Monday, February 8, 2010

Five Minute Passing Periods

A lot has been going on but I haven't been able to put words to most of it. One exciting thing is that last week I started my three week observation period at the local high school. It's a requirement of the teaching program that I have applied to - I need to spend time observing the age of kids that I want to teach.

So I am going to high school again! It's crazy. I only attend four days a week, and only a couple of hours a day, but it's pretty weird. I was so nervous the first day. It's a little scary walking down the halls trying to find my classrooms - there are herds of kids everywhere! I get especially nervous in between classes because I really want to make it to the next one before the bell rings so I'm not late. Did I really just write that sentence at age 38? And I actually sit in the desks with the kids and read the handouts and participate in small groups and everything. I ended up getting some great teachers and so far I'm loving it. I'm taking notes on teaching styles and writing down questions about different methods, but I'm enjoying the material as much as anything. I'm in a Western Civ class (which I almost flunked in college, I might add) and a History of World Governments class, and I start a Psych class this week. I think I'll love that one.

The kids are fun. I thought they'd be just babies, but they don't seem all that young or immature. (I think I'm in 9th and 10th grade classes.) A lot of the kids engage in discussions and track fairly well with the teachers. At first I was discouraged because the teachers are constantly having to "shush" the students, but then I remembered that I was constantly having to do that when I taught at the college level in Japan. So I guess that never goes away.

I was bored and on a miscellaneous chat application on my iPhone the other night and I sent a message to the group that said, "Tell me some great news!" Someone replied with, "I have a 4.0 all straight A's yeah baby!!!!!" I asked what grade the person was in and it turned out to be an 8th grade boy. I told him I wanted to become a teacher, and I asked him, "What do you think makes a great teacher?" He replied, "Being stricked. Being fun though. Getting things understood and making sure that everyone understands." I said, "You got all A's with that spelling and grammar???" Just kidding. I thanked him for the great advice and said I thought he was right on. Cute as hell, isn't it?

I think I'm about a month out from learning whether or not I'm accepted into the teaching program. Every day my mind swirls with all the implications of both making it and not making it. It's a little overwhelming, but I'm trying to take it one day at a time.


  1. Can I tell you something? I'm actually kind of anxious for orientation. It's coming in about two weeks and this will be the first time I do anything school related on my own.

    I'll get over that as soon as I start classes and get settled in and all that, but still.

    Those first steps are so scary/exciting.

  2. I'm so excited for you. :-)

    When I was a community educator for a anti-violence against women org I would get that feeling when I'd visit high schools- and often teachers would mistake me for a student. Granted this was ten years ago but still. Heh.

    I think a great teacher is someone who can keep students engaged while providing structure and discipline, one that loves what he/she does and it is evidenced in their approach, one that knows how to laugh while learning. That kid knows what up even if his grammar sucks. Ha!

  3. I worked as a substitute school teacher after I graduated from college and couldn't get a job for nothing. It was a life-changing experience. In fact, I had my first vision in the midst of a seventh-grade class run wild. Suddenly, all the noise abated, the room was suffused with a white light that overwhelmed the presence of the kids, and a voice said to me, "You don't have to take this shit, you know." So I left. I was impressed that God would use the word "shit".

  4. A--I'm so excited for you.

    B--Glenn is fucking hilarious.

  5. Glenn is one of my favorite humans ever.

  6. You're going to be an incredible teacher. I want to take one of your classes someday.

  7. How exciting to be in high school again with adult eyes. I wish I got to do that.

    If everything works out, I know you will be such a personable, amazing teacher. I'll keep my fingers crossed that all will work out as it is supposed to work out.

  8. I still have nightmares about HS. I'm in the hall, and I can't find my locker. Then I find my locker, and I can't remember the combination. OK and I graduated HS in 1966. Will it ever end? Do I need to even mention that I HATED school? HATED it.

    I had a great teacher in the 8th grade. Every day, at some point, we would stop whatever we were doing, and she would get out a book, and read to us for about 20 minutes. Such a simple thing and yet I remember it all these years later. Sister Helen. doG rest her soul.

  9. Oh, and I concur. Glenn made me LOL. Woke Lacey up.

  10. All of this is requiring you to think and process and learn. It is a wonderful exercise in patience as well. No matter the outcome, you will have grown emotionally, I am sure.
    It also helps to have something to look forward to everyday :>)


  11. Sounds like a fascinating experience. I hope you make it in!