Tuesday, January 21, 2014

It's Student Teacher Eve...

Tomorrow my student teacher starts...I think she's my twelfth one.  Every student teacher I get brings a little sense of excitement--and some nerves the night before.  In case she ever "virtually" finds me--I promise, Miss W, I will never write about you here!  This will be my one and only post (at least without your permission!) but I have to just pose some of my ponderings tonight.

I've had mixed experiences with student teachers--from some of the most outstanding young people who renewed my faith in our profession to...ummmm....others.  The last one I had I PROMISED myself would be my last.  She started her first day by announcing that she had no intentions on ever teaching and just wanted a degree.  Gasp.  Then she would proceed to tell me repeatedly how she struggled to know what to do because she, "just gets so captivated by my lessons that I just can't really think about what I should be doing."  Fabulous.

So here we go again--on the eve of the first day of what will hopefully be the start of something really really big for a young person's future.  I've met her--and she impressed me.  I heard things come out of her mouth like "I'm a risk taker and not afraid to fail," and "I have a soft spot in my heart for students with special needs--it is my goal to reach every one of them," and "I have been waiting my whole life for this."

My heart skipped a beat...could this be another one of "us"?  Someone who is willing to work until midnight looking at writing samples to figure out where to go next?  Someone who can't sleep because she is so worried about her student who had friendship issues on the bus and no one was home to help?  Someone who is obsessed with collecting books because someONE, someDAY, might connect to it?  Someone who knows that the perfect writing tool is worth buying in bulk?

Is she one of us?

Please let it be true.  So tonight I think of all the things I need to tell her...to show her...to teach her...to help her discover.  (OMG...I'm bawling typing this right now!)

I need her to know how amazingly precious each of those little souls is that she will be in the midst of every day.  How NO test is more important than a child's heart.  How there will be so many hoops to jump through over the next 35 years--but they are all worth it because she can make a difference in 25 x 35 lives.  How she can and will NEVER stop learning because she will see that every single year she teaches she will learn that she knows even less than she thought she knew about teaching and learning--and that she will not be content until she has pushed herself more than she thought possible.  How she is going to have days where she is going to question her career choice--and other days where she will sit at the computer crying as she reflects on her vital role in forming the minds and hearts of young people.

So I ask all of you tonight to keep Miss W in your hearts as she begins this most important of journeys.  Help me to help her become the teacher she is meant to be.

Help me to help her become...

one of us

9 comments:

  1. Good luck to you both as you go through this amazing journey together!

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  2. I got tears in my eyes reading this! I just found my directing teacher on FB...16 years later. I've thought of her often and wanted to "find" her to thank her for teaching me and helping me become the teacher I am today. I will be keeping you and Ms. W in my thoughts! Best of luck in this semester together! She sounds like she will do an outstanding job!
    Alison
    Rockin' and Lovin' Learnin'

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  3. As someone who just finished my student teaching in December, I absolutely love this! Best of luck to both of you this semester, I hope you both get to grow and learn from one another.
    Kayla
    Rooting for Third Grade

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  4. Meg- I teared up as I read this post. You have stated perfectly the hopes and dreams of the cooperating teacher (that's what we are called here if we host student teachers) not only for the young teachers we take under our wings but for the first group of students they ever spend a concentrated amount of time with before embarking on their own. I believe the two of you are going to be outstanding! In case no one has ever stopped to tell you---"Thank you for being willing to share your classroom and your expertise with a new teacher to be. We need people like you in our profession to help embrace more of them to become one of Us." Best of luck to both of you!
    ♬Kay
    On the Trail of Learning

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  5. Being a mentor to a student teacher or evena new teacher is an awesome responsibility. I have had the opportunity to have several student teachers. From each one I have learned something new. I understand your feelings. I know your student teacher has been blessed to learn from you. Good luck to you both.

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  6. What a fortunate young lady! I still remember the teachers I worked with when I student taught (in a double combo classroom--one 5th and one 6th grade with the wall removed and the two teachers worked together to teach their 40+ students). And the two young men who have student taught in my classroom--I'm friends with them on Facebook. Oh the memories!

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  7. Thank you for this post. What a great reminder why WE do this!

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  8. This is absolutely beautiful. I cried the whole time I read this post. It is especially meaningful, because I had a fabulous mentor, also. We are still friends, and she is such an amazing woman and teacher! Beautiful site, too! I am your newest follower. Thank you for all that you will do for her. She is very lucky!!!!


    Come visit me at Readbox!

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  9. I hope you are having a good time with your student teacher! I have always wanted one, but I work at a private school. You are such a wonderful teacher and she is so lucky to have you as a mentor!!

    Molly

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