Kelly Delie, Green Bay, Wis., is a Special Education Cross Categorical Major, who will spend her first nine weeks student teaching at Chappell Elementary in Green Bay, WI. She will be teaching 22 students between first and fifth grade with different disabilities, including those with learning disabilities, cognitive disabilities, emotional and behavioral disabilities, and autism spectrum.
Delie will spend her second nine weeks at Oshkosh North High School. Follow along, as she shares her experiences throughout the semester.
My first thoughts of Student Teaching were those of someone who were completely terrified. I didn’t want to go through with it. I am so worried and scared that I wouldn’t be good at it. In all honesty, I was afraid to fail. I was also scared that I just wouldn’t like it and have to face reality that I wasted five years of my life getting a degree that would no longer mean anything.
After completing my first week of Student Teaching, I no longer had any of those feelings. I love my placement. My cooperating teachers are amazing –yes, I have two! Technically I only have one, but two Special Education teachers share the same room. They thought that it would be great for me to see their differing teaching styles. I am loving both of them. They are excellent teachers. They connect well with the students and other staff, but in different ways. It is actually really awesome to see.
My first week was great! I got to know all my students. I know all their names by heart and am beginning to connect with each of them. I am also starting to build a relationship with other teachers, professionals, and student teachers in the building. The people here are great!
The hardest part of the first week was getting to know my schedule. Special Education schedules are not always the most clear. We have a “resource room.” Basically we pull our kiddos out to teach them reading, writing, math and social skills. We also do push in, which basically means going into the general education classroom. I am still figuring out my schedule. It will probably just take some getting used to. Basically, my first week taught me one thing already – I want to be a teacher. No if’s. No but’s. No worries. No insecurities. I think I shook them all out. I was just paranoid and took it to the extremes. Hey, that’s just me. I cannot wait for the next 8 weeks ahead of me!
It is my second week of student teaching and it is still going very well. My teachers are awesome. My kiddos are awesome! I am making more and more connections with other teachers and professionals in the building. The more willing I am to be open and converse with others, the more they open up to me and give me advice and share their experiences.
I had quite a bit of a surprise Monday morning. My cooperating teacher was out sick, and I was asked if I wanted to teach. I was hesitant at first, but I knew it would be a great experience if I did it. I accepted the opportunity, and taught my cooperating teacher’s lessons. My other teacher and paraprofessionals were in the room. They let me do my thing, but helped when I needed it. It was honestly one of the best experiences just to be thrown into teaching. There was little time for nerves, which is perfect for me, because I have been extremely well known to let my nerves take over during my lessons. Luckily, the day went smoothly for the most part. The kiddos were great! They were very willing to tell me the order of the day and class. They were very helpful and excited that they could help.
This week I took over my first class. It was a reading class with three students. It sounds easy since it was only three students, but each student was at a different level for reading. I had to make two different lessons. One lesson was specifically for one student, and the other lesson was for the two students. It went really well. At first it took me some time to figure out the pacing to get through both lessons in the 30 minutes, but it naturally came together.
Friday night I was asked to go to dinner with my teachers and a few others. I was thrilled, because I felt like I belonged. Yes, that sounds corny, but it truly felt that way. Dinner went great. We all talked about school and some upcoming activities we could do for school assemblies. I am really happy I had the opportunity to get to know my teachers and others in a different setting.
Next week I am starting to take over two more reading classes, two social skills classes, and a writing class. I am pretty excited! I have been planning all week and weekend. I feel very ready. Wish me luck…