It’s difficult to understand the depth of significance a moment of your life can have until you have to let it go. From the beginning I knew my time at FSUS would be significant in my growth as an educator, from the beginning I knew I’d have an amazing relationship with my cooperating teacher, and from the beginning I knew I’d be on top of my game in a high school environment. I have, in a short period of time, seen some of my students take incredible leaps not only in their proficiency as artists, but as thinkers and problem solvers. I am incredibly proud of how far they’ve come.
I had a lot of fear going into student teaching. I didn’t want to mess up a part of these students’, my teacher’s, year with my inexperience. Fortunately, my cooperating teacher was insightful, patient, and kind in guiding me through the motions of running my first classroom. I really can’t imagine what this experience would have been like without her there to guide me, and I’m incredible aware now of what not working with her almost everyday is going to be like. We got into a groove, an effortless synergy of comfort and efficiency… and I miss it already even after just one day at my new placement.
Going into my new placement this morning, I was a bit of a nervous wreck. I was familiar with how well everything went in high school, but had to rudely acquaint myself with the fact that elementary is the polar opposite of high school in almost every regard. While high schoolers have a lot of attitude and can be difficult to motivate, elementary students largely jump into things and want to explore and get their hands dirty. They want to keep working where as a high school student is more than content to sit and converse with their peers. High schoolers may not have much common sense, but they’re able to reason and deduce where as most information has to be directly given to an elementary student. You can’t assume that they know anything, even the most basic of motor skills (although, to be real… you’d be surprised how much some high schoolers struggle with these same skills).
I’ve seen how much I’ve grown over these past few months at FSUS, and I remember how incredibly anxious I was even starting there. And that’s ok… I recognize that a large part of my trepidations regarding elementary are me psyching myself out, which is something I just do. I psyche myself out, both in good and bad ways. It happens, and that’s ok. With that said, I know I’m in good hands, and I have every faith in my new cooperating teacher, regardless of my personal comfort with this particular area. She’s been teaching elementary for the past 20 years, and even after one day with her I can tell, it shows. I can’t say that I’m particularly excited about this placement, and that’s largely in part because of my attachment to my former placement, but I will commit to providing these kids and my teacher with the best I can give because that’s what they deserve regardless of my inhibitions. It’s going to be a wild ride, but I think I’ll come out of it incredibly thankful for the experience.