Facing the Inquisition

Looking my experience as a student teacher in the face.

An Insight

Today I was inspired by a book a writer made available through noisetrade.  This book was called You are a Writer (so start acting like one.  While I do not consider myself a writer and have neither the time nor energy to devote to that task, I am inspired by this concept.  My nametag, application records, graduation status, and personal mindset all tell me that I am a student teacher.  While this is a correct manner to classify my position technically and professionally, if I apply this to my personal mindset about how I work, it becomes detrimental.  I am not merely a student teacher performing student teacher duties.  

I am a teacher.  

I, Alex Ellis, am a teacher.  

I am a professional.  

I have been trained and produce quality work according to the state’s standards.  

I am not lazy, mediocre college student anymore.  

This revelation collided with my behavior today, and the disparity saddened me.  But it also motivated me.  I now desire to not only learn from my cooperating teachers, but to surpass them by the end of the semester.  “Is this even possible?” Yes.  I must devote my efforts and focus unto this task of growing myself daily and preparing sufficiently to be a great teacher.  Not just a teacher, not even just a good teacher, but a great teacher.  By the grace of God, I carry this potential.  He can mold me into a great teacher, but I must work as Paul did, harder than the rest toward this goal.  I was a lazy bum in college that played that game of school, getting by and learning the minimum.  My career begins now.  

The largest area that faces me right now is classroom management.  I have been steadily learning techniques from Coach Taylor as he sees need for them all, but I have not taken enough initiative on myself to develop myself into a great teacher.  

Currently, I don’t have the students’ respect. In their eyes, I am a student teacher who can be a pushover, and they treat me accordingly.  So how can I earn their respect? I am not a 6’3” 300 lb football coach,

but still I must demand their respect.  

What can I use? 

passion:

-for the English language

-for communicating well

-for poems that make me love and savor life

-for speaking in such a way that inspires students to become better

my kindness and my caring heart: 

this will certainly come later after I have already established my authority

a father who loves his son certainly disciplines him, this must come first, 

but only because I genuinely care about each individual’s well being.  

Not tolerating misbehavior from the beginning: 

At the beginning of my student teaching I was certainly intimidated.  

I let the students talk more than I should and I let them get away with more than they should have.  

 

Two more methods that I must focus on are creating a relevant engaging curriculum that draws their attention and to keep the pace such that the energy doesn’t degenerate into unfocused chatter.  These are two practical ways I can practice this.  

While this list was unorganized, it helps me think.  Thats pretty much what I think this has to be, my thoughts typed and recorded.  I can typer way faster than I can write.  That alone is a good enough reason to use technology.  

 

I must believe that I have something to offer to the students.  I do.  I facilitate and inspire.  

I am a teacher. Surely, I am a teacher.  

 

A Rough Beginning

The struggle really is real.  I have been living it for two weeks now. My time as a student teacher has been greatly revealing to my current state of adequacy as a teacher.  Lets just say I have been learning a lot.  I have probably forgotten a lot as well, which is why I wanted to start a blog.  I have found that writing is therapeutic for me, and if I do not record all these many thoughts along the way, then I am prone to lose them, robbing myself of the benefit they could have posed to me.  I have a long way to go to be where I want to be in all aspects of life.  Currently, I feel inadequate as a teacher, which is a big deal for a man.  Its one of the worst feelings ever, actually.  It makes me disappointed, makes me want to give up, to do something else.  But then, I have moments of great encouragement that motivates me to keep going, that reminds me why I want to become a teacher, and makes it worth the struggle.  I will most likely write down more thoughts than just those about teaching on here.  Also those about preparing myself for marriage and being a real adult.  Honestly, I hope nobody ever comes across this blog.  Its for me and nobody else.  Its an archive into my learning process each day.  Its not a masterpiece, not a pretentious attempt at being hip. Its simply pouring my mind out in attempt to help me grow.  I may philosophize.  I may just ask a bunch of questions.  I may quit after a couple days, you know, to work on my six pack and stuff.  Whatever happens.  I pray that God blesses it.

“God over sea and stars and the breath in my lungs, I humbly ask that you bless my time as a student teacher.  I truly believe that you have whelmed up within me the desire to teach and a love for English.  Mold me into the man you desire me to be.  Make me holy.  I know the way is laden with valleys and mountains and rivers and jackals and thorns that I must traverse.  Give me the wisdom to stay on the straight and narrow.  I lift up this time to you to use it as you will, for the purpose of your glory.  I am your instrument.  Give me courage and wisdom and strength for such a task, for I am needy for grace. Your son.”

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