Tuesday, March 10, 2009

The Joys of Student Teaching Part 1

So I am just about to finish up my current student teaching placement which is in a high school in small town Iowa.  I grew up in a small town so I was happy to be placed in an environment that was similar to what I knew growing up.  Kids have changed so much since I was in high school, which I expected but not like this.  Kids have SO much to deal with these days, that it is pretty amazing that some of them even make it to school at all.

Not only do these students make it to school almost everyday they are also dealing with all kinds of other things going on and home, with their friends and their own personal problems.  In my 8 weeks at this school I have come in contact with students who have tried committing suicide, kids who are now special needs because of tragic accidents in their lives, kids with parents in prison, parents without jobs or money, divorced parents, parents married to spouses only a few years older than their kid, druggies, felons, you name it I've probably had a student who has dealt with it and I only have around 140 students in my art room over the course of two days...not good odds.  Most of the time you would never know that some of these kids are going through all this unless someone else told you or you took the time to talk to the kids.

Outside of these not so great things that kids have to go through, its obvious that most of them just want a little bit of love and attention.  I can honestly say I was scared to come into a high school building to student teach, but now I wish I could stay longer.  I have so much love for these kids, especially those I have built relationships with, that I wish I could stay longer.  Even though a lot of the times these kids may give me a hard time or act like they don't want anything to do with the art room, there may be one day that you know they appreciate you or they may say one thing that lets you know that they do care that makes it all worth it!

This scenario comes from one of my students who I am convinced gets his kicks off giving me a hard time (we'll call him T)
Me: Hey T, I bet you are glad that this is my last week here.
T: What?
Me: I said I bet you are glad this is my last week, I won't be back after spring break.
T: Really, that means the real teacher is going to be teaching then
His table mate: Well that wasn't very nice
T: Yes it was I just said I liked her better than the real teacher.

We all show appreciation in different ways...

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