My first shock came when I received a call from my cooperating teacher over the summer explaining that instead of completing my student teaching in Language Arts, as I had planned, we would now be teaching both language arts and social studies. After my initial kick of sheer excitement, I was immediately hit with – what felt like – a two ton brick in my stomach. Two content areas meant two preps, two sets of lessons, two sets of assessments, two sets of modifications, and most importantly two times the impact! I was instantly petrified that I would irrevocably scar my students and go down in history as the biggest student teaching failure of all time. (A little dramatic I know!) I am rather pleased to say I have yet to fulfill either of those initial predictions! In fact, the two content experience has taught me, what I believe is, the first life-long lesson of teaching…
“Nothing is fatal.”
I cannot destroy my students’ opportunities of a bright future, simply by not knowing the exact length of the Mexican American War or by accidentally misspelling a vocabulary word on the board. I breathe a sigh of relief daily at the enormous weight that has been lifted from my shoulders just by accepting imperfection.
Now that I am a few months into my student teaching I know for certain that this is supposed to be a time of trial and error. I am learning just as much as the students – if not more- and I am confident that not having all the answers is not equivalent to being incompetent. My plan-a-holic, type A, personality has had to take a back seat to the laid back, go with the flow mentality of my students. I thank them every day for that lesson! I can only imagine what is in store in the coming months of this experience, but I do know that whatever it may be – I am accepting it with a wide open mind as well as wide open arms.
Until Next Time,
-A Future Teacher