Last week was my first week of practicum. I was excited, nervous and anxious to get started. I had only met my co-teacher the week before. However, she was great. I was so very lucky to get placed with her in the school library.
My first day, I definitely had a panic attack or two before I left my house. My hair wasn’t working, I was exhausted, wrinkles in my dress and apparently I had JUST realized I didn’t have a nice, business-casual jacket to wear. And it was pretty chilly that morning. I rushed out of the house, hair finally working, and drove to the school I would be spending my next few months.
I got there 10 minutes before the time I was supposed to. “Great!” I thought. What I didn’t know was that was the EXACT same time hundreds and hundreds of children were being dropped off by their parents. Parking was NOT fun and added a bit more anxiety because the clock was ticking. I FINALLY found a parking spot two blocks away and walked as fast as I could, but so that no one would know I was freaking out inside. If there is one thing to know about me that not many people know, is that I constantly have an inner monologue. I liked that Anastasia Steele from Fifty Shades of Grey calls hers her “goddess.” I would totally steal that, except my inner monologue is anything but “godlike.” More like…crazy. Anyway, I’m power walking to the school with arms flailing in the air and perfect curls bouncing around my head and it is 5 minutes past the time I was supposed to be there. EEK! A lady passed by me and says, “Buenos Dias.” Well, my first reaction was to say it back. “Buenas…um…Buenos Diaz…Dias.” Did I mention I don’t speak Spanish? And did I mention it is a primarily Hispanic school? Most of the children are bilingual, but there are a few exceptions. Anyways, I felt so stupid. My inner crazy was thinking, “Oh god! I don’t know if I said that right. What if she wasn’t even talking to me? What if she was talking to the person behind me? Maybe she thought I spoke Spanish. I said one thing. Who is she to know I didn’t speak Spanish? Ugh! I’m such a moron.” So, I just kept on trucking down the street and got there 5 minutes late. Thankfully my co-teacher is amazing and didn’t care.
My day consists of one hour of Kindergarten and one hour of first grade. Every day, I have a different class. Talk about overcrowding. There are SIX….I repeat…SIX classes of each grade. I only see 4 of each of them since I am only there Monday through Thursday. Four classes of Kindergarten and first grade, with 30+ children in each. I easily see about 250 children a week. I have a feeling I may not be able to remember some of their names. The good thing is, the majority of them are good classes. Tuesdays classes…not so much. But THAT is a whole other blog.
The rest of the week went really well and I was starting to get a hang of it, except on Thursday. I had the first class that was 98% Spanish speaking. Again, I felt so inadequate. I pretty much had the other teacher handle everything. At the end of class as I was collecting everyone’s papers, I said “Gracias.” At least THAT I could say, and I said it with complete confidence. That probably confused the kids a little bit because every time they asked me a question, I had to say, “Um, no speak Spanish.” Then I come out wailing a big “GRACIAS MUCHACHOS! ADIOS! ” as every one is leaving. They’re in Kindergarten and probably won’t remember the weird new teacher all of a sudden could say SOMETHING in Spanish.
Anyways, I tried to help the teacher whenever I could. She called me her “New favorite person.” It’s nice to feel appreciated even though she is the one doing me a huge favor and allowing me to do my practicum in her classroom/ library.
This is where I will be spending my mornings. This is my classroom.
Oh and…GO BLACKHAWKS! Hockey is back!!