I’m Kalie, a Grand Valley senior, and this is my semester to really get involved in teaching and see if I like it. Some may ask, “and those past 3 1/2 years of college didn’t count because…?” To you I say, no, they did not. I learned a ton about math, Spanish, myself and life as a grown-up, but I didn’t get the experience I’m getting now. I didn’t get to be the grown-up in the room who was in charge of teaching students and making sure they are well prepared for the grades ahead of them. This semester, though, I get all that and more. And I honestly could not be more excited.
I am placed in a sixth grade math classroom in a very diverse school setting. (I actually have some students who speak Spanish, so I get to practice those skills, too–how cool!!). So far my partner and I are helping with the little things–passing out papers, helping students in the classroom, observing the structure of the classroom, etc. However, we have had opportunities to take students out to the commons to work with them one on one, teach bits and pieces of the lessons throughout the hour and just really get a chance to get to know the students. It’s been a whirlwind first few days (especially with the snow days thrown in the mix), but I can’t believe how much I love these kids and the environment already.
Let me share a little tidbit with you–I have always said that I will NEVER teach middle schoolers. Never. Those were the most awkward years of my life and I know what the students in my classes (and myself) were like. No way do I want to go back there. So you can imagine my “excitement” when I received my placement in a sixth grade classroom. However, in just 5 days (yes, 5 days) my attitude has completely changed. I don’t know if it’s the fact that the students have so much personality, or the fact that we have so much in common (they’re one direction fans, too!), but I can absolutely see myself accepting a middle school teaching position in the future.
It just goes to show, you can’t judge a book by its cover.