I am an Eagle!
I went to Georgia Southern University for my undergraduate degree in Early Childhood Education and I wouldn’t trade it for the world. Statesboro, Georgia has a special place in my heart, although I-16 does not. This week as I watched my TOSS student (similar to a student teacher) teach a lesson in my classroom I was shocked by some of her weaknesses. After the first class I gave her a ton of feedback thinking she had taught many, many lessons before to a classroom full of young students. She tried to digest it all, but I could tell she was overwhelmed by all of my feedback.
I started to think back to my days at GSU. During this same semester in college I had to teach a five day unit, and five free standing lessons. I also had to teach one full day alone with no help from the classroom teacher during this semester. In previous semesters I had taught stand alone lessons (6 in all) and a 3 day unit. Not to mention the many small groups run as directed by the classroom teacher. I assumed my TOSS student had done the same. After she taught the second class her lesson I noticed how much of the feedback she took into immediate consideration. It was remarkable!
As we debriefed the second lesson she told me today was the first time she had ever taught more than one student at a time.
Wow! Well in that case, you did AMAZING!!!
I still cannot believe how little experience she has and how her college is not doing her justice in preparing her for the real world. Don’t get me wrong. She is going to get plenty of experience in student teaching, but how can they expect her to succeed in student teaching if they are not giving her enough opportunities to teach now?
My goal for the next four weeks with my TOSS student is to expose her to a TON of opportunities to teach, learn, and morph. I want to give her a positive experience and at the same time help her become the best teacher she can be.
The next day, she came in to school bouncing off ideas on how to modify her lesson for the next day and talking about wanting to make a poster of her expectations for when she teaches the class. It was great to see her thinking, and learning, and modifying, and changing to become a better teacher.
When she came in ready to teach last Friday she was ready with a phrase to use as an attention getter to help her classroom management. She had a new lesson modified for economics (which is not an easy third grade standard). And she was left in charge while I was in AP interviews all day. At the end of the day, she had survived and done well from what she and my SPED teacher told me. It was great!
I am so excited to see her grow and know that I am impacting not only her future, but her future students!
So, Thank you GSU for preparing me, giving me the best education I could ask for, supporting me through the tough experiences, and showing me what teaching actually is!