Monday, June 16, 2014

guest blogger: reflections on fieldwork

Guest Blogger: Kelsey Riesterer, Teacher candidate from the University of Minnesota, Student teacher at Earle Brown IB World School in Brooklyn Center, MN

As the year comes to a close and I finish the first half of my student teaching I am both happy and sad. I’m sad to be leaving wonderful fifth grade students that I have gotten to know well. Next year they will venture onto middle school and I look forward to them experiencing their next step. I am also happy to be able to meet a new bunch of kids in the fall. In the fall my cooperating teacher and I will be transferring to fourth grade. I’m excited to work with a new grade and experience the differences. 
I am worried about classroom discipline as I get to know the students and they get to know me. I will try to stay firm so the students know my expectations. If I need help I hope to be able to ask my fellow fourth grade teachers for guidance. I may make mistakes but I will take each day at a time. I will get to know each of my students so I can teach in a way that helps each student. 
I believe that my grade level professional learning community and International Baccalaureate meetings will be beneficial each week. Each week I can talk about what I have been teaching and receive feedback from the other teachers. I will reflect on this feedback and change my teaching and plans as necessary. I will use these meetings as important personal development. Each day I will reflect on my teaching with my cooperating teacher. During this I will be able to reflect on what went well and what didn’t. This will be important as I continue to work on my teaching skills. 
Overall I am incredibly excited to continue my student teaching, learn more each day, and help each student on their way to success.

Monday, June 9, 2014

coming to a close

Everything has to come to an end, sometime.
― L. Frank Baum, The Marvelous Land of Oz

For those of you dear readers in the midwest (a.k.a. the land of the polar vortex), many of you had your school years extended due to school closings for cold and snow. Those days were necessary at the time, but for many, those added days are challenging now that summer has finally descended. 

The end of a school year is frantic, busy, and bittersweet. I find the reflecting stage of the end of the year invigorating. Many teachers find that they have them most interesting ideas for improvement during the ending weeks of the year and through the summer. Make sure you have a place where you can keep track of your ideas and that they don't get lost in the hustle and bustle of end-of-year packing (and throughout the summer at home). 

This time of year can also be a bit disheartening. There's so much I didn't get accomplished! This can lead to new ideas, though, and you can't forget all that you did accomplish! 

Congratulations on the end of the 2013-2014 school year. For you first year teachers, this is a particularly momentous ending. But with that ending comes anticipation for the 2014-2015 school year. Just don't forget to enjoy a bit of summer before then!

I'll be continuing to post throughout the summer!