Thoughts and Ideas

Thoughts from a Student-Teacher- COVID-19

This year was my final year of college, the year where I get to spend every day working with students and growing as a teacher. As we all know, this experience was cut short by the concern over COVID-19. I am writing this post to discuss the impact it had on me as a student-teacher. Usually, student-teachers are not thought of as terrible importance, I mean, why would we be? We are in the classroom for a limited amount of time and our mission is to become better teachers before getting our own classroom. Let me explain my experience through COVID-19.

When the school closure was announced, I just finished my student-teaching experience in a 6th grade ELA classroom. Thankfully, I am one of the lucky ones who got to finish my experience. From talking with other student-teachers, their second experience was completely terminated. They will never get to have experience in another grade level or work with their other cooperating teacher. For me, I was home clear. Since this was my second experience, I was going to take the rest of the semester being a substitute teacher and observing other classrooms.

I remember teaching my last class on March 12th and how excited I was to complete my student teaching. I brought in brownies for my final class and explained to them that I might not be here every day but they will see me on Monday (because I did not have a substitute job scheduled that day.) I cannot explain how worried they were about not being able to see me for the rest of their 6th-grade year. In my mindset, I was comforting them and telling them it would all be okay because they will see me Monday! Or so I thought. I should not say “I”. I should say, or so we all thought! Sadly, that Monday morning was not greeted with bright faces inside a classroom, it was greeted with countless emails explaining that we are closing school doors for two weeks. At the time, I thought this is great! We will have time to let the virus skip over us and be back in April. Well, those two weeks turned into no physical classes at all.

Like I said, I was a student-teacher so I have emails coming in from the school I was placed at and my college. At first, it was overwhelming seeing how your future is going to play out and you have no control over it. Needless to say, my school informed my college that there was no need for student teachers because they were moving instruction online. Which, looking back, is completely understandable. Knowing my cooperating teacher, she is a wonderful teacher and I know she would be able to handle this on her own.

In the end, the thing that hurts the most is that I broke a promise. I always stay true to my words and on March 12, 2020, I could not. I promised my 6th-grade students that I would see them Monday. I never expected that to be my last day with them. At this point, I have taken another job in another district so I won’t see their growth into next year. I won’t see them on the streets or in Walmart or at the YMCA playing basketball. The sad. hard truth is that it is a very high possibility that I will not see them again. I never got to say my full goodbye.

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Assignments, Thoughts and Ideas

How to Make Time to Read

Reading is fun but what if you never have the time for it? Being a full time student and employee, it can be hard to find time to read so I wanted to talk about somethings I do to find time.

  1. Work Breaks

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    Image Credit: Yann

At my job, I have a lot of spare time…A LOT! In this spare time, I just read. I am able to sit down and work on my homework. This usually involves reading my textbooks or other things for classes. While not all people are as lucky as I am, I also read over my lunch hour and can usually crank out a couple pages before I have to get back to work.

 

2. Waiting in Line

If you have a smartphone, you can pretty much assess anything at anytime. One other thing I found helpful it reading in long lines. Of course you have to stay aware of your surrounding so you don’t hold up the line but this way you can get at least a page or two closer to the end!

3. Bedtime Stories

Reading at night can be difficult for some people because it makes them so tired they aren’t comprehending what they are reading. This can be a problem but if you can find some spare time to stay awake a little longer every night, it will pay off in the long run!

4. Getting Ready

Most people (I know) like to listen to music or watch television when they get ready in the morning but, if you listen to your book it will help to progress in your book. Some would consider this not really reading the book but if you are super busy, it is something to take into consideration!

These are just a couple ways that work for me. Hopefully you found some that you can try out for yourself!

Until next time,

-Rachel

Thoughts and Ideas

Creating Readers: Response

After reading Creative Readers, all I could this was this is great. I want to talk about a couple of my favorite parts of this interview.

Do you have special strategies for helping students with learning disabilities “meet the right book,” when they find reading to be such a chore?\

Becoming a teacher, this question is so important because we will all have a student with a learning disability at one point or another. She says that students need to feel they are successful at reading early on. This is so important because it is the being of a path. Students cannot avoid reading. Any job they go into, they will have to read something. Whether it is a textbook, instructions, or a note from the boss, they will need to read. If these feel they are successful at it, they won’t mind reading. Hopefully, they will enjoy it! At the end of her response for this question, she says her goal is to have the child finish one book and when they finish that book, they celebrate it! This will encourage them to read more and more and finish more and more books!

Please give us a list of the top 5 things that you do to inspire children to read.

The list she gives us are great for teachers to keep in mind for their classroom. One thing I think is so important is point #2, “I share my personal love of reading, model my reading, and talk about the books.” Teachers have one of the biggest influences on a child’s life because they are together so much. If you don’t like to do something, the kid will not want to do that either. This can be applied in every subject. Say you hate Mathematics. When you are teaching it, you don’t wanna say “Oh, I hate math”. If you hate math, they will become less and less interested and not even try anymore.

Overall, this interview had a lot of great points.

Until next time,

-Rachel