Flashback Friday - Student Teaching

So I was going through old notebooks and found some of my writing from long long ago, and I thought it would be fun to have a "Flashback Friday" to post some of it (and maybe the occasional flashback photo).

This is my Student Teaching Self-Evaluation from March 2nd, 2000!  Enjoy!

I have learned so much at this placement!  Not only about teaching in general, but also about myself.  This placement has been challenging for me in many ways.  Discipline and classroom management has been a struggle.  At times the students seem out of control.  I have learned effective ways to deal with misbehavior; more importantly, I have learned how NOT to deal with discipline problems.  Students really want to have boundaries -- and they want to be held to them.  The teacher's expectations when it comes to student success.  If the teacher has high expectations - academically and behaviorally -- for the students, they will live up to them. 

Students also want a teacher who is enthusiastic about the students, the subject, and teaching.  I have seen that it is easy to fall into the rut of doing the same thing every day in class -- or to just do lessons straight out of the book.  I must be on guard against that.  It is going to be difficult to not take the easy way out.  I must continually challenge myself so that I can challenge my students.  

I have found that one of the most rewarding parts of teaching is the development of relationships with the students.  I greatly enjoy the rapport that I have with them.  They are so funny!  Many of them desperately  want a positive role model.  I must strive to be that role model for them.  I am learning how to balance between being a mentor and authority figure and being a friend and an equal.  I  must be the teacher and authority figure for my students.  Although it would be nice for my students to "like" me, I am not willing to sacrifice my professionalism and student respect for that.

My discipline management skills have increased while at _______ Middle School simply because they have been used very often!  I have found some proactive and some reactive strategies that I can use in the classroom.  I do feel that it will be much easier to control a class when it is MY classroom - one in which I have set the rules and expectations and the students    know that I am the final authority in the room.  I look forward to setting up my own classroom for this reason. 

I continue to have some weaknesses on which I need to work.  Challenging and interesting lessons are not easy to plan.  I struggle to do this while modifying the lesson for individual student needs.  Modification is a difficult area for me.  I have an easy time modifying in the area of visual/auditory/kinesthetic learners, but beyond that, I am at a loss.  Another part of lesson planning at which I am weak is the extension activities -- reteaching, reinforcement, etc.  Sometimes it gets difficult to do this without being repetitive.  One way I am thinking of doing this (particularly in my own future classroom) is to have the students write journals in response to lessons.  This gives them a chance to reflect on the lesson and me to read their thoughts.  

As far as my strengths, my communications skills are #1.  I have an easy time communicating with teachers, students, and parents.  I especially enjoy the communication and rapport that I have with students.  I also try to be excited about my lessons and communicate that enthusiasm in my teaching.  

I have enjoyed this placement -- with all of its challenges and rewards!  7th grade is certainly a different breed! They have their own unique needs.  I feel that I have learned a lot just about the middle school age through my time with 7th graders!


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