Wednesday, August 10, 2011

The waiting (is the hardest part)

So says Tom Petty, and I agree.

This  last year of my Master's in Teaching will be spent largely in field experience internships and, ultimately, student teaching. On the one hand I am really excited because field experience is the best way to really learn the craft of teaching, and I just enjoy the interaction with students (it is, after all, the reason I want to teach...make a difference for kids).

However, the wait for placement is excruciating. It is an anxiety filled time wondering how it'll all shake out. Will I be placed at a good school (good staff, morale, etc)? Will my cooperating teacher actually be, well, cooperating? Will my Field Supervisor appreciate my approach? Will the students respond to me in the slightest (my biggest single fear is this: the students will completely reject my presence and I will be ineffectual). For my first internship I was a wreck until I met my CT and supervisor. It was pretty good from there on, because i got EXTREMELY lucky on both counts (shout out to Mrs. Hannan and Mr. Hauge!). I've lost my amazing supervisor due to a great opportunity for him at another program, so I have to start over at square one on that front. This individual is make or break for a successful field experience and the supervisor/student relationship is a big deal. So of course I'm stressed due to my quirky and strong personality. Shockingly to those of you reading I'm sure, not everyone who meets me likes me right away.

A good field experience is built of so many factors, many of which are outside the teaching student's influence. This is what makes me the most nervous. I may have a high level of commitment and intent, but I am still building the skills required to be as effective as the student deserve. My own standards and expectations are so high for myself that I create pressure where no one else is.

I just want to do a good job.

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