Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Rachel K. Something Something Instruction and Curriculum

Hooray! It is after December 9th and that means that I am finished with Block II, during which I had one class only, and it was entitled, "something something instruction and curriculum." AND NOW IT IS DONE.

Block II lasted from mid-September until December 9th (coincidentally coinciding with my lack of blogging). This course consisted of teaching at Gumball Elementary school every Thursday, writing three unit plans that required about 30-40 hours of work each, going to school four days a week for 6 hours, and having to turn in arbitrary assignments for art, PE, and the environment. I earned a feather in my cap by teaching my fifth grade classroom at Gumball, volunteering to teach 2nd graders at Echo Lake Elementary about car factories, and participating in an all-day instructional adventure about TREES with first graders. This block also solidified a friendship with Hannah, my all-in-one carpool driver and support system.

Experiences like Block II create so much blog fodder that it is impossible to remember any of it. So, I will bullet point some things I remember and maybe expound upon them later.

• I am good at grades •
I always managed to get straight As as an undergraduate, but I generally assumed this was because I was in film school and the professors probably chose grades at random via some kind of dartboard/AVID contraption. For those of you who don't know what an AVID is, it is somewhere in between Final Cut Pro and a washing machine. If you don't know what Final Cut Pro is, you have probably already stopped reading this paragraph. Anyway, I found myself getting grades like As and A+s this quarter, which at first boosted my confidence in new and exciting ways, but then threw me down the irritating path of being Hermione Granger. Remember Hermione Granger BEFORE she saved everyone's butts in Books 5-7? She was annoying. She was annoying because all she cared about were A+s and outdoing everyone. I was like Hermione Granger this quarter (bushy brows and unkempt hair included). As it turns out, doing really well on things makes me feel like doing less than SUPER AMAZING will be letting myself down. What do grades have to do with being a good teacher? Probably not a whole lot. And so, my goal for Block III: Student Teaching is to chill out, concentrate on the important stuff, and to have more Hermione moments from books 5-7.

•I am a Pretty Good Teacher, I think• 
With all of the teaching practice I had this Block (including with the primary grades, which I am hesitant to teach), I felt pretty good about my abilities to plan and perform lessons. I say perform because I feel that I am perfecting my stage presence with kids in order to maximize task engagement and positive learning experiences (and other things that sound good in unit plan descriptions). The kids seem to like me cuz I'm young and hip and make references to Legos and Pokemon as much as possible. Glee's cool, amirite??!  I am pretty excited to be student teaching with my grand lesson plans and fifth graders come January. But for now, I'm also very excited to be spending some time with my couch and netflix.

•Gee, I hope I can get a job after all this•
'Nuff said. That's going to be coming up next Block, too.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Rachel K. AFK

Things are busy beans right now. I'm finishing up the last two weeks of my formal teaching education before becoming an official student teacher while having my boyfriend and his two cats move into my apartment. Needless to say - THINGS ARE CRAZY BANANAS right now.

I promise a blog post soon (possibly today), but until then please enjoy pictures drawn by Tristyn Pease, my BFF from Los Angeles who needs to work for some animation company that will let her draw more stuff like this:
It's true: Babies are the WORST.