My Adventure!

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Adjusting to a NEW Life!

Week 11 out of 16:

As I sit soaking in my reflective juices of my teaching of October 24th 2013 I can't help but ponder on: ADJUSTING TO A NEW LIFE from my teaching in my last placement: 2nd grade to 5th grade.

The hardest part of my student teaching experience so far is adjusting to a totally new grade level.

I miss my 2nd graders a WHOLE lot, but I'm also building relationships with my 18 very intelligent 5th graders. Although they don't always "say the darnest things" the rewarding aspect is seeing them transfer the strategies they are learning in other subject areas, to real life, and beyond.  And sometimes they will make you shake your head, smile while you try to hide it, and chime in with a comment that makes you say to yourself "Gosh, 5th grade is fun".

2nd graders question: "Did you know I like Ketchup on my pizza?"
5th graders question" "If you could have anything in the world, non-tangible, what would it be?"

Just a preview of the different levels.  With teaching 5th grade comes challenges and chances.  Chances that I can take to improve my teaching to apply to my career on my own, or I can decide to do the minimum work and pass those chances up.

Example: Undertaking the implementation of a Project Based Learning unit.  This unit is quite the challenge to launch and quite the chance to get the experience with this strategy of teaching.

I wont't bore you will the details of PLB but basically its keeping the learning in the hands of the students by giving them a question that drives the entire unit of study having the lesson be based upon their own questions.  This unit is a challenge because it's so much planning up front, but I am not only gaining confidence in myself, but my planning, the students abilities, and in God that he will give me the abilities to be 100% teacher and 100% student at the same time. Not on my own strength could I fill both those requirements to the fullest.

Adjusting to teaching a new grade level is more difficult than I ever thought and I feel totally and utterly overloaded with all the information my brain is soaking up but the Professional Development I am getting with Writer's Workshop, Project Based Learning, and other odds and ends is irreplaceable.

Do I have time to breathe? No.
Do I have time to think?  Not clearly.
Do I have time to plan? Barley.
Do I have time to socialize? Rarely.
Am I making time for God?  I wouldn't be able to continue my search for why on earth I am here, if I didn't make time for the person who made time to create me.
Introducing the organization of the Period Table with the Harry Potter version.

All in all.  My life is 150% different than it was 4 weeks ago teaching 2nd grade, new tricks(humor to keep the kids captivate), new challenges(more Korean names to learn), and new trials(content expertise).  But I love the challenge of working my way into the ever so awkward, stinky, lovable, quirky, silly, sing-songy, capable, stylish, chapter-book reading, math genius 5th grader hearts and lives.  

Chip Lab: Testing the volume of chips
Students are on TodaysMeet sharing Philanthropy charity organizations they are interested in.
Students taking a look at their manifests
Kindergarden Book Buddies 

With God all things are possible. Even when I feel like I'm barely making it day by day. He helps make all things MORE than worth it.

1 comment:

  1. I was reading and when I got to the end I thought "Gosh, I miss Erin. I haven't seen her in 4 months." Sincerely, I really, really miss seeing you face to face! Buuuut, I am SO thankful that God placed international teaching on your heart. I truly feel that you have been able to grow in unique ways that would not have been possible if you would have stayed in the US.

    God took time to create me, so I take time to thank Him... I love that thought of yours! Keep up the great work, keep touching lives! :-)

    Until we meet again,