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February 9, 2011

Student Teaching: Week One Down…

Written By: Justin Nacarato
Category: Career Path
X First Week of Student Teaching

First Week of Student Teaching

Considering we had two consecutive snow days, my first week went FANTASTIC! I know the first couple of weeks are supposed to be spent observing, but observing is only half of what I need to learn quickly; I need to actually do things, too. I am very fortunate to have such an amazing Mentor Teacher (MT) that allows me to assist and observe at the same time. At the end of my first day, my MT asked if I would like to do the next day’s DLR (Daily Language Review) and Connections activities with the students. I definitely thought I could handle it. Unfortunately, we had snow days Tuesday and Wednesday.

First Week Student Teaching

When we returned on Thursday, I had an intimidating, yet, fun experience. All of the 2nd grade teachers had a meeting already planned for the day; therefore, all of the 2nd grade classrooms had a substitute. I was curious to see how the students handle having a substitute, and I always like to see other’s classroom management techniques. It went pretty well, for the most part. Aside from having a substitute, I knew I had a lot to do such as getting the students caught up with their DLR and Connections. Did I mention we had a mid-afternoon assembly? At the beginning of the day, I was thinking to myself, “How are we going to get all of this done?” From the time the students walked in until the time they left, everything went pretty smoothly. Everything was done and done well, except we ran out of time to have the students change jobs. All in all, since changing jobs was the only thing that didn’t get done, I think the day couldn’t have gone any better (given the circumstances)!

My MT and I started brainstorming lessons for my “unit” assignment. George Washington is going to be the topic and we already have some lesson ideas to get started. I think I am going to use a KWL chart as a pre-assessment tool, as well. I am excited to get started!

I was definitely feeling nervous and overwhelmed before I started. Now that I have a week under my belt, I am feeling more relaxed and confident. The objectives that I want to work on are: continue to build a strong rapport with the students and staff, teach and guide more lessons and activities, get a stronger feel for the classroom routine, and continue working on the George Washington unit and other lessons.

Looking forward to another SPECTACULAR week!


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  • virginia ott
    February 13, 2011

    Wow! it sounds like Justin is well on his way to learning how to be an A+ teacher. Keep it going.

  • Brittney
    February 10, 2011

    Congrats on having a successful student teaching experience thus far! I am also in my student teaching and have been for almost a month now! The time really is flying by and I am continually soaking as much information in as I can. You were absolutely right when you said in order to learn you have to actually jump in and do it!

  • KScott
    February 10, 2011

    I’m really enjoying following your experience, Justin! What a wonderful way for you to, not only reflect on your practice but, get timely feedback from colleagues. Thanks orrthe invite.

    (Still working on my Twitter status…)

  • Justin Nacarato
    February 9, 2011

    I began reading “Revolutionary War on Wednesday” from the Magic Tree House series this week. I am still debating whether to use a KWL chart or an anticipation guide as my preassessment. I plan on starting my unit next week!

  • Jill
    February 9, 2011

    A KWL chart sounds like a good starting point. The kids will really surprise you with their knowledge and their misconceptions. It will help you plan what to do with them during the unit. You’ve had an interesting first week!

  • Colleen
    February 9, 2011

    See, you have experienced and learned RULE #1 already…the need to be FLEXIBLE! Good luck with the rest, I have a student teacher staring in March.

  • Lori Ahern
    February 9, 2011

    I enjoy reading the book, “George Washington’s Teeth” by Deborah Chandra and Madeline Comora. It is based on actual events and is written into a wonderful poem. At the end of the story is a timeline of important events from George Washington’s life from his own letters, diaries, and accounts. Enjoy your Student Teaching experience!

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