I almost broke this week

Chronicles of a student teacher

Renate Berger
Apr 16, 2017 · 3 min read

I almost broke this week. An activity that I thought was going to go great, blew up in my face. I was so close to packing up my stuff, walking out the door, and never looking back.

No one can prepare you for the stress of student teaching. No one.

Now, I pulled it together. I modified the activity, and then got observed doing the modified version of the activity, and my supervisor loved my lesson. It was my best evaluation to date. Although that made me feel a bit better, news came later that night that threw me back down, but I won’t get into that.

Student teaching has taught me a few things. One: YOU WILL NEVER CATCH UP ON GRADING. Just when you think its all done…..more magically appears out of thin air. I honestly do not know where it all comes from. I swear goblins stick more and more papers in my stack for me to grade.

OK, all jokes aside, I really have been learning a lot. Teaching is something you really have to learn, in some ways, on the job. I never realized how many things can go through your mind at once. At any given moment I have 20 things on my mind. I never knew so many students could ask you questions at once. “Miss. Berger, I was absent yesterday, what did I miss? Miss. Berger, can I go to the bathroom? Miss. Berger, my laptop is frozen, I need to go to tech. Miss. Berger, did I do my Quizlet, I forget if I did it or not. Miss. Berger, I am going on vacation next week, what work will I miss?”

Lesson ideas will hit you out of nowhere. I will be in the middle of lecturing and all of a sudden BAM!, I get a good idea for a lesson or activity, or I come up with a great review game idea. It is not unusual to see me scribble down an idea on a sticky note and set it aside to review later.

Learning names of over 100 students is made more difficult when you have 3 students with the same first name in one class period together.

The biggest lesson was one that really sunk in for me this week: You will fail, and its not the end of the world. I failed, the activity flopped, and I felt terrible. I felt as though I failed as a teacher. I cried in the faculty bathroom. I skipped lunch to modify the lesson, hoping it would work. My supervisor came and knew right away it wasn’t a good day. Yet, I somehow pulled myself together. After I started class I introduced my supervisor, as I am required to do when she visits, and one of my students said something like “Miss. Berger is a great student teacher” and another student agreed with a similar comment. That brought me back to reality. I had a bad day, not a bad career. One bad lesson or failed activity doesn’t make you a bad teacher, it makes you human. As a student teacher, it is easy to lose sight of that. You want everything to be perfect, and you want everything to go as planned. However, that is not how life goes. Learning to modify on your feet is a skill I am still trying to acquire. I’ll get there some day.

To all my fellow student teachers and to all the teachers out there, I hope you have an awesome rest of the school year. You’ve got this. :)

Renate Berger

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