I'm also keeping my resolution to slow down at work and be more reflective. Tomorrow, I get to begin working with my first student teacher. Guys. I am SO excited! And I've been excited about her time in my classroom since I found out that she would be teaching with me last November. However, this week I also got really nervous. I remember my student teaching semester so vividly. It was a stressful, exhausting time, but it was also incredibly rewarding, and I huge part of that awesomeness was my amazing mentor teacher. My mentor teacher really helped me become the teacher I wanted to be. She gave me the space to grow creatively, but she also challenged me to think critically and to fully engage in my work with students every day. As I've been at school each day this week, I have thought to myself, can I do that, too? I don't want to just share my classroom; I want to share my love for this profession and share the reward of what we get to do everyday.
In an effort to prepare for tomorrow, I took some time this evening to go back and read all my blog posts from 2010 when I was an intern teacher. It was so interesting to walk back through that semester and see the way I grew as a professional and as a person. I could read in those words not only the joy I found in learning from that experience, but I could also recall the personal changes and challenges in my life at that time. I didn't write them out, but I could see them hiding behind my words and hanging in the lessons I learned from my students each day. I began that semester searching. I could see it in this very first post:
I think the key to being a successful student teacher is having an open mind and, more importantly, open ears. You have to listen to what's going on around you. So, for the rest of the semester, I'll being listening for pieces of wisdom from the middle. Of course, this wisdom will be gained from my mentor teacher and the other teachers and administrators at the middle school where I'm assigned to student teach. But even more importantly, I can gain so much from listening to students.
So much of what I do in my classroom is talking, but the listening is really where the learning takes place, not just for my students, but for me as well. I've always had a restless spirit; I'm constantly wanting to grow and change and learn more than I already know. I've never been one to be able to settle in because I'm always thinking about where I need to go next. I hope that this semester is a time of growth, not just for my student teacher, but for me as well. I can't wait to see what we learn when we slow down and listen.