Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Sitting on the Sidelines

For the first time in over fifteen years, I'm a teacher who is not teaching. (In the classroom, that is!) This semester I have a wonderful student teacher who I have catapulted right into the classroom.

Rather than having Denisse sit and watch, as she's done sporadically for the last 4 months, I decided that it would be in her best interest to get right into the classroom at the start of the second semester. I thought the transition would be better for the students and for Denisse since it would be a clean start. What I wasn't expecting was how it would affect me...

It is much more difficult than I thought it would be to sit on the sidelines. While I am involved in planning the lessons, assisting Denisse with time and classroom management and observing the evolution of a new teacher, I have decided that it's best for the situation if I have only minimal interaction with the students in terms of instruction. As a result of my inherent proclivity toward "doing things a certain way" (no, I've never been much of a team player!) I find myself biting my tongue constantly. I want to add comments, stories and mneumonics throughout Denisse's lesson but I refuse to sabotage what she is trying to achieve.

What I've learned from this?
* I've been doing this for a really long time (that's a rude awakening!).
* I like teaching a lot more than I thought (that's a pleasant surprise!).

Who's doing the learning here? I think it's me. As I reevaluate my career I find that with all the thorns, teaching is the best job for me. It's different every day, there's always high stress (being on time and prepared for class....the kids know if you are not and capitalize on that!), and I get to stay "young" by being around kids all day. That's not to mention summers off, Winter Break, Spring Break and hours that coincide with Julie and Z's school schedule. In addition, I get to mentor student teachers like Denisse who bring a ton of new ideas and fresh expectations to the table...ideas and expectations that I can consider adding to my repertoire!

I just hope tongues heal fast. Ouch!



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