As my three-week block is coming to an end (early next week) I’m finally starting to feel like a real teacher. I’m finding myself busy and slightly stressed, but not stressed enough to panic. I don’t mind the stress, because from what I hear, that’s normal during my 3-week block. My two health classes have been quite an experience. There are tons of challenges and interesting behaviours that I have come across over the past month, and I’m learning so much from these two groups of students. My cooperating teacher and I were talking about it one day, as I felt deflated and like I wasn’t getting through. She brought up a good point – I’m lucky I’m experiencing these challenges now with so many support people around me, as opposed to when I get a job and am teaching on my own. It made me feel more comfortable and confident in what I was doing.
My grade nine tutorial class is my favourite hour of the day. These 10 students are such a great group of kids and everyday I feel like I’m getting to know them better and better. Though some days I have my struggles with some of them, most days are a lot of fun and I really enjoy it. Eight of my ten tutorial students are also in one of my health classes, so I see most of them for another hour each day. I’ve realized that by having these specific students in mind when planning my lessons, I have become more adaptive in my lessons. For some reason, I almost feel defensive about these kids, and want to make sure they are getting what they need to be successful. As it turns out, there are quite a few others who need the same supports, so most of my students are also benefitting.
My health classes are filled with quite a few defiant students. I’m still trying to figure out how I can help them be successful. I have to admit, I find it a little frustrating when someone is fully capable to do the work, he/she just refuses to work on it, then refuses to give suggestions as to how they would like to learn. I think coming from the Learning Resource program, I find myself constantly trying to figure out what works for them, where some teachers may have already started to let things slide.
3-way conferences are coming up next week, and I’m looking forward to meeting the guardians of my tutorial kids. I’ve exchanged e-mails with most of the parents, but it will be nice to finally meet them face-to-face and talk about how their son/daughter is doing so far in grade nine.
Man oh man, who knew this job came with so many meetings and e-mails?! I feel like any extra energy I have throughout the day is donated to responding to e-mails or planning/attending meetings with other staff members! Having said that, the many meetings in the past month have been quite beneficial! I learned how to collaborate effectively, make semester/year long plans, and have been exposed to numerous ways of helping struggling students.