It Starts With a Goal

This past week was… you guessed it-wonderful!

Surprised? I’m not. Every day I go home wondering if the next day could really be as great as the current one. I am ALWAYS pleasantly surprised as my expectations are well exceeded.

I am celebrating each moment and focusing on the countless blessings that lie within this experience. Maybe it’s the fact that I really am in an amazing classroom, or maybe the reality that the school community is amazing. Maybe I am becoming an even more positive person as time goes on, or maybe just maybe I have truly found my passion! I have always loved teaching and working in the field of Education, but I believe that being a teacher is truly where I belong right now. All of these wonderful factors combined has made for a great internship thus far, and I have really been reflecting on this in the last week and have been filled with utmost gratitude.

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Some important happenings occurred this last week as well, including my interim evaluation and my second formal observation from my internship supervisor. After going through these evaluation processes, I have some very specific goals and action plans in place for the remainder of my time in the school. These goals include, but are not limited to, incorporating more cultural diversity into my planning and teaching, focusing on differentiated learning opportunities, providing more opportunities for family involvement, including students in the planning process to ensure that they are playing a leading role in their education experience, and exploring and incorporating new technological tools in my teaching. I also want to focus more on ensuring that I am providing opportunities for questioning according to Bloom’s Taxonomy. With all of these goals in mind and enough inspiration to motivate me for days, I better get back to planning!

As I come to the end of this reflection, I will leave you with a song that perfectly expresses the way that I am feeling at this stage in my internship…

So Many Emotions

Though this is late, I wanted to take the time to reflect on last week, October 12-16. It was a week full of emotions.

I gained so much inspiration from my coop teacher that week. Observing her teach has been monumental in my growth as a teacher, but that particular week was perhaps the most inspiring time in my internship so far. I was able to watch a few lessons and small group activities that I absolutely loved and have made notes to look back on later because the way that my coop teacher creatively approached several topics throughout the week has given me a desire to try some of those same teaching approaches myself.

Another thing that really sticks out to me about that week is that I started to get very emotional. Every single day of my internship thus far has been nothing short of wonderful. Despite feeling great about the experience, I found myself really down at times. I realized though, that it had nothing to do with anything being wrong… I am simply SO SAD to be leaving soon. I realize that it is not that close to Christmas yet, but I just know that time is going to fly by and I will be at the end of this experience before I know it. I really love going to my classroom every morning and I will miss this so much. Even though I know that the next chapter will be wonderful as well, whatever it may hold, I am just a little bit anxious about having to say goodbye to this one.

So… after a whirlwind of a week and a lot of time to reflect, I did brainstorm a few goals to add to my plan for the remainder of this time:

-time management (especially in Phys. Ed.)

-make a list of great classroom library books and books to use for lessons (I have discovered so many great books in the last couple of weeks by listening to my coop teacher read and searching the school library collection myself)

-work on incorporating a larger variety of tools into my teaching (technologies, equipment, etc.)

Overall, it was a wonderful week! I will embrace these wild emotions as they come because I know in my heart that they are simply evidence of my love for this school and the position that I find myself in!

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Can We Really Be Here Already?

This last week was nothing short of fantastic! I was able to dive into teaching Science, which meant teaching for more time in a row. It has been an adjustment for sure, but I am really enjoying the extra time at the front of the room.

Now, with four subjects to teach and another just around the corner, I have more time to work on my professional goals and reflect on my practice. I hope to continue to grow as a teacher and to avoid the complacency that is unfortunately possible as comfort sets in. Some of the things that I want to do in the coming weeks, to help with this, are:

-teach content that is out of my comfort zone

-try new things (with lesson planning, teaching, assessment, and content creation)

-incorporate unfamiliar tools into my teaching

-seek PD opportunities

-self-reflect daily and adjust accordingly

I cannot believe we are already well into the month of October, but I am so excited to increase my teaching time more and to see what the remainder of my internship experience brings!

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As the Fall Air Cools, My Heart Grows Warmer!

Let me just start by saying that this past week presented itself with a few challenges and many special moments!

October has started off on a fairly difficult note outside of my internship. With family and personal trials happening, my biggest goal this week was to focus while I was at school and not let anything get in the way of me making the most of my time with the students. It was good practice for me to teach during a trying week, because those times are bound to happen again and again. One thing that became exceedingly clear to me though, is that there are few things on this earth that can brighten my day like teaching does. I love learning from and with the students! Their positivity and curiosity warms my heart, and their patience as I learn to teach them new material is inspiring!

This past week also encompasses my first formal observation from my internship supervisor. I received thorough feedback after a Phys. Ed. lesson and am looking forward to applying it as I move forward. Because it is one of the subjects that I am least confident in, I really am grateful for the descriptive feedback and suggestions for future lessons. One of the areas that my supervisor suggested I work on is incorporating the Bloom’s Taxonomy questioning model into my lessons. After sitting down with my coop teacher to gain a better understanding of this model, I am excited to work on questioning as my primary professional goal for the next little while.

