Today was my last pre-field experience Friday in the schools for PSII. Even though it was a slow (and frustrating) start, I have enjoyed my weekly visit to PAMS so much! I really can’t wait to settle in more starting April 12th 😀
I have been assigned to Punxsutawney Area Middle School with Ms. Smith in a 7th grade English classroom. And this is seriously perfect because that placement, right there, is my dream teaching position! I know, I know…I can’t be picky. But if I could be, that is what I would pick!
My first day there was a bit boring, because it was “Read Across America Day.” This means that all day, every period, the students read. Unfortunately, since our placements were so last minute, my teacher wasn’t able to tell me this ahead of time, so I arrived bookless. However, what English teacher does have stacks (and stacks) of books in their room? I was able to pick up a few different books and definitely added some to my “to-read” list. Even though I didn’t get to see much action, I was glad to be able to get to know Ms. Smith. She is an awesome teacher, with years and years of experience. Her rapport with the students is beyond incredible- I love it!
My next two visits were definitely more exciting. Although still not action-packed, I was more active throughout the day. I sat in on some other classes too with Mr. Constantino (social studies) and Mrs. Stants (science). I am also planning units to teach in these classes. In Ms. Smith’s class, I did a lot of vocab work…Fridays are vocab days 🙂 This involves a vocab sentence test and the introduction of the next week’s words. (Side note: at my third visit, I was allowed to wear jeans! I was happy about this, along with the rest of the staff!)
So that brings us to today, my last Friday visit. As usual, this was not a typical day because 1) Ms. Smith had her library day, and 2) there was an assembly. Her classes were a bit of a repeat of my first visit, but this time the location was the library. But once again, I was able to talk more with a lot of the teachers, and I showed Mrs. Stants my science unit. The students were also really excited about the assembly; it was a BMX show – very cool!
Overall, my four Fridays have been fun. However, I think my favorite thing about them was being able to sit in on team and faculty meetings. I have been able to connect SO MUCH from these meetings to what I have been learning in class! The team meetings are focused on the teachers talking about students they sense are having academic, social, or behavioral problems. This is effective because then all other teachers can chime in with any observations from their own classes. Because this is currently the end of their 9-week grading period, parent-teacher conferences was a big topic of discussion. During faculty meetings, both the teachers and administration are involved. The topics covered here include things like bullying, standardized testing, and the Common Core Standards. I think I have mastered the teacher lingo 😉
Even though this semester has stressed me to wits-end (and is still doing so..), these Fridays have proven to me that it is worth it. Those kids are truly great, and I can’t wait to start working with them on a daily basis!