Saturday, January 17, 2009

Two Weeks Down: Reflection

The last two weeks at AHS have been incredible. It has been such a blessing to actually teach from day one, as much as I was nervous about the whole teaching on day one thing, it has turned out to be a blessing in disguise. I have learned two major lessons that relate to my teaching so far.

One, that a teacher needs to be comfortable in front of the classroom. When I arrived at AHS two weeks ago I was nervous, did not know where to go, and felt a little weird in front of students that I had never met before. Now, two weeks later, I am finally getting comfortable. I can laugh, I can smile, I can be hard on them when I need to be hard, I can admit mistakes, and most of all I can laugh at myself when I am teaching. I am having a good time getting used to being up front and actually being comfortable with the whole set-up and schedule. Also, now that I have gotten past that difficult part of teaching, understanding where the students are at specifically (especially the 9th graders) I have been able to enjoy where I am and what I am doing.

Secondly, I have discovered the art of teaching. It is not standing in front of the classroom and expecting all of the students to accomplish the same thing, but differentiating the instruction based on each student. It is all about getting down on each student’s level, learning about them each, what their quirks are, and how to teach of them individually. That type of information about each student only comes with time and I finally feel that after two weeks I am finally getting to know them each in this way. At times it was frustrating, but now I have begun to be comfortable with them. It is hard work, and it is not something that everyone could do, especially because it is an art to teach students, although it is one that I find very rewarding.
Two enjoyable weeks down. Teaching is learning, learning constantly. I have learned lots so far, apparently these are two major steps to take in the first week according to Anne and Kristin, and I look forward to learning a lot more in the following weeks.