I love Baylor's School of Education program.
As students, we have the opportunity to work in local schools during each year of college.
Two weeks ago, I began my first semester as an official Teaching Associate at University High School! I was placed with a great pre-AP class of sophomore English students, and my mentor teacher is incredibly kind and knowledgeable.
In my Teacher Education class, we learn the basics about effectively communicating instructions, wait time, asking higher level questions, and lesson planning.
But here's what the classes DON'T tell you.
1. High schoolers don't have a filter.
While you may think, "Yeah, I knew that!" Wait! Because you would not believe the jokes and comments I heard during my first three days.
2. Crazy, loud music plays every hour.
At University High School, an obnoxious, heavy song blasts through the speakers during the last 30 seconds of passing period. Students will RUN as if their life depends on it, and I don't blame them.
That music works like a charm, but I am so, SO over it.
3. You WILL jump right in.
On my first day, the substitute teacher allowed me to introduce myself and then asked me to make a key for the quiz they were taking. Talk about PRESSURE! Honestly though, if I couldn't have aced that quiz, I didn't deserve to be there. I held my own just fine.
4. You're always one step ahead.
My class is preparing to read "The Glass Menagerie," so I took the play home and read it overnight (in addition to all of my other English class readings). But hey, you can NEVER read too much! I'm loving everything I'm reading, anyway :)
5. Time moves 1,000,000,000 times faster during class.
Where did all the time go? I planned so many engaging activities and we only had time for ONE? What? Yes, I definitely need to make my watch and my alarm my new best friends. I'm working on it.
6. It's highly likely you'll oversleep... and then have car troubles.
I have NEVER, EVER overslept or unintentionally missed a class. The night before my second day at University High, I accidentally set my alarm to ring at 7 p.m., NOT a.m. Lucky me. By God's goodness, I woke up at 7:52 that morning and dashed out the door only to find a strange new symbol projecting on my car's screen. The beeping wouldn't stop so I had to pull over, call my dad, read through the manual when he didn't answer, and then I was able to fix the problem (not brave enough to admit what the "problem" was because it's really too embarrassing).
7. Your new ID card picture will not be your favorite thing ever.
But it's not like you have to wear your ID card every day. Oh wait. Yikes.
8. Every day is an adventure!
Even if you have planned an entirely perfect lesson plan, things are bound to rock your world. Get ready for a wild ride!
9. It's do or die.
Many mentor teachers (including mine) will hand you their presentation clicker and ask you to teach without any forewarning. As scary as it may sound, I'm learning and thoroughly loving this somewhat spontaneous teaching!
10. Your height is apparently of great interest to high schoolers.
Well, OK, so this one just applies to me, haha. In third period, an outspoken girl asked how tall I was after my introduction. I was somewhat glad she asked! I made a joke out of it and still established my place as a TA in the class.
I'm only beginning my third week as a TA now, but I could not be more confident in my choice to become an English teacher. At last, I'm able to see my lesson plans come to life, and I am one step closer to making a positive difference in my students' lives!