T3: What You Need To Know Before Student Teaching

T3: What You Need To Know Before Student Teaching

I don’t dive into anything without research, so you can believe that I read numerous blogs and books before I started student teaching.  However, there is a lot that you cannot know without the experience itself.  Here are a few things that the student teaching experience taught me.

10 Things You Need To Know Before Student Teaching

1. Student teaching will be the hardest thing you have ever done.  I like to think that I have done some hard(ish) things in my life.  But I can assure you that student teaching was the most challenging of them all. Writing lesson plans, controlling thirty 10-year-olds, grading papers, trying to get enough sleep, and not to mention actually teaching consumed every second of my day.

2. You can’t quit.  Despite the difficulty, you have to keep the end goal in mind.  Every night, I would think, “Okay, only 117 more days until I graduate.  It will all be worth it when I have that diploma.”  With time, 117 days turned into 67 days, 37 days, 17 days, and eventually, 1 day.

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3. You won’t sleep.  Even if you manage to make it into bed, you won’t really sleep. At least, I didn’t.  I would lay in bed reviewing all of the lessons that I had taught, wondering what I could have done to make them better.  Then I would begin mentally preparing for any lessons that I had to teach the next day.  When I finally reached a stage of “sleep,”  I would dream about school.  Basically, I taught all night long.

4. You will love your students. Sure, they will drive you insane when, for the 18th time, they ask where they are supposed to turn in their reading test.  Yet, you will love them.  You will love walking into the classroom each morning and listening to their excited chatter about pandacorns and mermaids.  You will love it when they give you notes that identify you as “Mrs.” instead of “Miss” and make you feel like your mother.  You will love it when they claim that they have NEVER had so much fun in science.  You will love it when your underachieving student makes an 87 on a test.  You will love them, and they will become the reason that you write lesson plans, grade papers, and never get enough sleep.

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5. You have to schedule time for exercise.  I learned this lesson too late into the semester.  I think that my first 8 weeks would have been easier if I had allotted 30 minutes per day to just watch YouTube videos while doing a PIIT workout.  At the beginning of March, I set an alarm for 8:00 every night.  When that alarm went off, I stopped whatever I was doing to exercise.  The next 8 weeks were much less stressful.

6. It’s a very short time. As my mom told me at the beginning of the semester, “It is only 75 days (of actual teaching).  You can do anything for 75 days.  You can scoop manure for 75 days.”  (At the time, I told her that I would rather scoop manure.)

7. It gets easier. After the first few weeks of thinking “What am I doing?  Why did I think I could do this?  I am literally going to die from exhaustion.  The students aren’t learning anything”,  you fall into a rhythm. I will never forget facing a whiteboard to write a spelling word and thinking, “OMG!  I am actually teaching!  The students are actually listening!  This isn’t so bad.”

8. Organization is key.  I used approximately 7 different colors of pen, 6 pocket folders, 5 file folders, 4 binders, 3 calendars, 2 planners, and 1 overloaded Google Drive (I swear that I didn’t exaggerate for any of those) to prepare for each week.

9. Everyone makes mistakes.  Learn from them.  Most afternoons as I reflected on my day, I thought, “That was a dumb mistake,” but my dumb mistakes taught me to ALWAYS model the desired outcome, ALWAYS tell them where to put their finished work, and ALWAYS follow through on expectations.

10. Common Core math doesn’t make much sense.  It will make you feel like a chicken teaching fish how to climb a tree.

 

 

What Google Won’t Tell You About Pine Cove

What Google Won’t Tell You About Pine Cove

In 2014, a Google search introduced me to Pine Cove, and I accepted a job as a camp photographer a few months later.

However, there are a few things that Google did not tell me about Pine Cove, and when I walked onto Pine Cove soil for the first time, I was a little surprised.

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T3: What My Hair Is Trying To Tell You

T3: What My Hair Is Trying To Tell You

Supposedly #longhairdontcare

But, as someone with long hair, I can assure you that long hair does care.  Long hair cares a lot, and long hair takes vengeance on its owner.  Long hair can divulge the emotions and activities of its owner.  For example:

1. Here, my hair is telling you that I just ran several miles on a chilly, windy day.  My hair cared, so it became a giant mess as it bounced across my hood until it was in an unmanageable knot.

