The Waiting has Begun

I am waiting for my final grade from my advisor, which is not due until next Thursday. I am waiting for schools that have openings to begin scheduling interviews. I am waiting to see what my next step will be.

Meantime, the final three days were a rush of wrapping things up.

I finally got to observe a handful of conferences between my cooperating teacher and the World Lit students. I was somewhat surprised to see how many were barely 1/3 of the way through their 600 page reading requirement. It’s definitely going to be a struggle for some to do a good job while playing beat the clock. On my final days with the two classes, I got some nods, some comments and two hugs, but most greeted the need of the tenure with a shrug.

Monday, the 10th graders worked in the classroom, using the mobile computer lab, to complete their group projects. Then, Tuesday and Wednesday were the presentations. I wasn’t sure what to expect so was happy to have the wisdom of my other cooperating teacher on hand. Overall, they were pretty good and even though I emphasized I wanted to see creativity, most did PowerPoint or Prezi pieces. One group, though, did a nice filmed piece, using clips from Fahrenheit 451, a soundtrack and each member took a turn before the camera discussing their aspect of the book.

My final class was the final period of the day and it was a weird feeling. The final presentation left a few minutes left and I tried to lead them through a useful conversation but my mind wasn’t sharp. At the bell, the guys jumped up, rushing over to shake my hand. I got waves from the girls. All want me to come back and visit, which was sweet.

Tuesday at lunch, I was surprised with a cake at lunch and yesterday, as the final class ended, I returned to my desk to find an envelope marked “Our Friend Bob” on my laptop. Everyone in the department signed it with many nice notes.

I have been coming to Darien High School just about every day since January 2011 and have grown fond of the building, the staff, and the kids. It’s been a fabulous experience that will spoil me for whatever school follows. I have been made to feel a part of the learning community and couldn’t have asked for a better experience.

The deficiencies found during my student teaching have been addressed and I’m told improvement has been seen. But until I get my grade next week, I have no idea what will happen. Either I get certified and look for work or find a school to repeat student teaching.

One of my teachers pointed out how hard the job is and how much harder it has gotten since she began eight years ago. It’s a misunderstood and underappreciated profession but still a noble calling and I look forward to spending the remainder of my working life being a part of this world.

2 comments

  • Lorraine Anderson

    I admire you. I was going to be a pre-school, early elementary teacher 30 years ago. Apart from the fact that I was too timid to be a teacher, I was astonished at the way the 2nd graders acted — speaking back, catty, etc. I can’t imagine trying to teach High School Students! Good luck!

  • Tim Rifenburg

    Have you ever thought about turning your thoughts about your experiences in altering your career path into a book (coupled with your other life experiences that molded your decision)? I think it would be interesting reading. Like you, I went into teaching later in life (after I was 40) and found the experience great and terrifying at the same time. I also felt that the classes (except for a content class and an assesment class) did not prepare me adequately for the teaching experience. I have enjoyed your posts allowing us into viewing your experiences. I wish you good fortune in your job hunt. (Personally, I think given your life experience and many interests you will be hired quickly.) The job of teaching is hard. But fun, rewarding and all the cliched things that are said about it.

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