Is this hopeless?

Last night at my student teacher meeting our supervisor told us that our university has over seven-hundred student teachers this semester. Today at our staff meeting the superintendent made it very clear that even as much as the staff feels the need for more support, there is no money in our district for employing more staff. It is easy to draw from this that the same must be true all around this area.
I have been hearing since before I began college that I need to be ready to leave the state when I graduate, if I really want to teach. I have been hearing for so long that many many teachers are graduating with their teaching certificates and not finding work in the field. I believed it all, but have been holding out hope that maybe I will find work in Michigan, but now I wonder if I even want a job around here where I will be at the top of the list for layoffs if I am so lucky as to find that job.
It is a confusing time right now for me, and for many teachers around the area. I don't know where I will be in a year from now, all I have time to think about is where I will be tomorrow - it should be another great day with my second graders.


It is only Tuesday, but I have so much to share about this week already that it felt more like Friday!
Yesterday I took the day off from my class to take Kyle to his school across the state. It was very hard for me to leave him so far from where I am, but what he is doing there is important and I am proud of him.
I was not pleased though that the school where he is took so long in letting us know the move-in date, and when I did find out, I found out that it was a day well after most Michigan schools had begun (including both my placement school and the university) so that I could only drive him there if I would take a day away from teaching. I needed permission from my cooperating teacher and my university supervisor in order to take the day off, which I was only able to get thanks to Kathy. She told me and the supervisor that of course I was needed in the classroom, but that if I give 110% while I am at school, and there is a valid reason for me to need a day off, then as far as she is concerned I can take that day. Thanks to Kathy I did not have to put up an enormous fight to take my husband to school.
After the 2 1/2 hour drive home from Kyle's school I still had my first meeting of the one class I am taking this semester "The Writing Process for the Elementary Teacher". I was pleased with this first session, but of course there will be a good amount of writing to keep up with for that class which will need to be ready on Monday nights. The stress of this last semester is really starting to hit home for me. Not too much longer and I will at least be certified to teach!
Today went smoothly, it was very good to return to my students, they are each very dear and I love being in the school. President Obama made an address to school children, it lasted twenty minutes and cut our recess in half. And it was boring. I do not believe that my students were listening to it at all. In my opinion recess is a very important part of the day where children exercise, and unwind. I believe that children who have a hard time focusing benefit from it in a particular way, and I do not even like to use recess as a means of discipline. It is too important! So I was very upset that we were stuck in the classroom listening to a speech. Oh well.
The school year is off to a good start, and I am looking forward to sharing again soon!

You Can't Scare Me!

They came
They brought me an apple
I tied a shoe
I feel like a teacher.

The school is trying to scare me by overcrowding our classroom with special education students and very limited special education support. Half of our class has some nature of worry that has been identified, everything from autism, seizures, allergies to sun, nuts, dairy, etc., wheelchair needs, and partial blindness. Our class is swamped. Whatever their needs though, I have grown quickly to love each of my students, they are beautiful people and I will do everything that I can for them over the next few months.
When I greeted one teacher in the morning Friday she said with surprise "you're still smiling!" and I am. I love teaching. This is my life-long dream and I am going to embrace every good moment, and every trying moment. Many new teachers quickly leave their profession for other work when they realize what society expects of us is so much, with the desire to spend as little money for the service as possible.
Over this last week I have had opportunities to lead my class in games, and to see the big picture of what teaching involves. It is what I expected it would be - I am not quitting!

The Students are Coming!

I have been working in the school for about a week and a half, helping Kathy prepare for the first day of school, and tomorrow is that day!
I have been in school for four years now, and my education will really begin in the morning. We have a class of thirty students who I am looking forward to teaching, and learning from.
Today I need to figure out my first day of school outfit, I cannot tell you how excited I am!

Log September 2, 2010

As of yesterday it is clear that the summer is over and it is time to go to work. On September 7 (next Tuesday) our students will be arriving at the school for their first day. I am really looking forward to meeting all the boys and girls who will be in this second grade class, by all accounts they are a very loving group, so we will most certainly enjoy them.
Kathy has been diligently preparing the classroom and seeking names of students for the last week, and has allowed me to come and work with her as my schedule has allowed, there is so much to learn about setting up a classroom as the summer ends. I am pleased to have such a master teacher walk me through the process of setting up the room and preparing for the students. I am amazed at all the thought and energy that she is putting into making the seating for day one as workable as possible, so that we can start out the year with fewer conflicts. She considers everything she knows and can find out about the boys and girls and places them accordingly.
Our first staff meeting was also yesterday, and it was not very exciting and went well over the scheduled hour. I understand this is a rather normal occurrence, so on Wednesdays when I have staff meetings I will not be planning for an early dinner.
Our class has multiple food allergies and sensitivities (including my own gluten-free diet) so Kathy has made the decision to have no-food birthdays. For many reasons this is a good choice with such a large group of kids, but I am disappointed; being home schooled I never took a birthday treat, so I was looking forward to my birthday! I need to set the best possible example, so I will be positive about this decision.
Today was the first professional development day of the year, and I can see what a burden this requirement is for the teachers. These people came back from their summer vacations and have so much to do in preparing for the students in less than one week, but here they were stuck in a whole day of training. All this would be forgivable, but for the fact that the training was a waste of time. I went there hoping to learn something, only to have a boring lecture covering material that everyone in the room should have known already.
I am glade that I went to the professional development, because it was a good opportunity to meet a few people, go out for a nice lunch with Kathy and others. I also had a short chat with one of the other student teachers in my building, I am looking forward to seeing more of her during the semester.
This fall will be lots and lots of work, and I will know so much more on Tuesday, so stay tuned.