During the orientation meeting, I learned that I was no longer expected to follow BYU’s school schedule. Instead, I was to follow Jordan High School’s academic calendar until officially done with student teaching. I was also asked to anticipate my student teaching assignment to last until the final week of BYU’s winter semester. This news brought mixed emotions for me. I realized that I would need to go to bed earlier than I ever had as an undergraduate since high school started at 7:55am, and as a student teacher, I was expected to arrive at school at least thirty minutes before the first school bell rang. On the other hand, I also knew that Jordan High School took a week-long spring holiday during the first week of April. While my roommates would be hastily cramming for finals, I would have a week of rest and relaxation. Additionally, I could look forward to half-days, teacher work days, and district holidays—days-off that were not part of BYU’s academic calendar.
Arriving at Jordan High for my first day, my mentor teacher and I discussed a possible teaching schedule. I would take over his U.S. Government classes for eight weeks after two weeks of observations. These classes would be mine—I would be the teacher and the students would expect me to be prepared every day with lesson plans, learning activities, and assessments. This seemed an overwhelming task, to say the least. Thankfully, my mentor teacher gave me lesson plans that he used in the past, suggested ideas for a unit schedule, and practically planned my first day of teaching.
Last week was my first week as the teacher. Because U.S. Government is a one semester class, and because the second semester of school started the fourth week in January, my first day of teaching was also my students’ first day in U.S. Government. Again, I am the teacher, and they are my students.
The entire idea of having my own class still astonishes me. When I imagined student teaching, I imagined working as a teacher’s assistant. I didn’t imagine that I would actually be running a classroom all by myself. I would like to hear from any other student teachers. What have you been doing for your student teaching? How is the experience thus far? Your comments would be helpful for those preparing for student teaching.