Friday, August 21, 2009

Sounds that make me smile

After 100 hours of classroom attendance and writing about 10,000 words, my school deemed me fit enough to work with kids. The State of California requires many other benchmarks including two tests, which took me about 16 hours to take and other smaller requirements, including fingerprints and a LIVESCAN. Livescans and fingerprints are now standard procedure for anyone interested in working with the public, especially with children. During this process you admit any violations of law taken place since one's birth. So after months of preparation I have been placed with in an elementary school as a student teacher.

Do I feel prepared? In some ways, yes and in another way - I am scared out of my mind! I am guessing that's an appropriate reaction to student teaching. My tension was greatly reduced when I met my Cooperating Teacher (CT).

If your goal is to be properly trained as a profoundly great teacher, my CT is everything you could hope for. For proper training I am guessing (since I am just starting this process) you need three things: A great school to train you, a great school to practice in and about 10,000 hours of practice. The fact that I have two of them is not lost on me. [Picture Sean staring at a big box with a giant red ribbon on it].

But wait, it gets better.

Rejoice if you interview your cooperating teacher and she talks like this: "Why do I teach and take on student teachers every year? I know I have a lot to offer and I love the interaction with the younger teachers. It keeps me current and I love the interaction with them. I don't mind being called out if I am wrong and I expect that you will engage me if you think I can do something better."

I pointed out the irony that the degree to which one is secure in their understanding of something, is the degree to which they able to question it and grow their understanding. It's clear that she is very secure with herself as a teacher and her understanding of how children should be treated and encouraged to grow.

Also rejoice if your cooperating teacher says that the most important thing a teacher (at any level) can develop is to continually search for the balance of finding empathy or compassion for a child while setting high expectations for them.

Today, I am rejoicing.

Breathing in, I am aware of my joy.
Breathing out, I am taking care of my excitement.

1 comment:

  1. What a fantastic start to this journey! I love the notion of this being a gift, Sean. Education is, indeed, a reciprocal process--one to be shared and celebrated.
    Have a great first week!