Today my university supervisor was coming to observe me and it was my second day being on my own with my cooperating teacher acting as if she doesn’t even exist. Yesterday I was a little surprised that when my cooperating teacher said I was taking over the classes, she really really meant it. She sat in the back of the room and wouldn’t answer students when they asked what we were doing, wouldn’t cut paper when we ran out so I could manage the class, and wouldn’t answer phone calls from the Front Office. She really wanted me to feel like I was the only teacher in the room.
I was nervous about my supervisor coming as I haven’t had the time to adjust to being the only teacher in the room. I was also starting the clay unit with the Art I classes and I requested her presence in an Art I class to see me at my worst. My supervisor needs to evaluate me in times of conflict in order to assess me properly, so I recommended the Art I classes as they are obviously the most difficult to handle. Thankfully, I was able to finish my PowerPoint for the clay unit and felt much more prepared to teach the students than I did yesterday.
I am so relieved to say that everything went well again. My supervisor said that I was excellent at almost all of the criteria she needs to grade me on. While I was worried about my ability to redirect misbehaving students, she said I did so in a polite, direct manner that refocused the students on the intended task. While I thought the class was a chaotic mess, she assured me that no class will ever be calm and that I balanced the tasks of filling out hall passes, helping students, and handing out supplies well. She did inform me that I gave the students too much time to clean up which resulted in a few wasted minutes at the end of the class period, so I need to work on my time management a little bit more. My cooperating teacher repeated my supervisor, saying that she saw very little for me to improve on.
Today, I felt more comfortable with changing a few things in the classroom, as my cooperating teacher said that I could. I tried using the bell to gain the students’ attention and it seemed to work okay. I also informed the students that I would be taking over for the next few weeks so that they would stop trying to talk with my cooperating teacher. I also asked that the students remain seated in their desks after cleaning up the room as I don’t like the students crowding by the door. It makes it difficult to maneuver around the room, and creates a thick group of students that can hide misbehavior. Yesterday we had an issue with a student by the door wasting a roll of tape by making a tape ball. This will prevent that from happening again. I’m hoping that these changes will provide more stability and increase my confidence, but I still can’t help but feel that I’m in someone else’s classroom with someone else’s students. I still don’t quite feel as if I have total freedom, though my cooperating teacher says that I do.