The very first day that I went to Taft to cadet teach I was very nervous. I was nervous to leave the high school, to get in my car and drive to Taft. I was terrified to park and walk in. I thought to myself “Where am I going to park? ”,”Do we go to the front office first? ”,”What if they do not like us? ” I had all of these questions running through my head. So we parked at Taft and we walking in with the rest of the group. It was weird waiting for the doors to unlock, but as I was waiting I noticed the new doors they put in that were more safe and secure.
Once the doors were unlocked we walked in through the commons, up the stairs to the front office. They already had our sign-in book waiting for us when we walked in. I waited in line and then signed my name, grabbed my visitors pass, and walked toward the eighth grade hallway. I walked past the choir room, noticing they had new speaker equipment, then past the art rooms, to industrial tech, which I noticed that there was a new teacher there. I turned the corner past the art wall and I ran into Mrs. Smith. Mrs. Smith was my health teacher eighth grade.
I stopped and talked to her because she was one of my favorite teachers. After I was done talking to Mrs. Smith, I walked down into Mrs. Abraham’s classroom. She was sitting in there working on grading journals because it was her prep period. We got caught up, she asked how high school was going, and about the computers and Buzz. Once the students started coming in, I asked her what she would like me to help with. She offered me to do copies, so I generously said yes. I ended up making over a thousand copies, Mrs. Abraham’s combined with Mrs. Weiss’s copies.
While I was making copies, I ran into Mr. Smith, and at first it was awkward because I hadn’t seen him since I was at Taft. But he didn’t make it awkward, he asked how I was doing and I did the same, he asked what I was doing back at Taft and I told him I was Cadet teaching for Mrs. Abraham. By the time I got them their copies it was time to go. Being back at TAft was different because there is such a big difference between Taft and the high school. I had some issues once I started going to Taft regularly. The second day at Taft, I was used more like an aide. She asked me to take off the glue bottle caps and put vaseline in them.
And it was not just one new pack, it was three new packs and a half opened one. I did not enjoy that at all, I had marks in my thumbs by the end of the class. The next couple of days I did aide stuff again. I had to write her name on more than thirty pairs of scissors. Then, the next day I made more copies. And that continued throughout the rest of the days I was there. I would sit alone in the copy room and make copies. I would make copies for all of the teachers and not just Mrs. Abraham. It was my fault for not being more clear with her, and not saying that I wanted more time with the students.
I tried resolving the issue by going to Mr. Clauss’s class, but I couldn’t ditch Mrs. Abraham. I did work and help answer some of the student’s questions in Mr. Clauss’, but I still did copies first before going to his class. So they way I resolved the whole issue was that I stayed back at the high school on Thursdays and helped with play school. So switching to play school worked in my favor. I loved being with the children and watching them do their lessons. Most days I would play with Alaina because she would grab my hand and lead me to the sand box, or to play barbies.
On other days, I would pick up the room a little bit and clean up the snacks/lessons. I enjoyed coming in everyday, besides Wednesday’s, to play with the children and to bond with them. I remember one day in play school I was reading a book to the other big bulldogs because no one wanted to play with us and Evan ran over and I read the rest of the book with him and he was so enthusiastic and it made my day! We were reading “Pete the Cat I Love my White Shoes” I sung the little jingle that goes with it with him, “ I love my white shoes, I love my white shoes, I love my white shoes.
Evan’s happiness made me happy and I was glad that I got to experience that joy from something so little. I received a lot of direction in the first few days, but once I was there for a while, I started to get the hang of how play school goes. I was expected to make decisions, but not big ones. I had to decide whether or not the children played too violently, or whether the girls were sharing well enough. A typical activity that went on in play school would be the boys playing superheroes. They would grab their costumes and shields and play, every single day.
The best of it is that they were getting their exercise when they ran around and they were playing cooperatively, but the worst was when it would get too violent and someone would get hurt. Such examples like Emma getting hit in the face or Landon in the stomach or leg. It brings out the anger in the children when they get hurt. I feel like I was effective in some ways in play school. I affected some of the students in a good way. I could tell that some of them really liked me and that they I was growing on them.
I thought that my lessons helped some of the children, the ones that decided to do it. I think I made a difference, but not a dramatic one. I made them feel a little more accepted in play school and make them feel like they can come and play and want to actually be played with. The children would only leave their parent’s side if one of us were by their side ready to play and I think that it makes a difference in the child’s life. I learned that I like working with little kids and being around them. I have been experienced before with young children, but never like this.
I feel like I got to know some of them on a new level. I found out that I actually know how to work with children. Before play school I felt like I was not good with associating with children, but I feel good about it now. I feel like I can work with any type of child. I learned that I am actually very patient with children and that I learned my limits and how far I can be pushed. I believe that is very important to learn and I am glad I learned that about myself. I learned plenty of information about others as well, whether they were big bulldogs or little bulldogs.
I learned that some of these children have been disciplined differently, causing them to act different and respond to discipline differently. Ones who are not disciplined at home, thought they were exempt from discipline here. Which was not the case at all, we had to teach these children discipline. I have learned things about big bulldogs too, such as they will also need to improve on their listening skills. I feel as if ones who taught lessons felt the same way. It was hard getting the little bulldogs to listen, but harder to get the bigger bulldogs to help and pay attention also.
I learned that some big bulldogs didn’t care about these children’s education, even as little as helping them write their name would help them a lot in the end. I feel much more well versed in the education field now. I have learned how to teach small lessons to children, but also how to plan out those small lessons. It is not easy to plan out a lesson because you don’t know what to expect or how it will turn out. You always have those little doubts about your lessons. But you honestly have to just believe that everything will be fine and work out. My whole experience was not what I expected at all.
I did not think it would have ended the way it did. I had high expectations, but I still had a pretty good experience. I still believe that my experience is valuable, I would not trade it for anything. I had learned a lot through my experience that some people weren’t able to learn or did not learn. It could have been better from the starting point. I could have actually worked with a middle schooler or I could have picked a better model for me. My experience turned out just fine and I think that I will be able to use what I learned later on in life.