I didn’t know what to expect from my semester in ED 605.I definitely didn’t expect to write a lot, which became a little bit intimidating at times. I write when I’m not in school – I’ve kept a journal since about fifth grade, but this seemed like something so much more because I was sharing feelings with people who in the beginning were strangers. What I loved is throughout our writing, we stopped becoming strangers right away because there was always something a person could relate to.
When I was told that we had to start a blog, I was terrified. It was one thing sharing ideas and writings in class, but it was completely different putting my ideas on the web for anyone to see. My friends have blogs, and when I finally learned how to link my blog to my twitter, they were able to see what I’ve been writing, which in a sense scared me even more than having complete strangers read my writing. Strangers can judge and I wouldn’t know, but friends judge and tell you things you may not want to hear. My first blog was probably horrible because I wasn’t writing for myself, I was writing for a grade. After my first blog, I felt more free to write and share whatever was going on in my mind. I didn’t mind posting more than the syllabus said to post. I didn’t mind posting about my name and what it means, and I definitely didn’t mind posting about my hard moment. Blogging became an outlet – a sense of freedom, especially when I shared about my hard moment.
I had the amazing experience of going to numerous UDATC meetings and seeing how Arcadia helps the English teachers at UDHS. It was nice to know that experienced teachers had reservations and fears about their teaching. When a person has been watching teachers their whole lives (in and out of school), I don’t think they realized that teachers are “normal.” They have fears that any new teacher has, and that was a relief to see. I was also able to see the English teachers work on the curriculum for the semester coming up. That was an intense experience, but everyone managed to balance one another out. If one teacher freaked out for maybe five minutes, there were seven others to reassure him/her about the good that they are doing. I never knew that there was such support and a sense of community in teaching. I never experienced that when I taught. It was basically ‘you have to do this and good luck because the kids probably won’t listen to you because they don’t care.’ I learned then and more now how to get the students to care, and that’s by showing them that you care. If a person treats teaching as just a job with no feeling, of course their students aren’t going to care; in fact, they’re probably going to be a bit afraid of doing their work.
The one time I didn’t feel very strong was when I had to do a lesson in front of the ED 605 class. It was very nerve wracking teaching your peers, but the feedback was extremely constructive and non judgmental, which made it easier in the end. When I had to do my lesson for UDHS, I’m pretty sure I was the one who learned the lesson. I learned what to do, and what not to do. When to keep going with an idea and stick with that and to not stick to time. When I stuck to the length of time for the class, I didn’t give the students a chance to show their creativity out loud, and I saw that’s what they wanted to do, and I made the mistake by not letting them do that. A lesson that’s meant for one day can go on for more, and I need to remember that.
This class taught me how to start to become a better teacher. I know it’s going to take time, but I also know through what I consider to be failures, I learned more than I probably would have if everything was a complete success. I do learn from my successes, but I feel I learn more from my mistakes, and I’m glad I made some mistakes. I am extremely thankful for ED 605 and all the people that helped me grow, and listened to me when I felt the tears coming.
I feel that lately, teachers are now synonymous with the word support, and that’s a wonderful way to feel as an up and coming teacher.