My first week of placement has been SO MUCH BETTER THAN EXPECTED. I can't even express what a relief it's been.
My associate teacher has been incredibly helpful and supportive. She has given me day plans and week plans and clear outlines of what she'd like me to do. It's been such an awesome change from my last placement, where I didn't know what I had to teach until the night before. This way, I have a great idea of what I need to prepare before I even need to do it! And I even get nights off when I prepare properly. My lessons have gone so well and she really seems to love what I'm doing.
That's another thing- she has given me feedback throughout every day. Feedback! Completely unheard of during my last placement. While I really loved my last Associate, at times it felt like she didn't even notice I was leading the class in a lesson, that it was my first time doing so, because I'm actually a student and not yet a qualified professional, and I might want to know how I was doing and get a few pointers. My evaluation at the end of the placement was very positive, but that was a complete surprise, as I really didn't know what to expect! This Associate has let me know what I'm doing right and what I can work on. She is so incredibly supportive and encouraging, and it's helped me to feel SO much better about the whole ordeal.
And the class is adorable! I feel like an absolute meanie, because this whole time I had managed to convince myself that 10 and 11 year olds couldn't be cute. But they're precious! They have been so sweet and even greeted me to the classroom with homemade cards saying how excited they were for me to join the class! They're also including me in the Valentine activities tomorrow, and I've gotten a few comments about how I'm the best teacher ever! So cute! They have been so kind and caring already.
It's such an interesting age. They definitely have more sassy moments than the kindergarteners. And at points they seem to think they're too cool for anything and everything. But at other points, they are vulnerable and silly and childish and funny. These kids are also at a point where you can have real conversations with them! Imagine.
Overall, it's been a really nice introduction into the classroom. I'm hoping the next 5 weeks go as smoothly! Eep!