Winding down…

What a week…and what a day…

Though not the first time, but definitely the “worst” time, today a teacher thought I was a student. Yes, it’s dress down day, and everyone wears their jeans and sneakers, but I guess it goes to show why my heels are a staple for my every day outfit (I was wearing jeans, a cardigan, and a nice cotton shirt FYI, but tennis shoes instead of heels — actually more “dressy” than most teachers on Fridays). Basically, the blocks were cut short today due to a fashion show. Students had to buy a ticket to go, so not all students went. There was also an environmental expo located in the gym. So, the 3 students left in 4th block and I decided to stroll down the hall way to the expo.

On our way down the hallway, two gentleman came sprinting up the stairs chasing each other. I immediately told them to stop in my assertive, authorative voice. They stopped, until they rounded the corner, and I could hear them running again. Just as I turn around to tell them to stop again, another student teacher catches me in the hall and tells me the expo is shut down. My students are standing beside me, and we are about to head back to the room. But then I hear another authoritative voice yelling at the two boys who I had said stop to coming around the corner. The boys stopped running with their legs, but were running their mouths in a very disrespectful fashion about this teacher as they pass me. At this point, I ask them (the disrespectful gentlemen) if there is a problem, in which they say no, and walk back down the stairs to where they are supposed to be. Upon hearing my authoritative voice, the teacher asks where we are supposed to be. I state that I was taking my students to the expo. She asks who I am. I say I’m a student teacher. She asks my name. I state it. And then she asks who I work with. I tell her. (All the while I’m standing with another student teacher and my students by the way.)

Now, here’s the catch. I didn’t have my “lanyard” on. Only some teachers wear them anyway, and I was told from day one to not really worry about it (we are ALL the way back in the very BACK of the school), but I would maybe want to have it on me if I ever went anywhere just in case. So, the one day I actually go somewhere in the however many months I’ve been there I forget to tuck it into my pocket. Now, I am a student and my kids are laughing because 1) they definitely don’t see me as a student and 2) they couldn’t believe the teacher gave me such a hard time. I just politely asked them to change the subject as we went back down to the classroom. (The other student teacher was never questioned or asked to justify her placement in the hall…and she did not have her lanyard on either.)

Here’s how I feel…1) I’m sort of happy because I have a complex about getting old (haha, I laugh, but seriously…), but more importantly 2) I feel horrible because this teacher definitely thought I was rude to her by assertively stating that I was a student teacher (I think originally she thought I was a student mocking her by my comments to the two boys maybe?). I’m going by Monday to find her and apologize if she thought I came off the wrong way, but I really was just stating that I was taking my students to the expo…

In all reality, this really shouldn’t be that big of a deal (but you know me, Ms. Analytical!), but I do feel bad. I feel bad that my assertiveness, my confidence, my ability to clearly define expectations and set my goals, my lack of fear to stand up to students running through the halls…the list continues, but all of this is looked down upon in a sense. My ideas, my thoughts…they are “new” and “different” and that creates panic in others. Everything about me because I’m not supposed to have these “things” yet. More on all of this to come in the next week as I finish up my student teaching, but today definitely made realize two important things: 1) I’m still a student in the eyes of teachers who don’t know me — definitely not their colleague and 2) students do respect me as an authoritative figure. So the question arises…which is better? Vice versa? Again, more on this to come! (Oh, and #3 is never forget to carry my badge in my pocket. Even if it is to the bathroom around the corner!)

ANYWAY, I had my 3rd block DE students write down some of the things they liked, they hated, they were surprised about, etc. and some of their comments really surprised me in a good way. I am going to re-read them and type a few up to share with you all…

So, what’s coming up? Next week is my last week in the classroom. My students are all sad and don’t want me to leave, ha! It’s really sweet. I’ve learned so much from them…I owe 1st block a surprise (food related) for winning my bulletin board competition, but will also probably bring in some fun treats/snacks to 3rd/4th just because I have really appreciated the time working with them and am thankful to have had this opportunity. And in the end, though I was considered a “mean” teacher because I made them think and held them accountable for deadlines, I realized that students really have respected me, they really have learned from me, and they really have appreciated me helping them as much as I’ve appreciated the opportunity to work with them.

Well, it’s almost time for the girls’ softball game down the road with the county’s big “rivalry.” Actually, I really don’t know if they are rivals, but I am thinking they might be. I’m so interested to see how high school softball looks again since I’ve played collegiality and it’s been awhile since I’ve been around “the field.” Maybe coaching one day? Perhaps…you never know, right? 🙂

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3 thoughts on “Winding down…

  1. As you know, similar things happened to me today. And it made me think about how we are in such an in between stage at this point in the game. But, I like to recall what our advisors have said about it all. We are considered a “student teacher” right now. But, we are more the “teacher” than the “student” – at least in their opinion and I completely agree. It’s that pivotal point where we are moving towards crossing that line of becoming what we’ve worked so hard to be. Yet, certain obstacles as silly as looking young can be a barrier. As frustrating as it is, what can we really do about? I would definitely not back down from being “assertive” or confident in yourself as a teacher. It just seems to be one of those things that comes with the territory of being a brand new and “young” teacher.

    If it makes you feel any better, I’m pretty sure I will be confused for a student for the rest of my life HA! I’m such a child…

  2. I wanted to add to the part where I said don’t back down from your confidence and assertiveness…

    What I mean by that is don’t let someone who thinks you look “young” make you doubt yourself as an educator – because you are GREAT! 🙂 I know one thing I’ve learned from this experience is if I EVER have my own student teacher, I will never comment on their age or youthful look. It’s all in how you present yourself and take on the situation. Do it with authority and confidence and who cares how old you are? If you got it, you got it – and you’ve got, I promise!

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