Saturday, January 30, 2010

The One You've Been Waiting For

For all four of you who read my blog regularly, I have finally found some time to sit and tell you about what I've been consumed with for the last month, every day from 7:30 to 3:00. Student teaching. It is wonderful and embarrassing and exhilarating and frightening all at the same time.

My cooperating teacher is awesome. He is patient and understanding and helpful and creative. I love to watch him teach and then I try to copy all his techniques. He is a fantastic teacher and his students love him.

The junior high kids are a treat. And a nightmare at the same time. Some of them are jewels. They come in quietly, sit quietly, have their homework completed, answer correctly when I ask them questions, and then leave quietly. This is only a select few, however. Most of them are loud, rowdy, and obnoxious. And they are constantly testing me to find out where my limits are. I don't even know where my limits are. I can't remember anything about what I learned in Classroom Management. I'm scared to death of sending someone out in the hall and being met with defiance. Luckily this has not happened yet.

I have been almost stampeded to death three times.

The kids come in a wide range of shapes and sizes. Some of them are three feet tall, and others are seven feet tall. I cannot get over the huge disparity between the maturity level of the 7th graders and the 9th graders. 7th graders like to make weird noises with their mouths and put their feet up on other students' desks. I don't get it.

The students are most attentive when I tell them personal stories. So I have resorted to racking my brain every night and trying to come up with hilarious anecdotes that can somehow tie into my lesson. They also love when I drop things or forget what I'm talking about or trip over the cord of the overhead projector.

Because my voice must be at a higher pitch and decibel level for most of the day every day, I have a sore throat and a hoarse voice. I think I need to invest in a megaphone.

I have been team-teaching for two weeks now, and on February 2nd, Groundhog Day, I take over the classroom. Total domination. I am feeling apprehensive and underprepared, but I'm also excited to take on the challenge of capturing kids' interest for 80 minutes at a time.

I am now slipping words like "Bonjour classe" and "S'il vous plait" and "Ca va?" and "Oui" into my normal conversations. I was working at the BYU Bowling Alley last night and a guy came up and asked me if we had any open lanes. I started to respond with "Oui, et combien de personnes avez-vous dans votre groupe ce soir?" before I realized who I was talking to. Embarrassingly enough, this happens now on a regular basis.

I'm always amazed to see that when I teach, the students actually do learn. I present a new grammar topic, and then we do lots of practice, and then they can do it for themselves. I try to make it fun and interesting and something they can connect to. Facilitating learning is an incredible process to be a part of. Teaching is a frustrating at times, but it's so rewarding to see that students' knowledge has been expanded.

I guess that's all I have to say about student teaching for now. I'm having a fun time learning the kids' names and who they are. I'm being stretched in ways I never thought I would and I think and hope it's making me a better person. Certainly it's making me more patient. I'm happy to report I haven't thrown any erasers at any heads yet.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Cake Wrecks

I have recently stumbled upon this website and I find it highly amusing.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Cornflake Wreaths

I have made these stupid cornflake wreaths about five times in the last two weeks. I am obsessed with them. Mine don't look as cute as this picture, though, because I don't waste time decorating them. Sometimes I do blue, pink, or purple wreaths, just to shake things up.
If you want to make them, follow the same recipe as Rice Krispie Treats. Except add cornflakes instead of Rice Krispies, and food coloring, and shape them into wreaths. They are divine and you won't be disappointed.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

I'm Going To Have Nightmares

Russell and I just watched The Dark Crystal. I am already scared of Muppets. Everything about them and their Muppet ways makes me feel uneasy. This movie was absolutely terrifying. Jim Henson is a total creep. How on earth did Russell and his siblings watch this as young children? Be warned. If you stumble across this film, know that its freaky bizarreness is not for the fainthearted. That is all.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Highlights Of 2009

2009 is over. All I can think about is how much I love the way I write the number 9, and how sad I am that that opportunity will not come near as often as it did.
Some of my highlights in the last year include:
-climbing to the summit of Mt. Timpanogos for a second time
-seeing my best friend get married in the temple
-visiting Canada
-turning 22
-reading a lot of good books
-going horseback riding
-celebrating our first wedding anniversary
-trying yoga for the first time and enjoying it
-conquering the stick shift
-moving out of our first married apartment
-earning my first 4.0 GPA in college, then earning another one the following semester
As I think back on 2009, I am flabbergasted at how fast it came and went. I am determined to make 2010 last, and enjoy the special moments just a little bit more.