The Thing About Student Teachers

Every once in a while something happens that makes me think, “Sh*t!  Maybe I should give up on this whole writing thing and just focus on teaching instead.”  Then, without fail, something else will happen— something that makes me think, “Hmmm… maybe I should quit teaching and just focus on writing.”

Given that these “things” always seem to happen in pairs (thereby cancelling each other out), I’m trying to ignore them and embrace the fact that I will always write and I will always teach and there’s no point in trying to change that.

But yesterday another something happened—teaching-related this time—and I almost lost it right in front of my students.

I teach fourteen classes on Mondays and Tuesdays and I have a student teacher for one of them.  I’ve never had a student teacher before so I’ve been trying really hard to make sure it’s a positive and at least semi-productive experience for her but with so many students in the class, I sometimes forget all about my student teacher.

Nonetheless, she’s been a huge help this year and she’s quick on her feet.  I’m starting to give her more and more responsibility and even when I forget to warn that I’ve decided to let her lead the first of the warm ups or the final call-and-response, she’s pretty quick on the uptake.

Last night, I was feeling pretty guilty about the fact that I’d let one snarky comment keep me from making my usual chocolate covered pretzels for Valentine’s Day, especially after one of my particularly effervescent six year olds presented me with a rose and a box of chocolates.  And, as if that wasn’t bad enough, my boss’s daughter came running up to me to give me a tube of M&Ms covered in stickers.  To add insult to injury, when I asked her class for a volunteer to demonstrate one of the steps we’ve been working on, the lone boy raised his hand and told me, “Actually, I wasn’t raising my hand to do the step.  I just wanted to give you this.”  He proceeded to pull a bag of wrinkled up Sweetarts from his pocket.

Could we possibly get any cuter?

Needless to say, I was feeling like The-Worst-Teacher-in-the-Universe by the time 5:45 rolled around.

Fortunately, 5:45 coincides with the arrival of my student teacher.

Usually she just slips into her tap shoes and heads up to the front of the classroom but last night she intercepted me as I was going through my lesson plans.

“I was wondering,” she began, “can I give these to the kids at the end of class?  For Valentine’s Day?”  She produced three bags of red and white, heart-shaped lollipops.

“Of course!” I replied.  “That’s really sweet of you.”

Did I mention that my student teacher also happens to be one of my students?

Well, she is.

Which means I don’t have to be The Greatest-Teacher-in-the-Universe all the time.  I just have to train my minions well and send them out into the world to do my bidding.

9 Responses to “The Thing About Student Teachers”

  1. Zak

    You know how you consider giving up teaching or writing to do the other? I frequently think about giving up everything to swing on a hammock and drink for a living in the Caribbean. I still haven’t figured out what’s stopping me.

  2. chauffeur

    I have met guys who chose that career path Zak, But they all end up really old really early. Best to visit that career when possible, sort of a part time job “swinging and drinking”, instead of a full time gig, LOL
    Also, Nice Post Kat, made me smile to read it. 😉

  3. GirlAstray

    Cute 🙂 Now I feel sad for the student teacher; did she get anything?


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