Reflection? Perhaps not.

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I have been having some trouble synthesizing and summing up what I have just been through in regards to student teaching. I really want to reflect and talk about what has been good for me through this process, what has been hard, and what I feel I need to work on from here. But I’m finding myself in a mental block right now.

I finished my full time student teaching at the end of March. I’m now teaching a 35-minute Core Extension class at the end of the day, and although the break is nice, I’m longing for more to do in the classroom during the day. I hope that’s a good sign.

When I ended my student teaching full-time, my mentoring teacher was adamant that she wanted her classroom back full-time. As part of my program, I am supposed to be in her classroom until the end of May. Well, she decided that she would prefer I wasn’t in her room during the day. I think she was just ready to be back in a position that is more comfortable for her. So, now I’ve been placed in a workroom for the remainder of my time there, and I am covering in ISS and subbing where I can.

It feels very much like a let down. And in the back of my head, it feels as if I’ve done something to bother my mentoring teacher. She and I haven’t always had a very communicative relationship (although I have tried), but I feel like I really made an effort to meet her halfway. I’m not sure what else I can do there. Perhaps just letting it lie and moving on is the best recourse.

I’m at the point in my education where I am more forward looking than backward reflecting. I’m anxious about what the future is going to hold, nervous about whether I’m going to be able to find a job next year, and a bit curious what life holds after college is over. It will change the way my entire life looks and I am really nervous about that.

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2 responses »

  1. There are really no surprises here. It was clear from the beginning that your mentoring teacher’s views of how the class should be taught were much different from yours. That’s not good or bad. What is, is. But it makes a student teaching experience very difficult because the student teacher doesn’t always have the freedom to run the classroom according to her own beliefs. I can see how you would have a let-down feeling given the circumstances you’ve described since ending your student teaching. Frankly, she is not complying with what your college has requested of her as a mentoring teacher. It seems clear to me that she wants that class back, she wants it to be her way, and your presence will, in her opinion, interfere with that. She’s not being fair to you. Having followed along on this journey with you, I feel that you have done everything in your power to make this experience work. Without totally capitulating to her style of teaching, there’s no way you would be able to satisfy her. You’ve tried to talk to her but she clearly was not about to change her philosophy. Unfortunately she wasn’t able to let it go and let you find your own way. It wasn’t a matter of “principle.” You were not out on a limb with your teaching. What you were trying to do was in line with what many educators agree with in terms of teaching style. So she should have allowed you the freedom to teach your way. I agree that at this point looking forward is much more profitable than looking backward. I’m sorry you weren’t paired with a teacher more compatible with your style, but sometimes that happens. Do not take her treatment of you personally. In my opinion, when you have your own classroom from the beginning of the school year, you’ll be able to establish the parameters for operating and you’ll be an excellent teacher. Take what you can from this experience that’s positive and let the rest go. Please keep me posted about what happens in the future.

    Thanks for letting me share this experience with you.

    Mary

  2. Incidentally, 5th grade is not a bad idea. I think you’d find the students much less resistant. Those 6th graders can be tough. I’ve heard from many sources that 5th grade is the ideal grade to teach. And from my recent experiences in subbing, I tend to agree. 🙂 I sure wouldn’t rule it out.

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