Sunday, October 14, 2012

High School...student teaching

I did my student teaching six years ago at the high school level.
It was weird. Or, unreal. For many reasons.
For one, I was twenty- one teaching, in some cases, eighteen year olds who lived in the same town as I did. I remember one Friday afternoon, unable to find a parking spot in the lot of my dorm, I parked on what we affectionately called "Ring Road" right outside my building. (The main drag was a circle encompassing the college) As I got out of my car carrying a thirty pack of beer, one of my students was playing roller hockey in our outdoor rink. Even though I still don't know if he or his friends spotted me, I was mortified. 

For other reasons, student teaching where I did was more unreal.
The school was at most three years old.
When the new building was being constructed, the builders and administration actually asked the art department what they wanted. There were four, five, six rooms for the Fine Arts department. One was dedicated to ceramics, another a computer lab, a second lab for graphic arts, two general art rooms and one jewelry classroom. I believe there was also one for fashion, a photo lab and another for life skills/ home ec/ earlier childhood education which was also lumped into the unified arts department.

There was also an entire de-part-ment!
I had two supervising teachers, there was a department head and two other teachers who comprised the art department. (Currently, our entire city functions... functions without a department head) AND all of these people plus the two student teachers had their own space in the teacher's lounge. Not to mention there was a refrigerator, microwave, coffee pot and dishwasher in the lounge in addition to a conference size table for lunch, office spaces and men and women's restrooms.

Having the opportunity to be supervised by two different teachers was great. They each had their own style and area of expertise. I was able to learn a lot about what I wanted and what I ... didn't want to be as a teacher. Since I was a part of various classes at the high school too, I was able to take part in the senior exhibit off campus AND the school wide jury-ed art show.

I left after four months with a great deal of knowledge, much more confident in my decision to become a teacher and even more self confident.
I was also exhausted.

The following two years, I struggled to get my foot in the door in any school system. After being hired two days a week at a parochial school, I quickly realized that my student teaching experience was not the real world. Thankfully, my position did give me the opportunity to learn about classroom management, developing curriculum and budgeting.

Now, six years later, I am back in a new high school, thankfully years older than my students, and learning the ropes all over again.

1 comment:

  1. When I got my first teaching job, it was in a high school. I taught many seniors in my advanced drawing & painting classes (including 1/2 the football team) and also in photography class. I was 22; they were 18. I was petite with long dark hair, and I looked younger than most of them, plus I was single. The drinking age at that time was 18, and I lived in a college town. In other words, I saw them ALL THE TIME when I went out to a bae, a club, etc. they would see me in class on Friday and ask if I'd dance ith them in the bar that night. Can you spell AWKWARD??