Good morning, class! I’ve been in full-swing student teaching mode for the past month and a half, and I am LOVING every second of it! Between creating lesson plans, grading, working on my classroom management, and fulfilling my teacher certification requirements, I have certainly had my hands full!
I am student teaching full-time at Scranton High School, which is a nice five-minute commute from the UofS campus! I am teaching Junior American Literature and Senior British Literature. Right now, we are studying The Great Gatsby in my American Literature classes, which has been a blast! Between a CSI investigation of Myrtle’s death (spoiler-alert!) to teaching my classes how to dance the Foxtrot and the Charleston, we have been having a blast together. My British Literature students are working their way through Romantic poetry. Next Friday, we are going to hold a Romantic Poetry Slam competition in our classes, which I know will be awesome!
My students are absolutely incredible. For my student teaching seminar, I have to keep a log of highs and lows from each day, and without a doubt, the majority of my “high” moments come from my students. Their light bulb moments, the connections they make between the literature we are reading and their own lives, and their funny comments make my day. I couldn’t ask for a more genuine group of students.
One issue I have been having, though, has been with cell phone use during class. Now, I am 100% attached to my cell phone, so I am the last person to pass judgement on anyone else who is, too. But, because cell phone use was distracting my students from being fully present in class, I devised a way to make them less distracting during class time. Last Tuesday night, I came home from student teaching and got super crafty. I created a “Cell (P)hotel” (like a cell phone hotel) out of a shoe organizer and some construction paper. The next day, I instated a new policy, which was backed by my cooperating teachers, where students have to “check in” their cell phones at the “Cell (P)hotel” in order to receive credit for the day. My students, although they were shocked at first, responded well, and actually got into the idea of being “off the grid” for 40 minutes per day. (I’m sure the Romantic poets we are studying in my British Literature classes would be thrilled about it, too!)
All in all, it’s been mostly “high” moments thus far in my student teaching experience. The UofS has certainly prepared me for the job, and I am so grateful to have this incredible opportunity! Student teaching is making the thought of having to leave this incredible school in exactly two months just a little bit more bearable 🙂