My day one was with Steven Polo who is in charge of 1 Honors Living Environment class and 3 Science 8 classes. I showed up the first day at 7:00 and was there before my CT (I am living up to my mantra of “On time, regular attendance”). With the way that the scheduling is set up at Wilson Foundation the first day was all about introductions to the students, straightening out their schedules and letting them know what the rules are. I was fortunate enough to meet many teachers including Mrs. P, Mrs. Wk, Mrs. T, Mrs.L and Mrs.Wr. Some teach 8th grade and some teach 7th grade but they all were very helpful in giving me advice and extending an open invitation into their classrooms whenever I wanted. Mrs. L is the cooperating teacher for children with special needs in Science 8th. She has offered me the opportunity to “help out” in her self contained class which will be a learning experience for me as well.
The students are a diverse group. They all seemed to have the first day jitters but they were very receptive to the fact that I was going to be in their class as a student teacher and were all very welcoming. Hopefully this is going to be the tone for the year.The LE students were given their portfolio folders and asked to add any designs that they wanted to it and make it their own. This allowed me time to go from table to table and comment on what they were adding which, opened up the first chance for me to start building on their trust. I was myself which allowed many of them to open up to me. It was good to be able to sit and talk with them so that they were able to learn about me while I learned about them. One student I enjoyed in particular because he wrote ” I don’t know what to write so I am writing nothing” and had this look of fear on his face when he saw that I was walking over to him. When I read it I just smiled and said that I liked it. You could see the relief in his eyes. I made sure to make my presence felt by walking around and commenting on everyones folder so that they can get use to me being there.
When it was time for the Science 8 students to come in they were staggered in groups every 20 minutes. This way they could spend a little time in all of their classes (Science, Math, English and Social Studies). My CT had the students write their names on a piece of paper and attach it to a wall next to what kind of inquiry based person they were. Some of the options were knowledgable, risk taker, open minded, caring, and balanced. As the students were working on this I circulated around the room and helped to clarify any questions. This also allowed me to talk to the students either one on one or in groups so that I could learn more about them. It was a learning experience for me as much as it was for them.
All said and done it was a good first day. I did not have the chance to see what they will be learning or my CT’s style of teaching but I was able to open up a dialouge with many of the students that I hope will remain open as the year progresses.
One last thing. My CT has a rule that if you forget a pencil or pen you can borrow one from him but you must leave him one of your shoes. The look on the first students face that forgot his pencil was priceless but he was a god sport about it. I do not think that many students will be borrowing pencils form him this year.