Sunday, September 29, 2013

Journal Entry 9/29/13

Well, the sad news for today is that I have lost my journal. I cannot find it anywhere. I really hope I find it because I wrote about my entire study abroad in there and I worked really hard to try and write every day so I will be pretty upset if I cannot find that.

This week...

My high school students took their midterm test. Not sure how they did, but I will just say the students who worked to study did well, and the ones who didn't really do anything extra did not do really well. We did a light lab on Wednesday and Thursday, and the students (hopefully) had fun playing with glow in the dark stars, tonic water and UV light, solar bugs, and glow sticks. I was super nervous for the lesson I taught on Friday because I didn't know how to teach electron energy levels and excitation in a way the students would understand. Luckily for me, my mentor teacher has lots of good toys to help explain electrons and light. We started off the class with looking at atomic spectra with her lamp and of course the students loved it. I walked the students through taking notes in their book during the lecture to help them get a sense of what they should know and where to look to study for their next test. I then taught them about the atom being quantized by pretending to be an electron. My mentor teacher has a ladder and I climbed up and down the steps (that represented the energy levels) and then threw off "photons" (colored ping pong balls) to help show them that different transitions back to the ground state have different wavelengths and different colors. This also helps them understand that electrons can only reside in certain energy levels because it is impossible to stand between two steps on a ladder. and who doesn't love having ping pong balls randomly thrown at them? At the end of the lesson, I tied in some of the different types of light they observed in the light lab to help them make a connection between the lab and electrons getting excited. Even though I was super nervous about it, my mentor teacher said I did well and she liked some of the things I did. (Sorry if none of that made any sense... it's a lot of chemistry vocabulary!)

Student teaching has made me more sure that I want to be a teacher. I know even now more than ever that it will be a lot of work and the part I am most nervous for is being able to create a good classroom environment where students follow the rules and respect each other. I know this is the hardest part because usually teachers with an established reputation and practice are much better at this. But I know that once I establish this, I will love teaching. It's a perfect mix of organization and planning and also working with students. I was worried about enjoying working with high school students, but it really is not that different than working with younger ones. They are just as fun and they are way more well-behaved and easy to manage. They still say hilarious things that make me laugh (which will definitely be shared in a later blog post). I think the other part I will not like about teaching is the negative reputation it gets and all the dumb government stuff. Like how they are always trying to cut the salaries of teachers and imposing new standards on education that teachers don't have much say in. but that's a whole different thing.

I went to a meeting on Thursday with all the other students doing their physical science student teaching right now. Our teacher, Duane, was supposed to give us directions on our Teacher Work Sample, but he pretty much just bought us all pizza and left so I am not really sure what we are supposed to do with that. but anyways... free pizza pie cafe. I am not complaining!

I started working this week and I am excited to make some money! Saturday at the testing center was crazy and I ended up being there from about noon to 5:15 pm. woohoo more money! I am also working like 10 hours this next week. yay more money! haha I have not been making anything and it has been pretty bad. I need to start saving up for graduation since I will be on my own and will have no income (well, hopefully I find a good job... substitute teaching most likely). Plus, I love working at the testing center. I always forget that until I go to work because lots of awesome people work there.

Fun things I did this week...

Bradford had a poetry party on Tuesday. We went to his house in Lindon and sat around a campfire reading poetry. It was a great little London reunion (Emily, Lisa, Katie, Kaylee, Jared, and Heather all came. I think that was it). The poet was Matthew Arnold, who was from London and wrote some pretty depressing poetry. But it reminded me of all the good times we had randomly reciting poetry everywhere we went in England. I am so excited for the big London reunion we are having in November!  I got super London and Scotland homesick again this week, probably because I was dreaming about it. I really really really want to go back.

I went to the International Cinema Friday night for the first time. and watched the most depressing movie ever. It was about a kid whose parents were resisting the government in Argentina and his uncle and his dad died and he could never do anything fun because he was in hiding most the time. and then his mom died and he was taken away by the police and left at his grandma's. and never got to see his baby sister again. basically, it was so depressing. Then, I went to bed at 10:30 because I am lame. actually, I did that because I mess up my sleep schedule too much on the weekends and I am trying to fix that.

Saturday after work, I went to Keith's for a crepe party and only stayed for like 20 minutes so I could watch the RS broadcast. which was super good. Then, my roommates and I went to Walmart for some groceries and I just bought stuff I wanted to eat that looked yummy. Like Honey O's, the best cereal ever that you can only get at Walmart or Target and not at regular grocery stores.

One week until General Conference and less than 2 weeks til I go to Vegas to visit my family. I am pretty excited!!!

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Relief Society Broadcast

Favorite quote... and very timely for the things I have been thinking about! 

"There may be times when you feel detached -- even isolated -- from the Giver of every good gift. You worry that you walk alone. Fear replaces faith."

"When you find yourself in such circumstances, I plead with you to remember prayer."

-Thomas S. Monson. 

Thursday, September 19, 2013

student teaching

aka, the thing I was most scared for... Would I like it? Would I do well as a teacher? Will I come home every day overwhelmed and exhausted? Will the students like me?

Well, I have to report so far that it has been one of my favorite parts of college. I do miss learning and being on campus and in classes with my friends, but I love being at high school even more.

I am learning so much. Some days, I don't know how to explain things and I struggle. Luckily, I have patient students and a mentor teacher to step in and help me when things get tough.

I am amazed at how similar to working with 7 year olds at a summer camp being a teacher is. I do a lot of the same tricks to get students to pay attention and to get them engaged. I still have to repeat things a lot. I thought that high schoolers would be less likely to relate to me and look up to me, but I have seen that same thing in many of them. Students who ask me questions and want to know about college and what it is like. Students who say hi to me in the hallways and make me laugh.

I still have two months to go, but I know they will be a wonderful two months!