This week, I am taking time to be thankful. I am realizing more and more every day how wonderful of a school I am student teaching in. For those that don’t know, I am at Hartford Upper Elementary, which is part of the Carlisle school district. In this school, I am having wonderful experiences with my mentoring teacher, as well as with the other staff. The principal here is great. It is clear that he is someone who enjoys his job, and takes great pride in doing everything he can to bring success to his students and his teachers. My mentoring teacher is equally as wonderful. Even in just these first three weeks, she has helped me develop into a better teacher. I am looking forward to finding out how much more I can learn from her.
Some things that have been happening this week are a visit from Kids Hope, a Heartland AEA visit, and me taking on a WIN group. Kids Hope is an awesome organization, in which adult volunteers come to the school each week and individually mentor students. They help them with the homework, play games with them, and serve as a role model. This group has made a huge difference with some of the kids who have less than stellar home lives. Along with my fellow student teachers, I visited the Heartland AEA, which is a service for educators. The AEA helps schools/teachers with just about everything. They can help you find great lesson ideas, they send free books to your class each week, they do at cost printing, they send you audio books and others interactives, and so much more. Almost all of these services are free! If you know any teachers, encourage them to learn more about what the AEA has to offer.
A WIN group is a “What I Need” group. For each of the reading units, there is an overarching goal to meet. Each reading unit is taught for 6 weeks, and then the students are broke into smaller groups depending on their level of understanding in the unit. For the following 6 weeks, they meet in a small group with people who are at the same level as them, and work on continuing their growth. The WIN groups that just started are over author’s perspective and I am with a group who is working towards Exceeds (the highest level of understanding). Other than the WIN group, I haven’t led many lessons this week. Although I am now in charge of writing, my students are researching for a paper, so they have just been on the laptops during that time.
As I continue to grow, I am making sure to be aware of areas I need to work on. This week, my focus is on becoming more comfortable with discipline. For those of you that know me, you know I struggle with confrontation. It is hard for me to be the bad guy, especially to a bunch of 10 year olds that think I’m awesome. Even though it isn’t fun, I understand it is necessary that I discipline sometimes so my students can have the best classroom environment possible.
Side note- I am starting my job search, so keep an eye out for any elementary teaching openings! Also, thank you to my parents for the laptop I got as an early graduation gift. I spend every second I use it eternally grateful to have one that finally works!!