Well, it's my last semester of college! I'm about a month into it, and there's only about 2 and a half months left! I have been student teaching at Cherry Hill Elementary in a 1st grade Dual Immersion class. I have 32 students in the morning, and then they switch to their Spanish class, and then I get another 32 students in the afternoon. It was pretty overwhelming at first, and there are still some pretty stressful days for me, but I ABSOLUTELY love it!!!
I have the BEST mentor teacher (a mentor teacher is the teacher whose classroom I am student teaching in). Her name is Cortney Clemmer, and she is seriously so amazing. I have learned so much from her. She is an amazing teacher- I want to be like her as I learn to become a good teacher. She is also such an awesome person. I think she matches my personality a lot- she likes to be organized and gets things done quickly. I really admire her.
I have been extremely busy with school, not just the whole student teaching part, but I have a huge paper I've had to write. It's called a "Teacher Work Sample." I basically have had to plan a unit (planning for this TWS means writing a couple of big papers). Then I taught my unit, which happened to be on Healthy Habits. Now I have to just show how much the students learned from my teaching. It's been very crazy!
Not only do I have student teaching and my TWS to worry about, but I have been pretty busy as the Young Women President in my ward. Sometimes I feel like I'm trying to keep my head above water, but I end up drowning! My life is just so hectic and busy all of the time. I'm lucky when I catch a break, and I cherish those moments so much!
I know that I've said my life is super crazy and busy all of the time, but let me give you some examples of why I have been loving student teaching and this semester:
1. The students are seriously the cutest and sweetest little kids in the entire world. There is something about 6 year olds that just melts my heart. For example, the other day, I was walking down the hall, and one of the little boys in my class was walking right next to me. I greeted him, and he said, "Hi Mrs. Livingston!!" Then we kept walking for a couple of seconds (his little arms were folded and he was being such a good boy). Then he looks up at me and says, "Mrs. Livingston, you look very beautiful today." My heart melted a little when he said that, and I replied, "You look very handsome today, too!" Is that not the cutest thing ever?!
2. Cortney has been very supportive and so encouraging to me. I struggle sometimes as I try to teach and get across the ideas I want the kids to know. It's hard to take an idea you have and convert it into 6 year old words for them to understand. It takes a lot of thought and effort, and I'm not always the greatest teacher. Cortney encourages me and gives me new ideas to help me learn. It's great.
3. I'm almost done with my wretched Teacher Work Sample!
4. My pregnancy has been going great! I feel alright most of the time. Sometimes my back starts hurting or I just get super uncomfortable, but most of the time, it's fine. I feel my little baby kick all the time. She is very active, and I love it! I can't wait for her to come in January!
5. Greg has been extremely supportive of me. He knows I have been so busy with so many things in my life, and he has also been super busy with school and work as well. But he always tries to make my life easier by either making dinner, cleaning up around the house, or other little things. It makes me happy!
6. Let me just tell you some cute little things the kids have said or done:
-As Cortney was reading a book to the class, she got to a page that talked about how gross it was that a character picked his nose in the story. One little girl called out, "Wait, what's wrong with that?" I swear, I've seen so many kids pick their noses and eat it.
-As the class was getting in line to leave one day, one little boy said, "Teacher! I love you!" Then another little boy called out, "Hey Mrs. Livingston! I love you!" Then another little boy said, "I love you, too!" I just love them.
-One day, a little girl in my class came up to me at recess. She asked me if I was going to bring my baby in for them to see. I told her that I would have the baby in January, and that I would be out of their class by that point. She said, "Wait, you're leaving?" I told her I was. She asked me where I was going. I told her that I have to go teach another class in a few weeks. Her eyes got really big as she said, "Mrs. Livingston, I don't want you to leave." I'm going to have a really hard time leaving this group of kids, I can already tell.
-There is this one little boy who has a hard time sometimes in school. He really is such a sweet boy, but for some reason, he just struggles with the rules and listening to the teacher sometimes. It seems like almost every other day, he has a hard day. One day, I told him that I was so proud of how hard he was working, and that I loved him. The next day, he came up to me in the hallway, and without saying a word, gave me this huge hug. It was a great moment.
That's just a taste of the daily things that these kids do and say. I just love them. I love this experience, even though it's hard. I am very excited to be moving on from school and having my little baby, but I really have enjoyed this student teaching experience so much!