Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Who Knew Teaching Involved Such Manual Labor?

I didn't. Today was the first day things got started for me for my actual student teaching internship. I'm at a new school and I'm excited. I was really nervous to go in because I had the impression that my teacher was kind of strict. He is, but he's totally cool.

We spent the morning setting up a whole bunch of computers. Plugging them in, hooking up the ethernet cords, and bunching up the cords and putting them in a little slot behind the tables so when the students come they don't kick cords, etc. That in itself was a challenge. AND on top of that the air conditioning at the school isn't working. I was sweating bullets. After that he had me clean off the computer tables.

Around noon my mentor teacher and I went to a local Indian restaurant with another teacher in the school because she wanted to talk about some classroom management things. My mentor teacher is AWESOME at classroom management. I know I'll learn some beneficial things from him. Lunch was great, and I learned a lot. I hope I remember it all.

One of the things my mentor teacher does is he sets all the procedures, routines, etc at the beginning of the year. He is more focused on classroom management than content at this point because he knows he will make up for it by the end of the year. Whereas most teachers focus on getting this chapter done and racing through content, he does the opposite. Those teachers end up losing a lot of classroom time trying to discipline the students. The first few weeks of school are also the best time to do this because that is when most students are best behaved and willing to learn.

One of the things he stresses is that no one talks when someone else is talking. So, if he is trying to say something and another student starts talking my teacher will completely stop talking and stare at the student. If he has to keep stopping, so be it. With this his hope is that the students will begin to tell each other to stop talking because they just want to get through the material. He is big on making the students responsible. They are in charge of how he teaches, whether he lets them work in groups or silently.

He is also big on his phrase, "Raise for Praise." He wants to praise students for what they know and do, but he can't do that if the students don't raise their hands. If students don't raise their hands he could praise the wrong person because the student who heard the right answer happened to shout it louder. Plus, it's way better for classroom management if you ask me! He's huge on praising. He's not big on disciplining students in front of each other, which I agree with. Those students are so used to being yelled at at home. Positive feedback is so much more important and worth it.

Towards the end of lunch they started talking about more personal things. The other teacher looked at me and told me straight up I had very beautiful eyes. She apologized in advance saying that she's sorry if she doesn't hear what I say because it's probably the result of her staring at my eyes. Then she said I probably hear that all the time. I do get complimented on my eyes a lot, but it still shocks me when people say it to me.

We got back to the school and went to the office to talk about keys, etc. I got my own key to the classroom! :) Then we went back to the classroom and I cleaned of all the keyboards for the Macs. I just have to say Apple is stupid for making white keyboards. They were so gross and brown. I had to scrub the keys. My lower back was hurting so back from bending over, my head was hurting from the fumes, and I was dying of heat. But I got it done like a champ! I love cleaning too much to be mad!

He then had me move stacks of textbooks to shelves and then we arranged the classroom. It's HUGE! We have 5 rows of seven desks facing the front of the classroom. In the back we have 4 groups of 4 desks. This is good so that while we co-teach each of us can take care of different groups of that is necessary.

The best part? I got my own desk, two filing cabinets, and a bunch of drawers that I can lock with my own key. He told me I could start bringing in my stuff whenever. This is what took me by surprise. The last two quarters I just had my binder full of stuff. Now, I'm actually going to be a teacher and I have NOTHING. Anyone want to go to Target and by school supplies? I have no idea how I'm even going to fill up the drawers. But it's still so awesome!

Then he showed me around the school while he was trying to find a vending machine with water. I have to say that the cafeteria is so cool! It reminds me of the dining halls at UC where you can choose what you want. And they have two lunchrooms. I'm guess it's easier for managing the students, but I'm not completely sure.

After that we talked about a schedule. I'm going in tomorrow and Thursday, and possibly Friday. He also told me I could tag along to meetings. This is going to be an awesome opportunity to get to see more. I'm so glad I have an awesome mentor teacher who is trying to get me as involved as possible. I'm even starting 2 weeks than I really need to which isn't bad since my summer is pretty boring.

I hope you all had a good summer! It went by too fast!


  1. I love your mentor teacher's take "raise for praise"! yes to getting supplies- my last mentor teacher recommended costco for supplies, though- maybe we can find someone with a membership to take us? I just found out this morning that my teacher left the district so I've been reassigned! Crazy that it happened so last minute. You do have pretty eyes!

  2. Are you still at the same school? That's kind of a bummer though that it happened so late! When do you start?

  3. Yes thank heavens I'm at the same school. I meet my mentor teacher tomorrow and I'm not really sure when I start! Ah. Crazy.


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