Well, I was horrible at updating the blog this summer. It was filled with watching movies and TV shows on Netflix, reading books, and spending time with our new puppy (and getting the old dogs used to the new one).
Over the summer, I had 4 different placements for student teaching that canceled on me for various reasons. Although it was VERY stressful not knowing ahead of time where I would be spending this semester, I’m a firm believer in the fact that things happen for a reason. I ended up being placed at Pflugerville High School, which is a city on the Northeast side of Austin. It’s actually where the Friday Night Lights TV show was filmed (and I love that show).
I went to some meetings the week before school started, and right from Day 1 of those meetings, I felt at home. I walked in and discovered that two of the ladies who went to the AP Spanish summer institute at UT with me work there too, so that helped me feel more welcome right away.
From Day 1 of school, on August 25th, I felt at home with the teachers and students there. I don’t think I’ve ever felt more welcome at a school since my own time at Scotia-Glenville High School in 9th & 10th grades (and 2 weeks into my junior year). That was my “home” school and Pflugerville High School seems the same way for me now. The students there already own a huge piece of my heart.
My cooperating teacher is amazing and is open to my ideas and has great ideas of her own for the classroom. She let me start teaching different parts of lessons right from the start. Last week I started taking over 4 of her 6 classes. She only teaches Spanish I, which is great because I get to re-teach the same lesson 4 times with different groups of students.
Some of the things I have learned in these first 4 weeks of student teaching are:
** This is indeed what I was meant to do.
** I love every minute of teaching – except when I’ve had to send a student to the office or tell them to be quiet for the millionth time.
** I learned I could send a student to the office one day and become that same student’s good friend the next day – which makes the hard part all worth it.
** The students hold more of my heart than I ever imagined they would.
** Some students need a lot more help than others.
** Even those who don’t need help need love.
** My heart has grown 10 sizes in the last 4 weeks. I didn’t think it could get bigger than when I was in Chile on my mission or than when I became a mother, but it has grown a ton!
** I wish I could fix all the students’ problems for them – although I can’t do that, I can show them how much I care and can be there for them.
** Teaching is exhausting!!! I walk about 1.5 miles per day just in the classroom (even more if I make copies or do other errands around the school).
** My feet hurt more than ever before – even during the mission when I walked EVERYWHERE!! I think it’s more because it’s standing and walking in a set space all day instead of really exercising, but it’s just as achy as going to the gym for an hour!
** Lesson planning isn’t all it’s cracked up to be…… although I’m glad I don’t have to do detailed plans for every day like the last 3 semesters of UTeach!!
** 90 minutes goes a lot faster than I ever thought before!
** I miss my own kids! I’m grateful that Richard has a schedule where he can be involved with them now, but I miss seeing them right after school.
** It’s okay to go to bed before my kids…… I’ve been so tired that I’ve often gone to bed before them….. maybe someday my body will get used to this routine!
** I don’t mind driving 20 miles each way to go somewhere that is like home every day!
** I love hugs from students almost as much as hugs from my own children!
** Dreams really do come true……
** it’s never too late to follow your dreams……
….. and….. did I mention…… This is what I was always meant to do!?!?
I can’t wait to see what the rest of this semester brings! I don’t want to count my chickens before they hatch, but I may have found my permanent teaching home at PHS!!