Friday, March 11, 2005

This is Why I'm the Luckiest

But first, a dream. I have already begun to dream about my first day, which is completely normal. I dreamed that I forgot to make a seating chart (which I haven't done just yet) and had to make something last minute. Not much of a dream. I had another, but it wasn't about school. I dreamed that it was my wedding and my parents hadn't decided how we should do the alcohol situation, so I went up to the bar and we picked out which kegs to have (HoneyWeiss and Blue Moon--how expensive and yummy!) and were talking about how to do the liquor. Not related to teaching. (And not getting married either, in case this confuses anyone... I'm having the theme of unpreparedness in my dreams and any kind of random unprepared situation that might cause a panic will probably dance through my head these next few nights.)

So I wanted to share why I'm one of the luckiest people ever. I actually have a thousand reasons. But I wanted to share why I'm lucky recently...

My cooperating teacher is really great. She's incredibly helpful, giving over all her extra time on my visits to answering questions, getting things done with me (scheduling appointments for the library, for the computer lab, arranging for my new email address (woo hoo!), etc.), and such. She gives me advice for things I haven't even considered. She lets me go through all her stuff to photocopy and says that every teacher has something different that works for them--that there are so many different ways to teach things, etc. Here's one specific detail: After classes on Wednesday, I talked about how I realized that this was my last day of just observing. (Can't I just have one more day?) I told her that there were weird things I was nervous about... I think I was just chatting, not hinting. I said that I was nervous about what to do with my body because there wasn't anything to really set all my stuff (handouts, notes, etc) for the front of the room and no where to put my restless arms/hands. So today, which is a grading day as yesterday was the last day of the trimester and grades are due on Monday, she is going to do a little hunting around for a podium. I said that I hadn't meant for her to do that, but thanks so much! I don't plan to always use it (ick, ick) but it can be like a security blanket for a little while. (I'll let you know how that goes in the next few weeks...) She also suggested that I leave a seat in the back open for her to sit in so that she can be as low-profile as possible. The student would then be more likely to view me as the person of authority rather than automatically going to her for passes to the bathroom, etc. I hadn't even thought of that.

Other people are having issues with their cooperating teachers. One, who has been really positive about it, has lost her school because the teacher went on medical leave. She has been placed again and will start at the beginning of April, but still, she had spent all that time preparing for this specific position! Another's cooperating teacher, um, talks a lot. About things unrelated to school. So she doesn't even really know what exactly she's going to be teaching. No panic. Some get the lesson plans and can sort of revamp them, but mostly, they have little creative or decisive power. Some haven't formed a comfortable "bond" (I know you're not supposed to be buddies, but feeling comfortable asking questions and for help is always good) and feel awkward. Some are teaching things that aren't as "marketable"--only creative writing (which would be fun for me, but I am assuming a general kind of course would be good to balance that out--luckily, she's taught in Namibia, so that should help) or with another, one ten-day and one twenty-day unit and that's it. We're all in such vastly different situations now.

The other thing that makes me very lucky--Ryan is coming this weekend. Not only is he coming here for my very first weekend before my very first week of student teaching, and not only that! but he is taking Monday off so that he can stay here on Sunday night. While I freak out. :) And he'll be there when I get home on Monday after my first day. He's the greatest. (This isn't going to be fun for him, I'm guessing. :) I'll try to be good.)

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