I’ve officially survived the first week of student teaching with students (not a full week though, that won’t happen until week 3). No major disasters, and really no minor disasters either. I’ve spent a lot of time assessing phonemic awareness in the kinder classes. It surprises me how many kinders have trouble with rhyming. I’m also a little surprised by the variety of skills present in the kinder classroom (some students cannot rhyme, and others can segment words into their individual sounds). It seems like the teachers have a wide variety of abilities on their hands.
I’m ending each day feeling exhausted, but usually pretty good. The days are very long, and I’m putting a lot of hours in for no pay. I’m settling into routines for several parts of the day, arrival of the buses, lunchtime, and departure. The days begin with me meeting my students as they arrive (most of them get off of the bus), I can either stay outside until all of the students arrive, or go downstairs into the gym while some of my students eat breakfast. Lunchtime involves getting my kinders through the lunch line, getting them sat down, and providing assistance while the students eat. Once the students go outside for recess, my cooperating teacher and I get a lunch break. On a good day, the break might just be thirty minutes, but it usually works out to be less. At the end of the day, I head to one of the first grade classrooms, collect one of my students, and get him to the bus. Then we stay outside supervising the bus loading until the students are gone.
I haven’t really had much time for academics, the responsive classroom model followed by my school tries not to pull out students during the first couple of weeks of school. My co-op has said that we will start pulling some students this coming week though. She’s developed a tentative schedule for the day, and will begin figuring out which areas I will start to take over first. I’m nervous about the concept of running a classroom by myself, but also looking forward to the challenge.
Time is really flying by for me, even though it sounds cliche. My weekends will be consumed by work and my weeks are consumed by student teaching. Hopefully I can make it through the semester.