The first week…

The first week of student teaching has officially passed.  And I got sick from it, and now I have laryngitis, which means I won’t be to talk (much or at all) or teach.  It sucks, but considering that teachers talk a lot (it’s the only way to present information), it’s a chance people have to risk taking.  I’m not enjoying not having a voice because my master teacher scheduled me to teach a math lesson – tomorrow!  And there is no way my voice is going to be back by 8:15am tomorrow morning.  So, I emailed my teacher to let her know the situation, and she told me to be flexible and that things would work out when the time came.

As much as my conditions sucks (you should see how hard it is to play a miniatures game with no voice), I really enjoy my class.  My teacher has no problem shifting partial responsibility to me, and has even left the classroom on various occasion without me noticing (usually it’s during the morning activity and I have my back to the door).  Apparently, since I don’t notice her being gone, I don’t show any discomfort, but then there is another teacher in the classroom (I have no idea what she actually does).  Although I’m nervous about teaching lessons (as simple as they may be), I’m also excited at the same time.  However, not having a voice allows me to stall a bit and gain a better understanding of how my teacher teaches and how I can present the lesson in my own way but still include what I’ve learned from her.

For this placement up to spring break, we are at the school 5 mornings and 1 afternoon a week.  Basically, I’m at the school every morning, and stay for one afternoon.  I don’t get a chance to sleep in anymore, but it’s not like I can count on the majority of schools to start before 8:30am.  That’s highly unlikely.  But since I’m in the first grade, mornings go by really fast.  They have lunch at 11:20am and start class again at 12:05pm.  But being a nice person I am, I usually leave when classes start again, but then that also depends on my mood and how hungry I am.

This week has allowed me to observe classroom procedures, as well as learn all the students’ names.  I find ways to identify them, and after this week, I feel I know all their names.  There is only one student I haven’t met, but I’ve been told he’s at a wedding in India.  I’m disappointed that I won’t be able to work with him until March, but to allow a child to miss that much school for a family function (like a wedding), I’m not too thrilled about it.  Sure, it’s family tradition and whatnot, but still, the kid is missing an entire MONTH of school.  He’ll miss every opportunity to see what a cool person I am.  There’s no way he’d catch up with the material they learn on daily basis.

PE was the first instance where I was in charge of MY CLASS.  My teacher probably went off to do some prep work with other teachers, and soon, it was just me, the kids (from 3 different first grade classes), and the PE teacher.  But like before, I love the outdoors (except the PE part), and being there by myself (with the PE teacher) didn’t make me feel uncomfortable.  What the kids do for PE is run laps and at the end of every lap, they receive a flag (I call them foam tongue depressors because that’s what they look like), and the more laps they run, the more flags they receive.  I don’t know how long they actually run for, but at the very end, they line up (according to class) and tell their teacher (in this case, me) how much flags they have.  This is was my first chance to show them that I knew their names, and I think I only missed 1 or 2 names (I don’t really remember).  After finishing my class, I was handed another clipboard by the PE teacher to finish the counts for another class.  To make it easier on my part, I told all the students of this particular class to make a single line, tell me their name, and the number of flags they got.  It was easy, and they followed directions well.

As for the lesson planning, my teacher had all these printouts for me after the library session.  It was basically the lesson planner that I had dreaded, and to my surprise, it was really simple, and every day followed a similar format (or the same format).  Every morning had Math and Language Arts, but new pages were assigned to read or complete.  It was that simple.  And while my teacher’s mom (who was also a teacher at this same school, but retired) was reading to the kids, we went outside to the “pod” to discuss lesson planning.  This was when I got nervous, but I tried not to show it.  As much as I have some lessons planned, losing my voice over the weekend was not part of it.  I must have caught something on Tuesday or Wednesday, then overnight, I develop a cough and a sore throat.  I still went to class, but with all the talking on Thursday and Friday (due to student teaching and class), I must have started to lose my voice but I didn’t pay much attention.  It wasn’t until Saturday night that I finally lost my voice, barely being able to talk and enjoy the weekend.  Sunday rolled around and I could barely make a sound.

It’s Monday night and I’m still talking with a raspy voice, like some old granny with a frog in her throat.  There is no way I’m going to teach my lesson tomorrow, although I still plan to write a lesson plan (the teacher’s manual has EVERYTHING).  I would think that with rest, my voice would come back, but I was wrong.  I haven’t lost my voice in about 4 years, but it’s the first time that I’ve attributed having a sore throat with losing my voice.  I’ve gotten sick, but not so much as other people.  I’ve read around for treatments, and all them say to drink tea with honey, drink lots of water, and don’t talk much (or at all).  Of course, my parents aren’t helping with the healing process because they ask me questions and I’m forced to answer.  Then my mom answers the phone and doesn’t even ask who’s calling (even though my dad and I are telling her to ask about who’s calling).  Of course, the TV is super LOUD and my mom can’t hear me and isn’t listening to anyone but the phone.  I think people are appreciating my silence, but my parents are just loud people and there’s no peace and quiet for me to heal and get better.  It’s definitely going to be a long time before I get my voice back…

Until next time…

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~ by twilightmelfina on February 11, 2008.

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