I am very upset that my student teaching is ending. I have grown to really respect and admire these 130 students I have been working with on a daily basis for the past 11 weeks. They have grown tremendously and have taught me so much about classroom management, wait time, engagement, motivation, time management, and letting things go. I am proud of the growth the students have shown me and I am proud of the slack they’ve cut me for the mistakes I’ve made (i.e. grading errors, writing bad tests, stupid assignments, too much/too little practice and homework). The kids trust me now, they might almost like me in a weird she’s definitely a biatch-who-cares way, and I love it!
My co-op and I have grown to have an amazing friendship and respect for one another. He is someone I will always stay in touch with after next week. He is extremely encouraging, positive, friendly and funny. The way he can get students to laugh and build relationships is fascinating, especially since he gets the “worst” students and can get them to say they wish he was their dad/grandpa. We work together very well. He relinquished his classroom to me and allowed me to make those mistakes and gave me suggestions, never advice and let me choose to ignore him and flounder and never held hard feelings. I didn’t learn a lot about actual teaching styles and choices from him but I learned about the right kind of attitude that leads to a happy 38 years of teaching and watched how he built impressive relationships with students.
So my co-op is retiring and there is a possibility this school will hire me in the fall but there are no long-term positions at the school for now and so I must move on. I am so distraught about leaving these students. Which makes me believe that I have absolutely found the correct profession for myself since my friend so eloquently stated it, “Molly, you are not even getting paid!!!!!” Oh. Yeah. Right. So if I can care and put all this into an internship I feel as though I have definitely found the right path for me.
So the next step is finding my own classroom, and I have two fantastic leads in Philadelphia at top 5 schools – one charter and one magnet. I have my first ever teaching interview on Tuesday at this extremely well-known prestigious charter school and I am absolutely giddy with excitement and nerves. I want it, and I want it very very bad. I love the school model – it’s based on Paulo Freire and student centered/ project based learning where although the students come from mainly economically disadvantaged homes 97% go to universities as a result of this high school. Furthermore, last year the class received over 3 million dollars in scholarships! It blew my mind that I even received an interview. So I have my portfolio armed with many lessons I have blogged about here, I have spent way too much money on outfits to choose from and have been anxiously listening to advice from my tweeps on interviews.
I feel ready for the next step but as the students are constantly asking my why and when I am going I feel so bittersweet about moving on. I am glad I was able to make such an impression on them as a student teacher but it is also gives me confidence I will be able to take over a classroom mid year and make it my own and get results from students regardless of anything; it just takes a lot of will, effort, good attitude, and time.