Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Denver...Coming Soon!

Ok, so here goes...my jump into the blogging world. So I read an article that blogging is a dead form of communicating, that instead we should be using Twitter to send all our friends useless messages about where we are or what we are doing.

Well, here I am and I have to disagree.

For this blog it is my idea to post my reflections on student teaching at Arapahoe High School (AHS) throughout the winter term. I am so excited to start teaching on January 5th with my first class of 9th graders.

My daily schedule looks like this:
1st Period - Prep Period
2nd Period - Observe Honors English 9 or Plan with Kristin
3rd Period - English 10
4th Period - English Literature
5th Period - American Literature
6th Period - English 9

I am paired up with two amazing teachers at AHS - Anne Smith and Kristin Leclair. I met both of them at the National Council of Teachers of English Conference in San Antonio, Texas a few weekends ago and I must say that I am very excited.

This whole placement, from the begining of this journey of student teaching out in Denver, Colorado has been an amazing blessing. There is no way that I could have planned or hoped for it to turn out the way it has and student teaching at AHS. To give the short version: I was working on my undergraduate thesis presentation on technology in the classroom and stumbled upon this YouTube video from my mom. From there I looked at the featured video and found this video titled: "Shift Happens." The title entrigued me, so of course I clicked on it. That brought me to this amazing video created by Karl Fisch, the technology director at AHS. I followed the links to the AHS homepage and thought it would be really cool to get a student teaching position in a school district that is looking at and implementing technology, like it appeared AHS was. I still had the problem of getting a position within this school to teach. So I was talking to my good friend, an admissions counselor at Wartburg, and she just happened to cover the Denver and Colorado area. She knows the assistant principal at AHS and put me in contact. I wrote a few e-mails expressing my interest and my skills and before you know it I am meeting my teachers at NCTE and am just amazed at the classrooms I am in, the teachers I am working with, and the school I have been placed in. If this is not a God thing, then I do not know what is!

So here I am, the Senior Technology Assistant at Wartburg College about to walk into a school 400 students larger than Wartburg and a classroom where the students have been taught by two amazing teachers and I have to keep the bar at the top level. Good luck, here's your class load. Day 1 - Teach 6th Period, English 9

Wow, let's just say that after meeting with my teachers I know that this will be a great experience, but on the same side of the coin I am a little nervous. This is an awesome school and yes, I do have some experience, but I am still just that - a student teacher. Nothing else, and nothing more. I have written lesson plans, taught before, and I love interacting with students. This is going to be amazing, but at the same time I don't know what I am going to do.

Each day I will see my students in fifty-nine minute blocks. I will be teaching four periods and be seeing probably around 120 students I am responsible for daily (the real number is still TBD). I can't wait, this is going to be amazing. I actually get to plan, teach, and lead the class.

When I look at it though, it comes down to is this:

I have fifty-nine minutes
...to teach.
...to connect with my students.
...to engage my students.
...to make a difference.

Fifty-nine minutes starting January 5th, 2009.

No more, no less...fifty-nine minutes.