Darin Janssen’s Weblog

End of the Block

What are some of the things I have learned from my three week block?

Teaching is exhausting both physically but mostly mentally.

Planning is important but things do not always end up the way you planned.

There is never enough time.

Just because a bunch of lessons fail in a row does not mean you can not do the job.

Plans work and fail depending on the kids that day.

Kids have wild imaginations and can take you places you never thought possible.

Those are just a few things that popped into my head right now.  There are more but I would end up writing forever.  Teaching is exhausting; after three days of being in a classroom full time my brain hurt and my body hurt.  By the end of the three weeks I was starting to feel comfortable with standing all day, but by the end of every day I did not want to think anymore.  On three different days with three different teachers I was told that I should be mentally exhausted at the end of a day because the average teacher makes about five thousand decisions everyday.  Knowing that did not help my exhaustion but I definitely could see that many decisions are possible and would make my head hurt.

I planned the crap out of my unit before I went into the classroom and after the first couple of days I realized that most of it was not going to work the way I had planned it.  I had to redo everything I had planned on a daily basis.  I can not imagine having to do that for every subject; I will never get any sleep.  The plus is the I was getting quicker at planning lessons by the end of the three weeks.

I never had enough time for any of my lessons.  I have come to the conclusion that I was planning too much for too short of a time.  I had so much I wanted to accomplish with the kids but I just did not have enough time.  I am sad about that but I only had three weeks with them and that is not really that much time in the big picture.  I can not have them experience everything.

I spent time questioning my teaching abilities because I had many lessons fail in a row.  But I was trying a lot of stuff that was new to the kids that I should have thought about more closely.  I now see that there is a lot of base knowledge in procedures and such that have to be modeled very slowly at the beginning.  I can not expect that students will get things right away and be able to preform a task that should have been modeled for weeks before.  Lessons also failed because the kids were just not cooperating with the lesson on that day.  The lesson, with proper set up, would probably succeed on a different day.

My students’ imaginations blew me away in the blogging stories.  All the stories went to places I did not even imagine when I thought up the project.  There were some minor problems with the blogging but I call it a huge success.  I know what I would do it differently next time and I know that I will have to allow for more time to write, edit, and represent, but the students loved the blogging.  On my last day they made cards for Andrea and myself and three quarters of them mentioned how much they loved the blogging.  To allow them to experience blogging when most of them had not heard of it before was a great experience for me.  From there cards and in things they said I know that it was a great experience for them too.  I will take what I learned with the blog and be able to make a blog in internship that is even more successful.

In the end I learned that I can teach, but I still have more learning to do.

Darin

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March 25, 2009 - Posted by | EPS 255, ESCI 215, Pre-internship

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