Tuesday, November 25, 2008

All good things must come to an end…

My last day

Today was a busy day because it was the last day they had school before Thanksgiving. They don’t have to be back until Monday so everyone was excited. Even Mrs. C was ready for five days off and excited for the break. The students had free reading time because their book reports are due Monday and she wanted to give them time to work before vacation. I gave a quiz to some students who were absent. One student was really into taking the quiz and finished quickly. One girl, however, wanted nothing to do with it and refused to take it. Mrs. C told me if she won’t take it there is nothing we can do, at least she tried. We then played the tape of The Giver, while students followed along in their books. We read about a chapter and then the bell rang.

After the class, Mrs. C told us a girl from class wrote a note calling her awful things and left it for Mrs. C to find on her desk. Mrs. C didn’t see her write it but when she confronted the girl she just smirked and shrugged. I could tell Mrs. C felt awful and knew the girl was going through a lot. That’s no excuse, but at least Mrs. C realized students’ home life really impacts their school performance.

Next hour of the day was her regular English class. I took three students down to the media center and worked with them to catch up on some assignments. I usually don’t like being sent to the media center to work one on one, I want time in the classroom. I, however, enjoyed this time today. I was with three students working on different assignments. So like in the classroom, I had to classroom-manage and give different directions. I had a chance to get to know these three students and watch their personalities emerge in doing their different assignments. I feel like over the past few weeks, I’ve spent a lot of time in the classroom without really getting to know who each student is. I got to the middle school twice a week, but only for two hours. Although I know working with students one on one won’t necessarily be a big part of my teaching career, I liked getting to know the students today. I liked seeing how they tackle assignments and how they act when not surrounded by thirty other students.

When I took them back, they read a story about pilgrims and did worksheets about Thanksgiving for extra credit. It was a nice, fun way to wrap up the hour before a Thanksgiving holiday. On my way out, I reminded Mrs. C this was my last day and I would love to come back again next semester. She said I was welcome to if I wanted to or I could get another experience somewhere else. I told her I think we’re supposed to stay in one placement all year and she told me since the game was such a success, we’d be expected to do more next semester. I told her that’s the idea and we’d see her next semester.

I felt good about this placement. I felt like I learned a lot more than over other placements where I just went for an hour and worked with one student. I got to spend time in the classroom and see how the dynamics work with thirty students at one time. I learned I’m pretty good at classroom management. I can’t wait until next semester when I get more opportunities for new experiences :)

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