Well, the time has come and I have officially received my final evaluation for the internship placement. This evaluation really provides that opportunity for meaningful reflection.
I continue to think things such as:
- What have I learned here?
- What are my obvious strengths?
- What have been my challenges and where can I improve?
- How do I want my own classroom to look someday?
- How can I take everything I’ve learned into other teaching experiences (likely substitute teaching at some point)?
I will say this: I am pleased with my final evaluation and hoped that my strengths would be recognized through my teaching. I have had days where I have thought, “What am I thinking, middle years teaching can be so frustrating!” and days where I have thought, “Wow, these kids continue to surprise me – they are so awesome!” I have been challenged in regards to how I manage whole class, small group, and individual teaching. I have been challenged in regards to behaviour management. I have been challenged by students who refuse to do any school work, are late to every single class, and are overall disrespectful.
On the other hand, I have learned from so many of the students in ways that I didn’t even expect. Many of them are already critical thinkers – questioning things such as political issues and social norms, they are intelligent, they have huge hearts, and they want to make you have a good day. Teaching is nothing without the relationships. Students will respect you if you build that relationship with them. This is something I have noticed even with the most challenging students in my class. Take the time to say “Good Morning” or “What do you want to learn today?” I have realized that if the students know you care and that you actually genuinely enjoy being around them, they are more likely to reciprocate that.