Friday, July 27, 2012

What I'm Looking Forward To

I have been thoroughly enjoying my summer and I don't want to see it end.  However, August 16th is fast approaching.  So, here are just a few things that I am looking forward to during my student teaching... 

1.  Girl Time:  I’m actually looking forward to being reunited with my cohort.  Before coming to college, I had never really enjoyed spending time with girls (especially in large groups).  This may sound terrible, but I didn’t feel the need to hang out with them and didn’t feel as though their friendship was that important to me.  I was often annoyed with the cattiness and drama.  I found most girls to be obnoxious and ultimately not very real.  By the way, I am not referring to all girls or anyone in particular.  This is just why I never branched out of my very small, core group of girl friends in high school.  However, once I was admitted into the professional program and entered into our cohort, I realized that I would need these girls to get through the next two years.  We were all going through the exact same program and were going to be seeing each other every day.  I came to find out a lot about these girls through our classes.  We did a lot of exercises and had many conversations that allowed us to get to know one another on a deeper level.  We would talk about our upbringing, family, opinions, faith, struggles, triumphs, fears, and what we wanted our goals to be for a life and career in the future.  On top of all of this, a vast majority of the girls are hilarious and really fun to be around.  Last year was our first year with each other and I found myself truly missing that “girl time” over the summer.  The majority of us will only see each other one to two times a week this upcoming semester, but I am looking forward to it. 

2.   Erica:  I’m looking forward to spending time with her again!  Erica, I don’t know if you will remember this but, we had one summer class together (last summer).  I think we may have talked once or twice in class.  Then, we actually sat beside each other in the meeting where we gave our preferences for which district we wanted to be placed in for internship I and II (this wasn’t on purpose, as we really didn’t know each other at the time).  Without knowing where the other was choosing, we both chose Lexington One as our first choice of district.  Then our first semester of the professional program came along and we ended up sitting together in every class and she was the one that I grew closest to in our cohort.  We are very similar and get along really well.  When the meeting came around at the end of the semester where we would find out our placements, I learned that we were going to be in the same district at a new school that had just opened.  Out of all of the girls in my cohort, Erica was the one other girl who would be at the same school as me.  I can’t help but see it as “a God thing” because we get along so well and if I could have chosen the district, school, and one other person to be with, I wouldn’t have chosen any differently than how it turned out.  I am so grateful and blessed to have been placed with the district and school I am with, and that I get to see Erica everyday at school!  Erica, if you read this, I hope it wasn’t too sappy for you. ;)

3.  Dressing Cute:  My fellow student teachers, don’t lie.  Most of us are looking forward to dressing up to go to the school every day!  At least I hope I’m not alone when I say I already have outfits in mind and have been shopping for “teacher clothes” and “teacher shoes” over the summer.  I can’t wait to wear my maxi skirts and colored pants!  I am way too excited for this.  It is ridiculous, I know.  I’m thinking about posting an outfit of the week (OOTW) or just an outfit of the day (OOTD) whenever I like what I have put together. 

4.  Lunch:  I must be a child at heart because I love my lunch box and packing a lunch for school.  Also, I think lunch was one of my favorite times to spend with the kids during Internship I.  I loved sitting with the kids.  They opened up more during this time and I was able to learn more about them and see how they interacted with the other students and siblings they might see at lunch. 

5.  The challenge and the kids:  I am looking forward to my student teaching experience because I know it will be a challenge.  I am INCREDIBLY nervous to start my student teaching.  Teaching in general is something that many of you who know me would never think that I would do.  1) I am very shy.  2) I don’t step outside of my comfort zone often.  3) I can be impatient.  Guilty, I know.  However, I feel drawn to it.  I truly have a passion for children.  I know that not all children are loved and if I can be the one adult in their life to love them, defend them, and show them that I support and believe in them, then I can’t turn down that opportunity.  For those of you who think that teaching is the easy way out, or the easy way to get through college, you are sadly mistaken.  I would be taking the easy way out if I decided to choose anything different.  I know that in my heart, and that is why I am proud of myself for choosing this as my path.  I am looking forward to challenging myself and I know that when I do, only good things will come.

"Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light not our darkness that frightens us. We ask ourselves 'who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented and fabulous?' Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small doesn't serve the world. There's nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It's not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same.
As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others. "

~ Marianne Williamson

Thursday, July 19, 2012

A Little Background

Hi! I'm Nicole and I am pursuing a degree in Early Childhood Education. I am a rising senior and will begin my student teaching (Internship II) in August. I decided I want to blog about my experience, mostly for my own benefit.

--Here is a little background on how the program works at my university.  You have to pass aPraxis I exam and complete various courses, submit letters of recommendation, etcetera to be admitted into what our university calls the “professional program.”  Once in the “professional program” all of the students are placed into “cohorts” of about 25-30 students.  The cohort you are placed with stays together for all of their classes and internships for the remaining two years of the program (therefore, you do become close with the girls in your cohort).  The first semester, you have about five courses along with a practicum experience at a school.  The second semester is “Internship I” where you have about five classes and an internship with a school.  You begin by going to your classes and attending the school you are placed with for just two days a week.  Closer towards the end of the semester, for three straight weeks you will only attend the school (not any of your classes).  The next fall semester is when you begin “Internship II,” your “student teaching,” where you go to the school every day.  You arrive at school and leave the school as if you were the actual teacher in the classroom.  You are expected to attend school wide meetings, grade meetings, etc.  We attend our seminar class once a week (mine will meet on Wednesday nights).  Once you survive student teaching, your senior spring semester is where you catch up on whatever courses you need to complete for GRADUATION! J

Throughout my first internship, I experienced burnout.  I was unorganized and was ALL about procrastination!  I know, guilty.  My fall semester of last year I had to play a little catch up and took 19 credit hours (while working) and by the time the spring semester rolled around (Internship I) I was just tired of school and working.  I asked as many people as I could to see if they thought working during student teaching would be a good idea.  Everyone I spoke with said, “NO!  Don’t do it!”  I have also heard that some supervisors make you sign something that states you will NOT work during your student teaching experience.  Therefore, I will not be working during my student teaching.  While it will be strange for me to not work for a while, I think it will benefit me in the long run, and ultimately I will enjoy it.  I am hoping that by blogging my experience it will make me stay on track, desire to work harder and do better, and that it will give me something fun to look forward to outside of student teaching.  Thanks for listening; I know this first post was long and boring.  I promise that future posts will be more fun and exciting.