This coming week, I will add Science to my list of teaching subjects. This means that I will be teaching four subjects now and will always have three subjects to teach each day (Arts Ed. and Science are only every second day). I am really looking forward to increasing teaching time, more opportunity to work on my goals and becoming a well-rounded teacher, and continued exposure to this wonderful practice.

This is my Happy Place

This past week, from September 22nd to the 26th, was by far the best week of my internship yet! I would have said the same about every week so far, but this experience just keeps getting better and better!

Along with Health and Arts Ed., I began to teach Phys. Ed. this week. I was a little bit nervous about teaching Phys. Ed. this year, because of the new protocols that we must abide to in our current global situation. Much to my surprise though, I have absolutely loved every minute of it so far! I mean…. it’s not a bad thing to have to be creative right?

I used to wonder whether or not I made the right choice regarding school…. whether or not I should have taken this course earlier in my life. This week it really hit me… I would not have been placed in this classroom, with these kids, and alongside my current coop teacher had I taken it earlier. For those reasons alone, even though there are many others, I know that is was the right decision. I feel like I have won the lottery with this placement! I’m sure every placement is wonderful and I would have loved any alternative, but I am so happy where I am at!

I spent the majority of the week focusing on student engagement and classroom management this week. I was striving for diversity in my teaching and creativity in my lesson planning. I am thrilled with the week and grateful for the feedback I received.

Overall, I think I have grown in my teaching over the last few weeks. I still have a long way to go to get to where I want to be, and I will forever be seeking to learn more and grow as a teacher, but I am beyond thankful to be on this journey.

Thanks for checking in again! Stay tuned for next week’s reflection!

It Just Keeps Getting Better

September 15th to the 19th was a wonderful week. As the week progressed, I found myself getting increasingly excited about teaching! My coop teacher gave me great feedback every day, as she always does, and I have some great advice to take with me into next week.

Some of the things that I have learned this week include strategies to help with classroom management, student engagement, and student understanding. I can’t wait to explore these areas of professional growth further and develop a list of strategies that I really like using.

As we near the end of the month, I am a little bit sad to know that this experience is going by so fast but I am also extremely excited to keep moving forward and growing as a teacher!

Forming our Foundation

I bolted out of bed on September 8th as my brain began to process the meaning behind my ringing alarm. Today is the day I thought as the excitement began to build behind my sleepy eyes. I get to meet the students today! … the anticipation was almost more than I could take as I gathered my stuff and headed out the door.

Just as it is in all relationships, I believe that a solid foundation is necessary for a successful, nurturing classroom community. As I drove to the school that morning, I thought about this truth and contemplated my role in creating that foundation this fall. As a member of our learning community, I believe that I hold the responsibility to contribute positively to each student and staff member’s school year. In doing so, I must focus on relationship building which starts with a foundation. I can’t wait to meet the students… I can’t wait to get to know each of them! Before I knew it, my thoughts were interupted by the school parking lot in front of me… it was time to begin!

Perhaps it was the enthusiasm ringing through the air, or quite possibly the warm smile of each and every student who greeted me that morning, but something happened to me upon welcoming our class to school that morning with my coop teacher…. these kids had already claimed a piece of my heart and almost all of the anxiety that I was feeling about my internship was washed away.

The week only got better from there. I fell in love with the school, grew more and more fond of the staff, found immense joy in teaching, was overwhelmingly inspired by observing my coop teacher, and became increasingly committed to do my best to have a wonderful fall with these incredible students.

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Jumping Right In

The anticipation built tremendously as I awaited the beginning of my internship this fall. The first two weeks consisted of meetings, preparation, and planning.

To kick off the experience, I met my cooperating teacher in person on August 24th. We met at the school that morning and I was able to tour the building that would soon become so important to me, as well as familiarize myself with our classroom. As I walked through the front door that morning, being greeted with a warm, welcoming smile (behind her mask of course) by my cooperating teacher, my nerves eased and I immediately felt nothing but excitement and comfort. I knew right then that this place, and the people in it, would quickly become dear to my heart and I could hardly wait to get started!

My coop teacher and I worked through the internship orientation together and decided on a tentative teaching plan for the fall. I was extremely happy to work through the contract and logistics with her, especially after recognizing the fact that she is happy to have me in her classroom and selflessly willing to teach and guide me as I move through this process. I only hope that the experience will be mutually beneficial and that we will have a fantastic fall together… and there is no doubt in my mind that we will!

The days that followed the internship orientation were full of meetings, training sessions, setting up our classroom, planning for the fall, and preparing learning materials. I had a lot of fun each day and found myself growing more and more attached to my placement!

I can’t wait to see what the near future holds!

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