First off, I am very happy that I am teaching in a school that’s part of an archdiocese, as the kids seem like they will be better behaved than inner-city students. Being a smaller female and this being my first long-term experience in a school, I’m lucky to have at least semi-orderly students.
Today I met with my cooperating teacher. I was proud of myself for coordinating this before I even go back to school (next week we do) because there is a scheduled “School Visit Day” during the first two weeks of student-teaching-education type classes. And the teacher was very sweet.
She has taught for 8 years and this is her first time having a student teacher, and she was glad when I told her I like to be creative and involve art and music into educational lessons. I have no idea how the logistics of flexibility in teaching will work, but I’m excited (she mentioned a possible project of painting the ceiling tiles with cultural pictures).
We talked about her classes (5 classes in all levels and grades of French) and the daily schedule (including a “duty” period, planning period, and lunch) and the textbooks she uses. It’s all one series, three different books, and she has a lot of supplemental materials.
It was interesting to hear her opinions on what is good in the books and what is odd about the structure (this is where her supplemental materials come in).
I observed a course and started thinking how crazy it is that I will soon be the one teaching, when I am so used to listening to the teacher and being taught. But it’s about time! I love tutoring and I have a large stock of energy and passion that I will slowly and surely start putting into the upcoming teaching opportunities I will have.
We did talk about standards and testing as well. They don’t have to take the PSSA’s (I’ll have to look into those), but they do take other standardized tests. It’ll be interesting to see how regular and school-wide testing goes.
The kids were talking a bit in class, and afterwards she explained that as long as they are all doing work and practicing French, a little bit of side chatter is tolerable (especially in the last class of the day with mostly Freshmen). So she seems like a reasonably nice teacher and she did keep her class under control. We’ll see how I do- oh boy!