Sometimes on my blog I don't get into very personal things. Mostly because this is the internet, and how safe is it really to post personal information? But feeling like it would simply be unfair to not share, I just have to tell you about my student teaching. And what better day to do it than on World Teachers' Day!
This summer and many months leading up to student teaching I was a nervous excited ball of energy. Much of me was filled with doubt: I somehow didn't believe that I would enjoy teaching, or find it fulfilling, or be any good at it. (trust me I thought of every excuse in the book to give up). I think sometimes when we face a big step we tend to want to turn around and hide for fear of failure. Well, as my days of student teaching approached I decided I would just need to dive in head first. I made up my mind that there is no way I would know if I liked it/was any good at it until I was in the thick of teaching.
My first day, as I headed to school, I was so anxious. A million questions zapped through my mind; doubts, excitements, fears, anxieties. I didn't know what to expect. Would I be any good at classroom management, would the kids be receptive to my teaching, would I be good at taking over the classes: all of these questions and more kept running through my brain. The first day I met my co-op she asked how I was feeling. I was honest and said "nervous and excited." She laughed and said "you have no reason to be nervous, it's going to be fun!" Knowing that she had that opinion from the get-go was really helpful in calming my nerves.
From the very first week I was able to be up in front of the kids helping teach. Even by the end of the first day I was leading a few activities. It was so great to dive right in, and really helped establish me as a teacher in the classroom. Since the first week I really have loved it! My kids on a whole are really sweet and good-hearted kids. I feel lucky that we don't have a ton of behavioral problems. We have the class clowns, and those chatty girls who can't stop talking, but none of the students are malicious in intent.
My teaching has been coming along very well. Each week I learn about a thousand things from my experiences, and I grow a little bit more as a music educator. I have had those moments of pride, when I feel like my lesson was awesome and the kids understood, and moments of wanting to rip my hair out. But if I'm being honest, I wouldn't change anything. Every success has helped build my confidence, and every set back has helped me grow.
Now that I am nearing the end of my first placement I will have to say goodbye to my 600 students I have started to know and love. I can't believe next week is my last full week with them. It's really bittersweet. The kids are so adorable, a lot of them hug me when they see me or say hi to me in the halls. And some of them are so gosh darn cute! I have one Kindergarten class that can't seem to master the words Miss Montgomery- so it ended up being Miss Gumrey (umm cutest ever!). I am excited to be one step closer to graduation, but so sad to have to say goodbye to all the people from my first placement.
It seems crazy to me that Sophomore and Junior year I was really concerned about staying in Music Education. I think it's just because, you don't get the whole picture at college. You get the content, and concepts, and book work, but you are missing the most important ingredient to why most teachers love education: children. It's like when I am standing in front of the room of kids that is when it feels right, it's the whole picture, my reason behind wanting to get involved in this crazy profession anyhow. So if you are one of those feeling a little uncertain about going into education (or staying in the major). I encourage you to explore why you wanted to be a teacher, and ask yourself if you can say goodbye to the idea before ever getting a chance to actually be a teacher.
If you want more details, lesson plans, stories, or maybe want to talk more about teaching just shoot me an email or catch me on FB chat. (somethings are better left offline.) Have a great day! Hope to hear from some of you!