I am now officially halfway done my practicum.
I am convinced that student teaching is significantly harder than regular teaching, aside from the fact that it isn’t a full year. We prepare our lessons, all of which we are teaching for the first time ever. We struggle not only with how much to mark, but how to mark, why to mark. We’ve stepped behind the curtain and suddenly realize that tests, exams, notes and the rest of a teacher’s show are not solid but are shakily constructed from whatever materials can be found, whatever looks like it’ll do the job long enough to finish the performance. You start to see that it didn’t have to look that way; it could have been built in at least a dozen other styles and still performed the same function. All the while we wrestle with how to become an authority figure without falling into the trap of trying to prove that you’re in charge (because if you have to prove it, you’re not).
And all of this takes place in a room which is ours, but not ours. We may have been lucky enough to be present at the start of the year, but our sponsor teacher is still the one who has set the tone of the class, the expectations, the feel of the room. We can come in and try to create a space of our own, but whether that works is affected by how our presence contrasts with our sponsor; how we present ourselves in the first 15 min (the exact time when we have the least experience doing so); how the logistics of sharing space or jumping from classroom to classroom limit what we can do to remake things in our image.
Today sucked. Tomorrow, pro-d. Monday I don’t have to worry about yet.
Time to go home, celebrate a milestone, eat more cookies than is healthy (hey, I made them myself) and relax.
Then … catch up on marking.