Thursday, February 2, 2012

Success in the classroom

I am a first year teacher and an intern. This means I REALLY don't know what I'm doing and I'm REALLY am "doe-eyed" at all the things teachers are expected to do. Well, even though I am teaching by the skin of my teeth I have had some successful moments. I teach a resource class in an Elementary school. I love my job. I like hearing the "ooooh" when the student's brain connects what I am teaching. I love seeing my students read the same passage faster and faster, to work on fluency. I love teaching. Yes, I do have bad days but even in those days there are some big rays of light. I experienced this these past two days. I have been in a very bad mood lately and find myself getting madder and madder when I answering the same questions over and over. I'm also strapped for time and this stresses me out. I only have a half an hour to an hour to work with these students and I waste so much time with discipline, letting students go to the bathroom during the lesson, and keeping students from bullying each other. I have to remember though, I was hired to teach students, not subjects. Back to the rays of light...
I started teaching multi-digit addition using the partial product method. (It is so much easier to do difficult addition!) I was not excited to teach this because the day before I had a lot of problems teaching this to the students. During the lesson, one of my students who requires a lot of attention to keep his behavior favorable needed my attention again and again and again. It was different though. He was asking questions about the procedure, not tattling on someone or talking to another student. He was learning. I worked with him and my other students were okay with it. They were understanding it, but not enough to be bored. At the end of the lesson all of the students had successfully added using partial product. They are learning. And they will be able to connect this concept when we use partial product for multi-digit addition.

Another moment this week was when I was working one on one with one of my smaller students who is considered "self-contained". This means they are taught more than 3 hours of the school day in a special ed setting. When I work with this student they are usually very lethargic and its almost like pulling teeth to teach them. This day was different. They started talking to me in Spanish and I can understand some so I was talking back to them in English. Needless to say, we had a very successful learning time because I understood them and they understood me.
I have been very blessed these past couple days to be able to see these great learning leaps even though I've been in a bad mood. I love my job. It is very difficult, but SO worth it. I can't wait for end of the year testing!!!

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