Monday, August 22, 2016

Open House and First Day of School

In my last post I explained the drama that led up to the first day of school. Today I want to share what happened during the open house the night before school started and our first day.

The day of open house was intense. My supervising teacher was dealing with a lot of responsibilities due to being the special education department chair. I have never seen a teacher--or person--work as hard as she does. And late into the night.

For the open house I made these cute popcorn labels to put on packages of microwave popcorn for the students who visited:

While my supervising teacher was busy with other things, I made cupcakes for my students for the first day of school. I made gluten-free ones because one of the students can't have wheat. I loved the way the label turned out:

When the first day of school arrived, I was super excited. I could hardly sleep the night before. It was a good thing I was excited and had plenty of adrenaline because I used every bit of it. My supervising teacher was needed elsewhere all over two different buildings. For me, it was sink or swim! Fortunately, she was able to return to the room for the most important details of the first homeroom meeting where students received their schedules and other important papers.

But once that meeting was done, I was on my own for most of the morning. The Life Skills class and I greeted the new school year together. They loved their cupcakes and we had fun doing our "getting to know you" worksheets and playing the "Getting to Know the Student Teacher" game. Students drew questions out of a bowl. Some of the slips of paper had "You Won a Prize!" and students could choose a snack-sized candy bar from the prize drawer.

I also sent home the obligatory letter to the parents introducing myself as well as a sheet I filled out for my students to let them know a little bit about me as a person. I was hoping I'd hit on something that we'd have a mutual interest in (that's why I listed so many hobbies). (If I don't have that worksheet posted at the time you're reading this, check back later. I need to scan it in.)

The Life Skills class is a three-period class. Once it's over, I take a student who needs support to lunch and eat lunch with him. Then it's prep time but to be honest, I was so busy running errands and tracking down copies (our department copier doesn't work) that I had very little time to even think about prepping.

The next few periods (resource study halls and English 11) were uneventful except that I never saw my supervising teacher until the last period. And while I don't remember why I ran hither and yon that day, I do know I was dripping in perspiration and "glowing" with happiness at the end of the day. It was a footrace to be sure. But I loved every second of it, and I couldn't wait to do it all over again.


After school, I got to meet with my clinical supervisor and totally fell in love with her philosophy. I knew her as a professional  (she was my sons' high school principal). Now I'm a student and she's perfect for me. I am so blessed and know I'll learn tons from her.

What was it like the first day you student taught? I'd love to know!

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