My student teaching experience has been challenging, encouraging, frustrating, motivating, educating, inspiring, and a lot of fun! I truly lucked out in finding such a wonderful cooperating teaching to work with. Rob is laid-back, cheerful, kind-hearted, and a great educator. He is also one of the busiest people I know. He has taken being involved in the education community to a new level, with memberships and positions held in the Oregon Education Association, the Portland Association of Teachers, the National Education Association, and just about any journalism educators group you could think of. He has been a great help to me as I navigate my way through the first steps of my new career.
I also feel lucky to be working with the students I have in class this year. There are times when the classes can be very disruptive and wild, but take each student out of the context of a wild classroom, and I like them all so much. I am so excited any time an unruly student is caught paying attention in class. I am also delighted when students come by after school and at lunch just to say “hi”. I thought before coming into this experience that the most important thing to me would be the personal relationships I develop with students, and that inclination has turned out to be very true. In fact, I believe one of my strengths as a teacher will be my natural ability to get along with my students. We have a lot of fun together, and I hope that continues from year to year. Another strength is that I am a very motivated, self-directed, organized teacher. I could easily see how this career could overwhelm me if I wasn’t all of those things.
My weaknesses so far seem to center on slowing things down for my students. Because of my tendency to keep everything so tightly organized, I tend to rush through lessons, (especially on Fridays when we have shortened periods), just to ensure I get everything done I am “supposed” to get done. However, it is important I do not lose students in the process of being so efficient. The same goes for how I direct questions at students. I need to work on slowing down my questioning so all students have proper time to respond. Furthermore, classroom management can be a challenge, and there is and will always be room for improvement to that end. The longer I teach the more tricks I will learn and be able to utilize in class for more effective classroom management. My strength of getting along so well with my students is something that will enable me to progress further along in classroom management. It is easier to manage students who like a teacher than students who do not!