Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Confessions of a Teacher-in-Training: Updates on Student Teaching!

It's been a while since I did one of these posts, and I figure it's time for an update! I successfully completed last semester's classes, and passed the PRAXIS II (big scary teacher-licensure test) with flying colors. Even though I was deathly ill with food poisoning the day I took it. This semester, I get to teach full time! It's lots of work, but it's super rewarding. I definitely feel like all I do is teach, teach, teach! I go straight from teaching 6th grade all day to tutoring 3 or 4 students at Thorup Tutoring after school. After I finish my 12-hour day, then I go home and plan. I'm getting lots of practice :)

Here are a few things I've learned/discovered/experienced over the past two weeks:

1. Teaching is the most rewarding thing in the world when your students get excited about a lesson you teach. Learning is magical!
2. As much as you love them, your students might still give you a headache sometimes.
3. You probably shouldn't eat a Lean Cuisine for lunch every day.
4. Planning takes up....your life.
5. My site teacher is the most amazing person ever. She is the kind of teacher I hope to be one day.
6. Lessons that are fun for your students are fun for you, too! Therefore, fun lessons are a win-win.
7. If you rap for your students even just one time, they will ask you to do it again every single day.
8. I carry so many things to school every day that walking up the stairs feels like climbing Mount Everest. I hoped I'd never say this, but I think it's time for one of these.
9. I would also love these for grading papers. Wouldn't 6th graders love them?
10. I got observed today by my supervisor at the University of Utah, and it went so well! Observations are always super-stressful, but there's nothing like getting positive feedback on your teaching. It helps remind me that this is what I'm supposed to be doing, and if I work hard, I might even be good at it!

Thanks to everyone, especially D, my family, D's family, my fellow student teachers, and my amazing site teacher for helping me make it through last semester, and for continuing to support me during this one. I am blessed to know such wonderful people!

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Dear 2011,

What a year! You have taken D and I on some of the wildest rides of our lives. But through the ups and downs, we grew to love and appreciate every experience you brought our way. Here are some of our favorites:

  • In January, we stared the year off with a bang by going on a shooting adventure with Daniel's family. We also got called to teach the Sunbeams in our ward. It was one of our favorite callings (most of the time), and we grew to love those darling 'beams. This was also the month I locked myself out of the apartment. I didn't blog about this, but Daniel lost his job (and our main source of income) on January 10th because half of the lawyers walked out on the firm he was working for. It was the first day of one of my hardest semesters. I was pretty much beside myself when I got the message because I had just quit my second job to finish school faster. By some legitimate miracle, Daniel ended up getting his job back the same day. We will be forever grateful.
  • In March, I stayed up until 2 a.m. with Marianne making animal hat templates for a 3rd grade art project. She and I took a really awesome education class together at Tanner Dance Studio that you would have had to experience to believe. I also had a run-in with a shirtless man in my laundry room, and posted a funny picture of invented spelling by a 1st grader. School and my tough semester was starting to own my life at this point, can you tell?
  • In December, we experienced a lot of mini-miracles. The fact that I made it through finals week alone was a miracle! We celebrated our second Christmas together, played a shepherd and a wise man in the nativity, and I threw my very first Christmas potluck! We also made resolutions for 2012 together, and had a lot of fun ringing in the new year at a friend's cabin.

Well 2011, you were a year packed with adventures! We are sad to see you go, but we're so excited to see what 2012 has in store for us! 

Lots of Love,

M & D

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