Reflections of a New Teacher

These are my reflections beginning from my first few days as a student teacher and on...

Saturday, August 26, 2006

Yoga at the School Year Kick-off Meeting?


Monday, August 21, 2006

Wow, that really was not what I expected. In a good way.

I arrived at the building for the beginning of the year all-staff meeting at 7:40am just as I had hoped to. The little room echoed with happy chatter and soft reflected sunshine danced on the walls, which were covered in wedding and racing decorations. It didn't take me long to find some familiar faces inside, and soon after I greeted my fellow student teachers my cooperating teacher walked in and led me to our table and then to the breakfast line. How dare they have pain au chocolat! I have a particular weakness for the chocolate-filled French pastry... but it was so very good along with the fruit salad.

My cooperating teacher buzzed about the room talking to everyone, and every now and again stopped to apologize to me for talking too much ;o) It's okay, don't worry, I'm a big girl and you haven't seen everyone all summer... and just got married! There is a lot for her to say. I will admit that I feel like I have a bit of puppy-dog syndrome... I had to make a conscious effort not to follow her everywhere. I think it shows a bit of insecurity on my part that I'm trying really very hard to fight. On the one hand I don't want to appear as though I'm not sociable, but on the other hand I don't have much of a history with these people yet and I'm really not good at creating small talk. So I just listen in on their conversations, haha. At the same time I don't want my cooperating teacher to feel like I'm constantly buzzing over her shoulder and I want to give her some space... so I followed her some of the time but then made myself go sit down to finish my fruit and pastry. The last thing I need is for her to get sick of me.

Luckily the people at our table were very friendly and introduced themselves to me. It was great to put some names to faces. And guess who should be sitting across the table from me? A very nice woman with whom I had a class at the university! We can't remember which one, but we each look familiar to the other and we know it was an education class for sure. She already did her student teaching last semester, but was a para-professional at this school for quite some time before she went back to get her certification and came back to do the same this year. She is also finishing up an online course just like I am and will also graduate in December. She has a daughter that is my age :o)

Now, since I am still figuring out what exactly it is that paras do, it might be useful for some of you here. Near as I can tell, to put it simply they are helpers for the teachers. Some might work directly with special needs students, some might help with reading or math groups to aid as another instructor, and at times they can even help with clarical work like filing and copying. Sounds wonderful. Until last semester I never even knew there was such a thing but it's such an awesome idea... with 25 kids you can always use some help! The kids get more attention. I think the teachers get a certain number of para hours per week based on how many students are in their class.

Another place holder... we did yoga at the meeting! Got to "meet" everyone...


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