The first weeks of student teaching

Woohoo! How great it feels to be doing something you love!

I truly feel that teaching is my calling, so it is so exciting to finally be student teaching. My first rotation is with Lindsey Davidson, the ESL Interventionist at McNair Elementary and EP Rayzor Elementary here in Denton. My master’s degree is in ESL Elementary Education, so I am delighted to be getting such great experience to one day apply in my classroom. I am a huge believer in teaching and advocating for ALL students, so I feel very lucky to be gaining the skills I’ll need to teach and advocate for an ever-growing population.

I’m only in my second week, and I have already learned so much! Some days I think my brain might overflow. I’ve been officially trained on LPACs and been able to sit in on one, observed oral proficiency tests, attended two Response to Intervention sessions, helped plan a station for the third grade reading festival, and learned all about blue folders and the other official paperwork that goes in to making sure all kiddos are being served in the best possible way.

And that’s just in our spare time: Mrs. Davidson and I spend about 95 percent of our time actively serving students! We’re pushing in and pulling out, and I’m starting to take the lead, especially when we’re pushing in to mainstream classes to serve our students. We serve kids grades K-5 every day, and I have really enjoyed getting to work with so many teaching and learning styles. Forget learning something new every day – I feel like I’m learning something new every single minute!

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Here’s one of those new things: taking a running record! Running records are vital for assessing students’ fluency and accuracy when reading a book. This is the first running record I completed by myself (math removed to make sure nothing is identifiable!). I love data and can see how this is such a valuable tool for all students, not just ESL students. This provides the data I need to target instruction for this student and allowed me to see that she was ready to move up a guided reading level. Mrs. Davidson and I then allowed the student to select new books on her level that she was excited about. Had she not been such a rock star, we would have had data to analyze common mistakes and have been able to hone our instruction in on exactly what this student needed. We also could have provided the data to the homeroom teacher, who could show it to an RtI committee if needed.

I can’t wait to see what I learn next!

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