Let’s take a look back

Though all of my thoughts now are on the start of school (which is rapidly approaching I might add), I wanted to take the time to reflect back on where I’ve come with a few notes I had written down, so ultimately, I can be even more excited about where I’m about to go, what I’m about to do, and what I’m about to experience.

My student teaching experience was one of the best learning experiences I could have had. I say this not because I learned a lot about teaching, but because perhaps I learned more about myself as a teacher and a person. You see, my CT (cooperating teacher) and I did not see eye to eye on many things at all (if any). I valued her teaching style, but I also valued my own; however, she did not value my style at all, and it was always very clear that it was her classroom (despite her attempts to encourage me to branch out which she clearly didn’t really mean because I never had that freedom). Continue reading

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Mandalas…

As many of you know, I’m a big visual literacy advocate. I just find the intersections between the visual and classroom “stuff” to be really neat and noteworthy because in the end I’ve found they help students make more meaningful connections.

I have utilized the visual in many ways in the classroom so far, including having students create Canterbury dictionaries and mandalas. So, as promised, my long awaited mandala post, ha!

Basically, the mandala exercise looked similar to this lesson plan I found online (googled “character mandala”), so check it out and to get a better idea of the how-to’s. Now, on to what I discovered through my students work… Continue reading

One more *big* one…

How could I forget…another big realization that has come after my student teaching is the fact that classroom and university ideas seem to be completely different from each other, though they *should* be working and saying the same things. Let me explain…

As a future, hopeful phd student myself, I have often wondered how my classroom ideas are valued on the university front, and how my university ideas are valued on the classroom front. However, I’ve found in most cases, there are not many intersections. It’s either classroom or university. Research done through university work is completely out there in regards to what takes place in the classroom, yet the research done is taken from classroom experiences. And then there’s question of well, if it’s not university ordained work, is it meaningful “data?”

I’m not sure if I’m being very clear here, so let me try again. I was told that university settings look down on people who get their phd, then teach in the field, then go back to university settings. Basically, too long/far away from the scholarly world. I, myself, have been nervous about passing up on phd opportunities right now afraid I would get out of the scholarly side of teaching and learning, yet greatly desiring the opportunity to teach at the secondary level…the level in which I would hope my research would impact.

Contradictions??? Perhaps. I just don’t understand why both the classroom and university settings have such a “divide” between them. Why I will publish my classroom “research” one day in well-respected journals, and yet reach many readers via my blog talking about classroom “stuff” now??? Maybe I’m thinking too much into this, and maybe one day I’ll have an answer, but I do feel this weird middle phase between one side pulling me to academe and the other side pulling me to the classroom. You’d think both would go hand in hand…

More thoughts…

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, Continue reading

Top 10 Thoughts

Well, here’s one part of my reflection…a few more will probably be on the way, but I wanted to go ahead and get down my top 10 thoughts on my student teaching experience!

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 Continue reading

Something to smile about

“yep no problem and thanks for teachins us something new.
and thank you i am feeling better 🙂
see you tomorrow…FRIDAY!!”

“Ok I will recreate it and have it by friday. Thank you soo much for understand!!!! You’re the best!”

Two notes from students who were “struggling” with technology issues during the commercial project. And despite frustrations, at the end of the day, I still got “thanks”…not bad, eh?