Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Reinventing the Wheel

I myself am made entirely of flaws, stitched together with good intentions. ---Augusten Burroughs

Last Friday, my professor came to observe our class. I had been nervous about it all week. Well, actually, all semester. I was saying a novena that my kids would be good, because well, lately they haven't been. One day my CT made them apologize to my partner and I, that's how difficult they've been. I think I spent more hours and labor coming up with the perfect lesson plan for the observation than I have on an entire week of stuff. The lesson was risky because it required them to work with partners (which we strategically assigned) and we had just taken away their "group work" privileges because they can't seem to handle it.

I woke up early. I played pump up music and danced around. I even stared at myself in the mirror and told myself how wonderful I am as I put on my makeup. I had an entire pot of coffee that morning. Things were going to go golden.

And they DID!!!! Kayla (my partner) and I found ourselves looking at each other throughout the lesson and mouthing "oh my gosh!" to each other. We couldn't believe that the lesson went so well. Fridays are a grab-bag day for the kids usually, but they all participated and had fun with what we did for them. My CT at one point whispered in my ear that "they're doing it for you. They know how important this is so they're cooperating." The teacher in me would like to think that the kids were just into the lesson and intrinsically motivated to learn, but the student who is being evaluated in me would love to just be happy that things went well.

Then came evaluations. I was very nervous for this because my CT doesn't give a lot of feedback, so I was prepared for the worst but hoping for the best. More pros than cons, thank goodness. But an area she said I needed to work on was that I try too often to "reinvent the wheel".

In some ways, I don't see how this is a con. True, I do over-book myself and work harder than I have to sometimes, but I think that's because I want to discover things for myself. My professor advised us to "go overboard" with designing this unit because this is as much for us as it is for the kids. So that's what we've been doing. We're learning from it all, and that's why I think that reinventing the wheel shouldn't be a bad thing. I'm definitely going to take that with me next semester.

At this point, I am worse than a kid waiting for Christmas morning with these student teaching assignments. Apparently they're finalized but they don't want to tell us what they are in case something doesn't work out. I'm legitimately going to have a freak out moment if I don't get some kind of information soon.

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