Friday, September 5, 2014

Sitting in the teachers' lounge, feeling right at home...

¡Felicidades al mejor dia de la semana--VIERNES! Happy Friday! I'm sitting in the teachers' lounge at Peet Junior High currently, during my preparation period, and I'm reflecting on my first week of real teaching. You heard that right, REAL TEACHING!

I took over my classroom officially last Friday. It's been quite a week, let me tell you. I could not have been more thankful for an extra day off last weekend. Last Friday I took over the class but I didn't do a lot of instructing. My students took their first quiz, which sent some of them into a tizzy, but overall it went okay. I got to introduce numbers 1-20 when all of the students were finished, and it was pretty fun!

Tuesday morning was rough, though. I tanked pretty hard on my lesson for my second hour class (which is my first class of the day) because I was nervous and unprepared. Third hour, thank goodness, we monitor a study hall in our classroom, so I had time to recuperate and figure something out that work better. I created a PowerPoint that was more detailed and had better explanations, and I made changes to every single period after that. 

Which brings me to my list of what I've learned in my first week of "real" teaching:
  • It's always better to over-prepare. I came in Tuesday morning thinking that I could just kind of wing it. I was just teaching numbers, right? How hard could that be to understand? WRONG. It is hard. Especially for students who have never heard, read, or spoken a lick of Spanish.
  • You have to think like your students. Change your perspective. I forget what it's like to be fourteen until I'm in a classroom with 27 fourteen-year-olds. I have to remember that they've never used this language and that I have to go back to the basics for them. Duh, right? I'm working on creating lessons targeted toward my teenage students to engage them and make them interested in what I have to say.
  • Don't be afraid to make changes. Every day I've planned a lesson and I end up doing something different each period. It's not a bad thing! I like bringing something fresh to each class and fitting it to each group of students that I teach. I've started to write opened-ended lesson plans that allow me to do that!
  • Fake it til you make it. I screw up. Like a lot. But the only person that knows it is me (and my cooperating teacher, of course). And guess what? My students don't have a clue. If I can sound confident in what I'm saying and doing, it's all peaches and cream.
Well, there you have it. My first week of teaching. I'm basically a veteran, now right?