Remembering Everything, How to Not Forget Anything

Well hello everyone, I have to say I am ecstatic! Yes, I am. I drove home today repeating the words “I taught a class today!” Of course it went to music, more like a nursery rhyme. In the past I have taught before for college, but today was different. Today was my start in a new career. I am now being called the teacher-not just a student teacher.

Because this is my last and final semester of college, and my job this semester is to teach, not practice teaching as before, but teach. I am learning along the way what works best of course, especially because I never had the opportunity in my college to student teach with young ones. Our only opportunity with young ones was in the beginning, in a class called TLC I, I think, and we were in a regular 3rd grade classroom. We were doing math, English, science, whatever. What that has to do with art is beyond me, but that is what the college does.

I think because I have a child, and have been volunteering at my daughters school for years it came easy to work with the young ones. My co-operating teacher is a lot like me, she takes no nonsense from the kids and is a lot of fun to work with. Also, she has a lot of great ideas and strategies for me to learn from, which comes in handy for a new teacher. It is always great to have a mentor.

She explained that she will start me out with 3rd grade today, Monday we will throw in the 2nd graders and by next Thursday, I will also have 1st graders, and finally by the 30th I will be teaching the whole school. I really like the way she is scaffolding the classes, so I don’t get too overwhelmed.

Now I also have to do a Unit Plan with my one grade for EdTPA, and a video, and TASKS 1,2,3. Oh gosh, it is a lot to do. Also lessons need to be handed in one week before I start the lesson.

So, for EdTPA I decided to do a Unit on “All About Me” I feel it’s a great way to start the year and should allow me to see where the kids are at. I wanted to start the unit by doing the mini monochromatic self portraits by Cassie Stephens, but because I wasn’t starting until the 2nd week, we couldn’t do it.

Instead of the mini self portraits I decided to do Amedeo Modigliani self-portraits in chalk pastels with the 3rd graders. You can see my Bulletin Board set up. My first day I had two 3rd grade classes at the end of the day and boy did I learn a lot and forget somethings. And I was sweating ALOT!

So this is what happened, my first class was awesome, I introduced myself, explained that I am from Rowan University and that I needed help from them in order to become a teacher. When I handed out the assessment I read off each question and explained that if they didn’t know something to actually write “I don’t know” this will let me know and my teacher know that they don’t remember or never learned about the question being asked. Also, I explained it was NOT a test, no one is being graded. They were happy to oblige, and we were done the assessment in 5 minutes. I had little helpers hand out the assessments and pencils as well.

Next I moved on to explaining about Amedeo Modigliani and about the lesson itself. I forgot to mention the actual learning objectives, even though they are on the board. I showed examples of elongated necks, and faces. Ask them what the differences where, trying hard to get them to actually understand the concept of abstract and realism. They did amazing. Next I called table colors to grab their supplies, but forgot to mention to pick up mirrors. So they did not use mirrors for their SELF-portrait. I went step by step on how to fold the paper, had them draw in pencil their faces, and had them put their name and room number on the back. Class was done. YEA!

Class two, was just as easy, except this time I remembered the mirrors, but forgot but later in the lesson, so I had them go back and get them, which made me just wasted another five minutes. This class had a lot of trouble with the folds. As with both classes I went step by step and had the students raise their hands and tell me where their eyes where, I always use models, it makes it more silly. Then the mouth, and so forth until we are done the whole face. I had to explain that this week we only have enough time to do the pencil, and next week we can just jump in and start the chalk.

After my 2nd class, my day was done. My co-op came up and said “Well, how’d you think you did?”. I made this face and said “Ehh”, which she laughed at. She told me that I actually did a really good job, and she said that I have nothing to worry about because the kids simply love me. That was the greatest feeling ever. But her pointers are very important and I must share them with you.

First she said, 3rd grade are smart enough to show them how to fold the paper and then tell them, go get the paper and go and fold it. Don’t do step by step. Then she said, try to remember to have them get all the supplies at once to make it quicker and easier. So she basically said  tell them to go to the supply table pick up the black paper, a pencil and a mirror and write your name and room number on one side. Then, start folding your paper like I just showed you. Now let me remind you, she has them trained to be able to do this since Kindergarten. She starts slow, one step and then each grade she adds a step. By 3rd grade she gives them everything.

So for my first time at taking over completely I didn’t do as bad as I thought I did. And I learned some good tips. Keep coming back and I’ll let you know how my journey is going.

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