Take Two...and ACTION!
Day two, and I’m still alive and haven’t left teaching emotionally disturbed high school scholars for an easier job like crocodile hunting.
I’m up to six students, three angels and three devils; running the gamut of older student who left early to meet his parole officer to the blessed darling who handed in tomorrow’s homework…today. Amazing.
In addition to an exciting day of mayhem and teaching the same lessons from yesterday, I got a chance to meet my mentor. No, not the veteran teacher Ms. R who took me under her wing, but the Department of Education appointed mentor whose supposed to keep me sane. The school principal walked her in during the tail end of my scientific method lesson, making me backtrack a bit to re-teach the meat of the lesson so I could look good for the boss. Aside from that the mentor is a great boon, the missing piece even. True, I have a pretty decent network of people who care about me, and how well I do my job…From family in Texas, to my personal cheerleader at home, to my in-school mentor who lets me call her late at night when I feel defeated, and even the blogs of other New York teachers I read daily. (Links to the right!) However, in my Department of Education mentor I have unearthed the missing piece: feedback. She watched me during the lesson, and told me how I did, in detail. And I found that invaluable. To tell you the truth I feel like I’m flailing around in front of the class like I’m useless…and I can’t yet judge by the students if I’m making any progress at all. I know it’s much too much to expect in the second day, but I really don’t feel like I know how I’m doing. The feedback AND advice did much for my confidence, and I didn’t go home with a headache today.
Not that things are perfect. Not like they won’t be out of control tomorrow. But I have hope.