myself to manage the class, teach the lesson, and make sure everyone was engaged and learning. It was so different from being a “teacher candidate” in the classroom of a full-time teacher. I always feel like a guest/nuisance in those situations.
As I said earlier, I will be student teaching next semester. I have no idea where or in what kind of school I will be working, but I am so excited to make that transition from student to teacher. I suppose I am already making that transition. That feels awesome!