I am both nervous and excited because in less than 2 hours, I begin my student teaching. For the next six weeks, I will be working with high school freshmen at one of my hometown's high school buildings. At the end of those six weeks, I will then student teach at an elementary school. Although I am earning my certification to work with students with mild disabilities, I believe I will be working with some students with more "severe" or "multiple" disabilities as well. I'll correct that if I am wrong though. I should also note that the teacher I am assigned to is someone I personally know, and is very nice. This should make things a little bit easier.
What do I hope for in the next 6-12 weeks? I hope to learn new skills, and gain insights as to what it will mean to become a good teacher of students with special needs. This includes learning more about the IEP process, which I am currently not as familiar with as I need to be. In addition, I hope to boost my confidence level that I will be able to become a teacher, and a good one at that. Although I know this is what I want to do for a career, I still have my doubts as to whether or not I will be an effective teacher in the end. The last teaching job I had as a preschool teacher was a nightmare where a) I never really had control over my students, and b) I was always arguing with my boss. Plus, I know several people who trained to become a teacher, but then changed their mind after horrible student teaching experiences. I will try not to fall into that pit that happens all to often to aspiring teachers. Rather, I hope to rise to the challenges that come before me, and to make a difference in the lives of the students.
While I was trying to fall asleep last night (earlier than I normally do), I did something I don't do that often: I prayed. I know it is strange thing for an agnostic to do so. But then again, as a Christian Agnostic, it is not that much of a stretch to pray. I may or may not be praying to someone or something, but it doesn't hurt to do it anyways. Anyways, I prayed not only for guidance and success in my student teaching experiences, but I also prayed that guidance will transfer over into everything else that is to come for me: marriage, the beginning of my teaching career, etc. As I mentioned in my last post, this is the biggest year of my life because it is the first year of the rest of my life in so many ways. And it all begins today. Wish me luck!