Can you smell my fear?
As I look back on this past semester, I realize it has been my toughest semester yet, but also my most crucial. I took the education class that is required to be taken the semester before you student teach. I’ve learned UbD, how to create a test/quiz, how to create a rubric, and after all of that and 4 other courses I am thoroughly exhausted. It hit me today when I saw it was the 17th. First it hit me that Christmas Eve is a week away, and I’m excited. Then, it hit me that a month from now I will be student teaching.
Now with that knowledge I should be looking through my student teaching handbook, starting to think of lesson ideas, start looking through the textbook. Instead I am getting ready to watch a Pentatonix Christmas Special for the second time. I’m justifying these actions on the fact that I am still awaiting feedback on the first 6 formal lesson plans I made for a unit I will teach next semester, so I should wait for feedback before moving forward. I am sure I will have to tweak things.
One thing I had to learn this semester is to accept that I will not be perfect. I know it sounds like such a negative mantra, and I didn’t always think like this. I planned a mini lesson and I thought it would go well. I thought I had a good concept, the students would be engaged, and it would be great. Well……. it wasn’t a train wreck, but it didn’t exactly go smoothly. I was a bit crushed. It wasn’t as if this was the first lesson I ever taught in my pre service teaching career. I thought I knew better by now. Why didn’t it go the way I planned it would? It was frustrating, because I thought it would all go great.
I realized that no amount of classes and observation hours in various classrooms can completely prepare you for student teaching. Like most jobs, the best way to learn is to learn on the job. Its one thing to know the information that you need to teach, but actually applying it is difficult, and it takes practice. I have always been taught to do things to the best of my ability, and to try not to make mistakes. I’ve always taken mistakes as failures. I’ve had to teach myself to not see mistakes as failures, but to see them as things I need to improve on. I was out Christmas shopping a few days ago, and I saw one of those inspirational quote things, I decided to buy it to put on my desk. It says “Do not be afraid of change. Be afraid of not changing.” I am never going to improve, if I don’t fall a few times along the way. No teacher is going to be perfect all the time. I’ve had to rewire myself to not think that, and I still cringe a bit when I think of times I’ve fallen down in the past. However, I had to remind myself that because of those times, I’ve learned what doesn’t work, and now I can focus on finding what does work.
I hope you all have a restful winter break. You all deserve it. Here’s to a wonderful 2017 :)