what i learned::week #4 of takeover

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

My full takeover of student teaching is done... How surreal it feels! I have been looking forward to this for such a long time, but am sad seeing it come to an end. Only one more month left of student teaching, and then graduation. Whoa, buddy.

This past week was reading week, and I chose my takeover to last an extra week past requirements. I'm glad I did, and got to see how crazy reading week is. We had an assembly of some sort every single day, and missed recess the whole week because of it (and it was beautiful outside! bummers.). I'm a huge lover of books, so this week was really great to be a part of and to see the flip side of fun weeks in the craziness of planning around all of the events and hoopla.

I learned a lot this past week:

1. There are days when you've only really got about 2 hours of teaching time, due to something else taking up the rest of your time. Wednesday morning, we had 1 1/2 hours taken first thing in the morning. I finally got our day started when the intercom came to life for their Mystery Reader, Book Clue, and DEAR (drop everything and read). There went another 15-20 minutes by the time we settled back in. Lunch, specials, and a guest reader happened, and I was left pushing to get stuff accomplished. My firsties & I kicked butt, though. All we didn't get done was stickers on their reading homework logs - pretty dang good, if you ask me!

2. Surprise observations are the best! But no seriously. I didn't worry myself over it or put on a dog & pony show (not that I'm that sort of person, but I didn't go into it extra prepared). On Wednesday (our rush day), UNLV's director of field experience came in to observe me teach a lesson. We had emailed about it, but never set a date/time. She came in and watched my last 10-15 minutes of language arts/reading centers and a full math lesson. It was raw and real; it did not go off without a hitch and wasn't smooth and pretty. But that was me, under a harsh timeline and running behind on our day. That was my kids, not wanting to work with partners anymore and unable to communicate with their peers anymore. Yes, I came thisclose to telling 3 students to talk to the hand when they wouldn't stop yelling at me (no joke... my mentor teacher laughed when it finally ended... it was nuts.). Yes, "organized chaos" could not be demonstrated any more accurately. But it was great. She gave me some awesome feedback and I'm still so excited she took time out of her busy day to come see me. My mentor teacher smiled at the end of the day and called me the "golden child". Yes, please :)

3. I am really sad to give back subjects. My mentor teacher was the Mystery Reader one day, and our class didn't guess her. We realized she hasn't read to them, or really given any verbal directions whole-group in almost a month. While they have no excuse after spring break not to recognize her voice on the intercoms (ha), I'm sad to be giving up some of those subjects. Time spent lesson planning on weekends that I get back will be nice, but I'd prefer the less free time.

4. Spring Break is an amazing gift from God. Okay, maybe it's not from God, but it's good enough to be! I was slightly nervous before week #4 of takeover, because I felt tired and wanted to start handing back subjects. I'm so glad I did 4 full weeks, and got to experience the planning and timing of Reading Week as it was a really great learning opportunity for me.

Now time to just finish enjoying my last couple of days of Spring Break, a birthday on Saturday (YAY!) and only 4 more weeks left of student teaching. Where did the time go?!


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