I haven’t completely forgot about this blog. Writing is a great outlet and reflection tool, but it is quite the endeavor to make the time. No excuses, I have the time, but its all about priorities and scheduling…just life. Over the past year, I moved from being an education major, to an educator professionally. One year ago as a college student, I was busy learning about education while educating through my student teaching experience. Over the past year, so much has changed. 🙂
Overall my student teaching experience was absolutely splendid. I had an incredible Cooperating Teacher. My students were well behaved, motivated, intelligent, and loving. 2nd grade is awesome because they are still young and sweet, goofy but relatively mature, and no testing pressure yet. The school was a great community and often felt like a sweet oasis surrounded by a humungous, complicated, bureaucratic school district, in one of the largest, most diverse, yet most segregated cities in the United States. Student teaching in second grade was a dream come true that I never knew I had dreamt. Planning and teaching a fairy tale unit couldn’t have been more “happily ever after.” It was difficult at times with being a full time student and working 3 jobs while teaching and working with my students for a full time teacher schedule, Oh not to mention the boyfriend, living in a house of 6 girls, and all the other wonders that life brings. Yet I couldn’t be more grateful with the experience I had. Then I graduated!!!
Over the summer, I was a Physics Teacher for GET SCIENCE! I taught third-eight grade female students all about energy and force through fun, inquiry-based, hands-on, educational experiences. GET SCIENCE! is a first summer program put on by UNITE (Urban needs in Teacher Education), designed to give Newly Certified Educators the opportunity to be a lead teacher in a high needs classroom, while being coached and mentored. GET SCIENCE is an acronym which stands for Girl Empowerment through Teaching Science Camp while Integrating the Enhancement of Newly Certified Educators. I LOVED it. I taught on the Westside of Chicago, in the neighborhood of North Lawndale, which was about an hour and fifteen minutes commute by two trains. The commute took me from one world to another, all within the same city. Parts of my commute were adventurous, while other aspects were devastating, yet my travels always took me out of my comfort zone in a life giving way. My students were brave, compassionate, insightful, mature, accomplished, smart, and beautiful. I was so thankful to have the experience of teaching a science camp, learning more about education and diversity in Chicago, its unique neighborhoods, and developing professionally in my classroom strategies and experiences.
My experiences as a Student Teacher and a GET SCIENCE! Physics Teacher brought me to my first full time teaching position as a Bilingual First Grade Teacher! I’m thinking more on that story later… Thanks for reading! 🙂