Thursday, November 1, 2012

Encouragement needed!!!

Do you remember your student teaching experience?  

I remember mine like it was yesterday.  I did half of mine in Kindergarten and half in 8th grade.  
My 8th grade placement was first and let me tell you---8th grade was NOT for me.   I remember going home just about every day in tears.  The kids were bigger than me, meaner than me, and way scarier than me.  It just wasn't a good experience....for me or for them.  I was not meant to be an 8th grade teacher.  

Kindergarten was my second placement and I'm pretty sure I skipped right into that classroom.  I was skipping with joy because I knew I loved the younger kids and I knew that I was meant to be a Kindergarten teacher.   I was sure it was going to be easy and fun and I knew I would love it.    I did love it.  But it definitely wasn't easy.  And it wasn't always fun.   It was hard work and it took me a while to get used to a room full of 5 year olds.   

Let's face it.  Teaching Kindergarten is STILL hard work.  It's not always fun.  And every year after my summer does take a little while to get back into the swing of managing a room full of 5 year olds.  :-)

I have a student teacher right now.  Today was a rough day for her.  I'm guessing that since today was the day after Halloween, today was a rough day for a lot of you out there!!   That's usually the way it is after kids stay up wayyyyy past their bedtime eating candy & chocolate.  LOL  Anyway...suffice it to say--- today was not a good day for my kids.  They were off.  WAY OFF.  As in....even the normally angelic kids were acting in non-angelic ways.  Seriously!!  

An 8:30am fund raising assembly (the day after Halloween!!!!!!!), may or may not have had something to do with this.  Just sayin'.  

She & I talked after school today and I think her confidence was shaken a little bit.   I'm sure she's feeling discouraged & frustrated and I hate that!  I really feel responsible for her feeling like that....because after all, those were MY kids that acted like that.   :-(   You can bet that my kiddos and I will be having a nice little chit chat tomorrow about respect and appropriate behavior.  

In the meantime, I think a little encouragement would go a long way right now!!  What words of advice would you give to a student teacher who was feeling a bit discouraged after a bad day?  What do YOU do after a bad day with your own kiddos? 

I would love to hear your thoughts!! :-)  


  1. I am starting my student teaching in the fall, but I have conducted observations in K-5th so I’m sure I can relate to how your student teacher might be feeling. I’m not sure if it is the same for your student teacher, but my school holds the cooperating teacher accountable for deciding at least 75% of the student teachers final grade. If you haven’t already, you may just need to tell her you understand what went on in the classroom and that you don’t believe it was because of her teaching or classroom management. She may just be worried that one bad day might reflect badly on her later on. I would continue to encourage her and let her know that even veteran teachers sometimes struggle through the day when kids come back from a holiday such Halloween. Good luck!

  2. I'm new to "blog land" and just now figuring out what a great place it is for teachers to collaborate and share and reach out for encouragement. I remember my student teaching experience and it was not the greatest experience for me either. I learned a lot from the whole experience, but getting to that point was a journey. I did mine in 7th grade and 2nd so I can relate to the big spread in grades that you experienced!!

    Please tell your student teacher not to give up after one bad day. If we gave up after one bad day, none of us would be teaching right now. LOL We all have bad days. Even some horrible days. But the great thing about teaching is, you get to wake up, go back into the classroom, and start again the next day. She will get to start with a brand new slate today and every day really. Oh and something my cooperating teacher told me years ago is that kids will love you no matter what. Even if you are strict and hard on them, they will love you. Kids need boundaries and will still love the teacher when they get them. Tell her not to be afraid to get tough on your kids, that's truly what they need to be successful. And yep, they will still hug her and love her and all!

  3. Let her know that when she is teaching there will be good days and bad so this is truly preparing her for her own classroom. Let her know that tomorrow will be better. Don't let one day get you down!

    Also, on a side note for when the kids are hyped up and such, I do yoga with my students and it helps to calm them right down. Whenever I notice we are getting a little too wound up, we "take 5" which is taking a big deep breath in for 5 seconds and then a big deep breath out for 5 seconds. We do that 3 times. But I also do some yoga poses with them that are specifically geared towards calming. I got my info from