Wow, it’s hard to believe that I am beginning my last first semester of my college career. I’d say school, but as we talked about in Special Methods there are a lot more first days of school in my future. I guess that’s what happens when you decide to become a teacher. Coming into this semester I’ve had lots of questions. There are still so many things about teaching that I don’t know, but after this first week of this class I can see that many of those questions are well on their way to being answered.
This week in class we started off talking about the importance of practicing what you preach. If you are continually telling your students that reading and writing are important you can’t not read and write with them. By not setting an example we are, in a way, giving students the idea that what we are telling them isn’t true. Actions speak louder than words. We need to be showing, not just telling.
I was so glad that Mary Anne asked about how to deal with required reading in the classroom. It’s something I’ve been wondering about myself. Especially in a state like Nebraska, where it’s very rare to find a school system that doesn’t have
a list of books that you are required to teach. I’m a firm believer that students should be allowed to read what they want to read. I don’t see why we continually force students to read books that are above their reading level, or simply aren’t interesting. I liked the idea of mini lessons for these books, but I question if one can really get away with that. With so many schools having the attitude that they do I’m not sure what I can do against that. I guess my worry is that when the time comes I’ll be pushed into a method of teaching that I don’t want to use, simply because it isn’t good for my students.
The research supporting the idea that students should have freedom in the reading lives is out there, but how do I convince someone to listen to what I have to say, especially as a first year teacher? I appreciate the articles that were given to us this week because I feel like I can add them to my folder of information. They give me something else that I can use to defend the way I want to teach. I hope as we continue through this class I will keep finding a way to provide those that might come against me with the facts.
I’ve been stressed about lesson planning, and covering everything a student is supposed to know. Talking about reading, writing, and talking really put things in perspective for me. It showed me that I’m stressed about something that can really just be simple. I think I worry that I won’t be able to be successful with in the classroom, and because of this I feel like everything has to be complicated. Simplifying this has helped me see that if we just make sure the basics are there it can go a long way for students’ success. I’ve already gained so much knowledge this semester, and I can’t wait see what the rest of the semester brings.