Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Things I DIDN'T learn when student teaching...

I am writing this for all of the future professionals out there. To all the students out there in a physical education program. Now, please do not let the title of this post throw you off. There are just some things no class can prepare you for.

The picture you see to the left, is a picture of Andy from Toy Story 3. He's giving up his toys because he can finally let go of them. He's moving on to the next chapter of his life. During my second student teaching placement, I developed relationships and very solid rapport with a majority of my students. They talked to me about everything! For 8 weeks straight, YOU are their teacher. You get used to routines and schedules. You form bonds with faculty and the students. For me, I truly felt as though I was getting paid to come in everyday and teach my students. My host teacher asked me at the end of my experience if I felt as though the classes were actually mine. I replied with a yes and he explained to me, "you know you've done a great job teaching and made an impact/connected with the students, when the classes feel like your own". For me, I couldn't let go. I helped coach modified wrestling during my time as a student teacher and I continued to help coach just because I loved interacting with the kids and seeing them develop due to the things I was teaching them! I had developed such a great bond with these kids that I didn't want to think my time with them was over. I wanted to be there until the end of the year to help guide and teach them things to be successful (not just in the classroom but life). Well their break was over and today was my first day back coaching. As I talked with my former host teacher today after the practice, I realized my time with "my kids" was over. I could finally "let go".  It wasn't due to boredom or anything along those lines but I felt as though it was time for me to focus on the next chapter in my own life. I will be starting graduate school soon but even besides graduate school, I felt a sense of completeness after today's practice.

So what I'm trying to say is that eventually we all are going to have to move on. As educators, if you're truly passionate about what you do and truly care about the well-being of your students, it's not going to be easy to just say goodbye and move on. You're going to want to continue to teach your students and make sure they stay out of trouble and hear all the crazy stories they tell. It's hard to let that all go. There's a quote I used for my online portfolio that says teachers are like bridges, we teach and care for them, allowing each student to cross over us and once they have crossed us, we joyfully collapse encouraging them to create their own bridge. Well folks today, I was finally able to collapse... don't be afraid to collapse.

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