Before I started student teaching this semester, I really had no idea what I was in for...especially in elementary. I thought I knew what I was in for, but everyday I learn more than from the day before.
1. The first day I thought the kids would like me. Turns out, they really didn't. They were closed off and unsure of me. I learned that I couldn't force a relationship with the kids and they would eventually come around in time. And they did about a week later. Even now two months later my relationship with the students has grown tremendously.
2. Showing your confidence. When I first began, I struggled with coming out of my shell because I was 100% out of my comfort zone. The students could tell I wasn't the most confident when I started taking over the class, but one day I decided I would just go all in or nothing at all. It was a complete change. The students were instantly more engaged in the lesson because they trusted me that I knew what I was teaching them. They grew to respect me more and I was more comfortable being myself in the classroom and with the students. Every time I come out of my comfort zone, I feel like I better myself as an educator!
3. Don't be afraid to ask for help or for feedback. I was nervous to do these things because I didn't want to feel like an idiot, but once I did I learned things I did good on and things I needed to improve. This actually helped with my confidence and being comfortable in the classroom because I was being told what I could do better. Feedback is so important. I've actually asked my principal to come and observe me.
4. There's seriously never enough time! Especially for weeks where there's a holiday, so many fun and interactive things to do and not enough time. Or when there's a really unit coming up. Right now we're starting a unit on time and money. I had so many ideas and things to create with the class, but there just isn't enough time to do them.
5. Lastly, don't worry about messing up. The kids don't know that you messed up as long as you don't say it, lol! Or if you do let them know and you can laugh about it together. They love being able to know that you aren't perfect either. Sometimes them knowing you make mistakes just like them, helps them start to trust you.