Here are a few more things I left out of the video (youtube has a 10 min. limit *sigh,* so yeah, wanted to include a few more 🙂
-Though students were resistant against my classroom management style (because I established rules like no talking when someone else is talking), many of them actually thanked me for keeping class under control. Funny, huh? HA! I have to laugh. When I first entered the room, the critique was that my management style was much more strict than my CTs, yet in the end, this was something I was applauded for. I didn’t change my style from beginning to end, but kept consistency with what I expected. Thus, super important to create this consistent style when I step into my own classroom (because it’s really hard to step in to someone else’s classroom after a certain style has already been implemented).
-I’ve learned that though my style of teaching may be “different” to some, that doesn’t mean I’m a bad teacher. In fact, I think I’m going to be a really good teacher. I don’t say this to be "cocky," but I am very confident in my teaching ability/potential. Throughout this experience, it was very disheartening, frustrating, etc. for me because though I was encouraged to show my style, when it came down to it, my style wasn’t "allowed." Or, when I was able to show my style, someone (as in an adult) is saying, "I really don’t see the point in this either." when students are "complaining." Well, yeah, that doesn’t really give you credibility in front of your students now does it? Thus, instead of rolling eyes at colleagues’ (and yes, I say colleagues…I’ll get to that in a minute) styles, we should be observing and appreciating seeing someone else’s take on teaching. After all, do we expect our students to turn in the exact same essay? No. We encourage student voice. So, why do some teachers not encourage teacher voice? I’m not sure there is an easy answer for this, but again, instead of critically examining a teachers’ style and critiquing about how different that style may be from one’s own style, let the focus be on constructive criticism, not personality differences!
-Now, I mentioned colleagues above and have briefly touched upon this topic previously. So, what’s the deal with this colleague talk, anyway? Well, the point is my colleagues and I are exactly that now. Colleagues to the teaching world (well, practically, assuming we pass our last test…the master’s defense!). But I’m not seeing other teachers look at us as colleagues, per say. I’m not referring to ALL teachers here, but the fact is, we will be teaching next year (well, hopefully, assuming jobs finally open up, ha!) and will be colleagues to dept. heads, experienced teachers, teachers in other depts., other schools, other states, other professional organizations. I’m not sure when we officially cross this bridge into official "colleague-ism," but it’s frustrating that the term "student teacher" is still rolling around. I get the respect issue, and hey, in my eyes, I will always be a student teacher because I’m always learning (more on this to come as well), but I know that when/if I ever have a student teacher in my classroom, I will serve as a mentor, yes, but also a colleague to a soon-to-be teacher. (*NOTE: I always think back to my supervisor’s email in which he stated that we were more teachers than we were students as we began our student teaching experience. His words have meant a lot to me, and I have carried them with me throughout my experience!)
-I truly learned that my best friend is EXERCISE! OK, well we have always been best friends, but perhaps estranged here lately because I couldn’t do a lot during the fall due to my back and just sort of fell off track because of that this spring. BUT not only did exercise help me wind down at the end of the day here towards the end, it also made me give myself “me” time, which is imperative for ANYONE!
-I learned a LOT about myself as a teacher and as a person. I realized that I am much stronger than I thought. This fact alone may not stand out to many as a “teaching” moment, but for me it is. I won’t go into many details here, but I know some of you reading this will know exactly what I’m talking about. And if you are one of these people, then I thank you for helping me stand strong 🙂
-Finally, I guess I really want to stress the fact that it feels amazing to truly know that I impacted students. I made a difference. In someone else’s classroom. I feel confident that I can continue creating an impact for students down the road, and am excited to see how that plays out in MY classroom 😉