As with all of Institute, Week Four had both ups and downs. However, when you add it all up I think it comes out positive.
Last week I began teaching math, which is my fall placement. I’ve doubted my ability to teach this subject since I saw the acceptance email back in November but now I know it’s right where I need to be. I absolutely love teaching math. Being at the front of the classroom gives me energy, but when you add in my favorite subject I feel simply lit up with excitement. One of the highlights of my week was a student raising his hand to tell me, “Miss D, you’re a really enthusiastic person.” Right on target. This subject makes sense, I’m good at it, and more than anything the lesson planning is crystal clear. It’s a welcome change from reading, helped by the fact that I’m becoming (slightly) more comfortable in my teacher skills.
I do want to point out that I’m not overly confident. I have a million things still to learn and I know it, and in no way do I feel prepared to teach in my own classroom in a month (eek!). But that’s where everyone is, and what I do know is that I am capable of learning these skills, and I’ll leave Institute with the tools to get me there. Along the way though, it helps to celebrate small successes (like 3 students getting 100% on my assessment today!).
I taught a seventh grade class as a substitute for one of my fellow corps members today. It was a totally different atmosphere from my own room. These kids were engaged, enthusiastic, and totally loved me. They actually smiled at me. My apathetic, tired eighth graders do not smile often, I must say. I’m a very energetic and slightly goofy teacher, and my eighth graders are not amused. For some reason, these seventh graders were. Perhaps it was just the change from their usual teacher, but it was just nice to feel liked instead of just put-up-with. We’ll see if this lasts tomorrow when I continue my subbing. I’m grateful for the extra teaching opportunity, either way.
So all in all I think this last week is going to turn out pretty great. I can’t wait for my students to take their end-of-summer assessments because I’m convinced they met their goals. I’m excited to attend sessions geared toward my regional teaching experience. I’m looking forward to not having any more lesson plans due after today, and I’m happy to have extra time to practice teaching this week. I will definitely miss my kids, and my fellow CMs, but I’m looking forward to the celebrations of our accomplishments, whether it’s with drinks or popsicles. Week Five, I’m ready for you. And Colorado, I’m definitely ready for you too!