2. In this photo, my hair is saying that it is Friday, and I was too lazy to even put a clip in my hair.  And it was saying that I was in DESPERATE need of a trim.20170113_065942

3.On Saturday, my hair says that I slept in and went for a morning swim.  Since my hair does not like the blow dryer, it chooses to go to lunch while it is still wet.

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4.  My hair is a little more respectful on Sunday.  It says, “Kat almost has her life put together.  Almost.”

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5.  “Why?  Why did you leave the room?”  That is what my hair asks on snow days.

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6. When there is a clip on the right side of my head, my hair is simply saying that it is a normal day in the life of Kat.

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7. Braids announce one of two things:

  • option 1:  I feel youthful.
  • option 2: I didn’t wash my hair last night.  (always assume the former)

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8. A clip with a twist means that it is a normal day, but I am feeling a bit fancy.

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9. A full-length braid says, “Kat actually woke up with enough time to do something to her hair today.”

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10. A top-bun says that I really like the back of the shirt I am wearing.

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And in this picture, my hair is praising me for finally, FINALLY getting the trim I needed:

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Top Ten Tuesday: Student Teaching Bag

Top Ten Tuesday: Student Teaching Bag

This is the bag of a student teacher.

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It is capacious, sturdy, colorful, and (like every good school bag) eats school supplies.

You can tell a lot about a person based off of what is in their bag.  For example, if you were to look into my bag, you would learn…

  1. That I have lots of plans–so many that I have two planners.20170205_182529
  2. That I will be guiding the class through several science experiments this week..and that certain people in my family eat lots of peanut butter (me) and drink lots of coffee (Mom).
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  3. That I lead a lot of guided reading groups.  A lot.
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  4. That I am always prepared for the rain.
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  5. That I am about to teach a unit on the Civil war…
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  6. and that I need to make a lot of copies before we can start that unit.
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  7. That I only have one textbook (although I teach 5 subjects), and it is older than my students.
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  8. That I explained number 7 on the math worksheet very poorly, and I have not determined yet how I will grade it.
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  9. That I color code my lesson plans with different colored pens.
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  10. That I still like to decorate my notebooks as if I was in middle school and that I see student teaching as a grand adventure.
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Top Ten Tuesday: 2016 Photos

Top Ten Tuesday: 2016 Photos

Determining my favorite photos from 2016 was next to impossible because I took pictures of so many different things!  I took literally thousands of photos throughout the year for…

But, after agonizing decision-making, these are the ten photos I chose.

Top Ten Tuesday: Peanut Butter Jar

Top Ten Tuesday: Peanut Butter Jar

10 Alternate Uses for a Peanut Butter Jar

When I saw this illustration, I knew that it had the makings for a terrific Top Ten Tuesday post. Every time I try a new peanut butter, I save the jar and re-purpose it is some way (but I don’t save duplicate jars because that would be excessive). Here are my ten suggestions for reusing an old peanut butter jar.
1. Cereal bowl

2. Gift in a jar

3. Fishbowl

4. Flower pot

5. Oatmeal in a jar

6. Pencil holder

7. Board game piece storage

8. On-the-go snack container

9. Piggy bank

10. Pantry item storage

 

P.S. Every Wednesday night, I eat dinner while sitting next to this sign…I think there is enough peanut butter in my blood to make me a hazard whether I am ingesting peanut butter at that moment or not.

Top Ten Tuesday: Thankful for Peanut Butter

Top Ten Tuesday: Thankful for Peanut Butter

November is a month of thankfulness.

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It is also the month of loving peanut butter.

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Top Ten Reasons I am Thankful for Peanut Butter

  1. It tastes amazing.
  2. It gives energy.
  3. It is inexpensive
  4. Protein!
  5. You can eat peanut butter with anything (one of my co-RAs like peanut butter on pizza.  I can honestly say that I have never sampled that one…)
  6. Healthy fats!
  7. My love of peanut butter has introduced me to other bloggers.
  8. Peanut butter has Vitamin D1,2 (and I have no clue what those do!)
  9. Problems can often be solved with a jar of peanut butter and a spoon.
  10. Peanut butter protects against Alzheimers, heart disease, and diabetes.