By Lauren Shipman/staff writer
In my time as a Wayland student, each new semester has brought with it its own set of challenges and adjustments to consider. For example, “How much time should I allot for studying this weekend?” or “Can I park on the south side of the UC before noon and still avoid a parking ticket?”
Yet this fall, as the sun sets on my college career, I have found myself a new and exciting challenge that trumps all others…eighth graders.
I am now three weeks into my student teaching experience at Estacado Junior High School, and though I haven’t taught a single lesson yet, I’ve already sensed the joys and pressures that come with teaching.
The other student teachers and I began our endeavor at August Experience, a student teaching orientation, on August 20-21.
In the past, public schools started at least a week after Wayland classes, allowing student teachers to participate in August Experience before school started. They could meet their cooperating teachers in advance and learn how to prepare for the first day of school.
This year, however, the Texas Legislature pushed the start date for public school to August 27, just three school days before Wayland classes began. As a result, a typical day during my first two weeks of student teaching was comprised of four hours at Estacado, an hour lunch break and a four hour Classroom Management course in the afternoon.
While the hypothetical setting of Classroom Management offered teaching skills like “The Look” (basically the “teacher face”), the authentic classroom experience at Estacado provides a realistic environment where I can hone my instructional and disciplinary abilities. Sometimes it’s hard not to laugh when you’re giving “The Look.”
Since I only have a single student teaching rotation, I will follow a schedule which requires me to observe my cooperating teacher for three weeks then gradually begin to assist her until I take full responsibility of all classroom activities for four consecutive weeks. Afterwards I will slowly be phased out until the teacher regains full responsibility.