Today was an interesting one within my Student Teaching experience at the high school level. It started off with a text from my cooperating teacher:
“I have a family emergency. Requested a sub but it may be just you teaching.”
This could be quite the scare for a third-day student teacher!
Though, to be honest, I wasn’t really worried. I was worried about the pouring rain and the backed-up highway that was in a stand-still.
I needed to get to the school!
Thankfully, I was able to get to the school on time by using the access road, though it did take a bit longer. Perhaps I should consider waking up earlier than I currently have been in case this were to happen again.
Once I got to the classroom, I was relieved to find a substitute teacher scrounging for assignments and attendance sheets. We talked and she agreed to allow me to run the day while she remained an assistant in case I needed back up. I was thrilled to have the class to myself.
I began the morning with the AP Art class and was enthusiastic to present to them my Senior Show, Muted Outcries. After pulling my artworks up on the projector, we turned off the lights and gathered around the screen casually as I led a discussion over each piece and the theme as a whole. Because this AP Art class needs to create a 12-piece Concentration that is incredibly similar to the Senior Show requirements, my cooperating teacher and I thought that they would benefit from viewing my work. I feel I led a successful discussion as I questioned them on what each piece made them feel, what they saw, what I did to achieve a certain effect, and how they could use this knowledge to help them complete their own themed series. Two students in particular were incredibly interested and seemed to benefit a great deal from the presentation. I also felt that the class benefited more than they possibly would have otherwise, as the past two days they haven’t seemed to accomplish much in class. I planned my presentation and discussions well as the entire class period was used efficiently.
Throughout the rest of the day, I learned a great deal as I led the classes. Within the Art I classes, a Color Quiz was to be administered and the next assignment was to be given. I felt that I successfully administered the quiz in the first class as I told all of the students to remain seated and quiet until all had finished the quiz. Unfortunately, I thought that I would allow the next class to gather their supplies while they waited for other students to finish the quiz, which resulted in a hectic mess of noise, students out of their seats, supplies being scattered everywhere, talking, and no control over the students quizzing. Because of this experience, I went back to my first method of all students waiting until all have completed the quiz before they can gather supplies and resume working. I have learned that this is a much better way to give a quiz.
The rest of my day seemed to flow smoothly as I monitored the classes, administered quizzes, and introduced the next assignment. I felt comfortable as the primary teacher in the room and no longer felt too shy to tell a student to put away his phone or to get back to work. I helped students who needed assistance, graded all of the quizzes from that day, submitted attendance, and even led a successful classroom clean-up.
My cooperating teacher has a reward system for the class that cleans up the best, and I kept to it, telling the students that if any brushes weren’t cleaned well enough or there was a mess left in the classroom, it would be documented and they would lose out on the reward. When I held up dripping, dirty brushes at the front of the classroom, students volunteered immediately to clean them, even when they weren’t their brushes.
I enjoy this system of keeping the class clean and plan to use it in my own classroom.
I am proud of myself for today and feel more confident in joining the education work force. I felt comfortable in my instructor position and enjoyed witnessing what worked and what didn’t. I feel that the students respected me and I gave them that same respect. I am eager to meet with my cooperating teacher in order to express my pride of myself and my joy for her well-behaved students.
You make us so proud.