Wow. It is almost over and I'm just beginning to write about the past month.
I have lots to write and lots of photos to share, so forgive me for the mixed up entry this will probably be. If I go through pictures, I will be able to remember everything we've done otherwise all the memories are just a huge blur. It has been one of the most fantastic experiences working in this classroom.
So, there is one student in my classroom with Autism and because of him I have really discovered the joy I get from working with students with disabilities. Not only have I come to this conclusion, but I also am determined to get my MA in Special Education. This student has opened my eyes to a whole new world. The sympathy I feel, the interactions we have sometimes bring me to tears I am so happy to work with them. He is a loving, special, caring, student and I will probably miss him most of all when I leave Janney School. We share a love of nature and animals and I just love to see his enthusiastic for the subjects. He calls me by my name now saying Ms. Cifelli! It is so heart warming to see him in class everyday. I will truly miss him. He is a one of kind soul that I will never forget.
In exciting news in the classroom. I set up an aquarium with the help of a friend. There are currently five guppies in it and we're hoping to add some more fish before my time is up there. I have learned so much about taking care of aquariums and the children absolutely love it! Ultimately I think some of the fish will be having babies, which will be another exciting thing to happen in the classroom. We are currently doing a unit on Habitats and the Life Cycle, so this is a good thing for the students to have.
We went on a Field trip last week to the Kenilworth Acquatic Gardens which was probably the biggest waste of time. It was down in SE and consisted of one lake, one pond and a few brown trees. Oh not to forget the geese. I don't know whose idea this was, but I suggest if you're planning a field trip to actually go to the site and look at it. It offered minimal education value for the students. It was cold and miserable that day and all we saw were some geese and a few tadpoles. It was supposed to supplement our lessons of plants, animals, habitats and life cycle, but the kids didn't find it interesting at all. I think they were more excited to just be out of school. To add to the miserably cold day, one of the students in my group fell into the lake midway through the field trip. I couldn't help but laugh. He was covered in mud up to his waist and while as a teacher maybe I should take it a little more seriously, I needed some comic relief from this field trip. It would be my luck that one of my students would fall into the lake. I still think it's funny.
I completed my two full weeks of student teaching a couple of weeks ago and looking back on it I'm pretty surprised I survived. I am a good teacher, I like the classroom, I love the students, but wow....HOW EXHAUSTING. At the end of the day, I wanted to just go home and sleep until my morning alarm the next day. I couldn't do that though! I had to grade papers, plan lessons and just plan for the upcoming days. Everything changes day to day. It made it hard to plan for the week. Planning assessment and following through with it was also difficult. During lessons, I worried more about how prepared I was for the next lesson. It was an intense few weeks, but I enjoyed it. I was able to spend a lot of time with the students and really connect with them not only academically, but personally as well. Kids share so much and I wish I had all the time in the world to just listen to everything they had to say. I am looking forward to my own classroom come the Fall, but I hope I'm not dead every night.
I will be updating again soon. I have to go fill out some paperwork for my last and final observation with Professor Thompson tomorrow. I am excited, but also very sad it's almost over.
Until next time...