I am almost finished with the semester and will be student teaching in January. This is what I have been waiting for all semester – the chance to actually apply everything I have learned in college and to get experience. I am still very excited for that opportunity, but I am also a little worried. When I finish student teaching in May, I will be an actual teacher with my own classroom and my own students. And at this moment, that scares me.
I have learned so much about teaching, especially this past semester in my education classes and my methods class. For the most part, I feel ready to teach. But I am overwhelmed by all the possibilities of what I could do in my classroom. In just this semester alone, I have learned a lot about workshop style classrooms, inquiry-based learning, project-based learning, and teaching for social justice classrooms.
I used to like the workshop style classroom and that is how I planned on teaching for a long time. But when I learned about the other styles, I started to wonder if a workshop style classroom is really what I want. I still really like the idea of a workshop classroom, but I also really like some aspects of all the other styles. I could combine aspects of each, but would that be too much for the students? I don’t want them to feel as overwhelmed as I do.
I also worry about how I will teach and meet the Common Core standards. I never thought much about the standards, but after meeting with my cooperating teacher for next semester, I wonder if I should have learned more about them. I wish I could have taken a class that explained all the standards and exactly what they mean for teachers and students.
In our methods class, we’ve talked some about the standards. I’ve learned that as long as students are doing authentic work, they will meet the standards and be able to pass the tests. This seems simple enough and actually makes more sense to me than other methods I have heard about. I have just learned so many different ways for students to learn authentically that I’m not sure which way is best.
So as I end this semester and prepare to start the next one, I hope to learn more about what works best for students. Hopefully once I have some real classroom experience, the possibilities won’t be as overwhelming as they are now. I’m excited to start my work with students and apply everything I’ve learned this semester. I hope that next semester is as great as this one.