Hawaii public school student teaching advice: 2nd week of classes
Having survived the first week of classes as student teachers, you are wondering if you are in the right profession. You probably are. If you have lasted the first week without dying on your feet, going stark raving mad, or simply running away, you will probably make it.
A first year teacher recently said, “It was really bad, I was yelling all the time.” If a first time teacher (licensed, experienced, and getting a paycheck) said this, the first week of classes, is really a time of transition and can be rough.
Why does everyone say, “what did you do this summer”, to a student, when it is still summer? School started in Hawaii public schools on Aug 2- earlier than last year. Many private schools are not even in session until the last week of August. Unfair, someone might say. Yes, indeed, sweltering temperatures, schools without A/C (most children are used to A/C at home, and even sleep with it), summer months of Jun and July- with no school or just summer fun- and now, school!!!
The students must adjust their sleep times and waking times. Sometimes they eat much less when school is in session- no time to wake up early enough for breakfast, and forced to eat school lunch (not everyone’s favorite), then, being forced to sit down for hours at a time- no water or bathroom breaks- they are simply exhausted, unruly, and rebellious.
Imagine if our employers made us pinned to our desks every day with no breaks, penalized us (monetary ways for working folks) each time we violated a rule- speaking out of turn, moving, going to bathroom, etc.
Then, being forced to shove down great amounts of learning when one was vegetating in front of a TV set, playing with video games, being out of doors, or simply being with nature and being free.
Phew! This is a major adjustment. Then, what if the student is in K-12 for the first time, went into middle school (many Hawaii schools have grades 6-8) instead of the traditional K-6. Instead of being an elementary school student, one becomes more grown up and enters middle school with big people who are often scary and mean to new 6 students who are like freshmen. Then, freshmen entering a grade 8-12 school or a grade 9-12 school- not yet ready to be with nearly adult students.
Students must not only deal with academics, but possibilities of bullying, humiliation, anxiety, loneliness (if friends went to different schools), more independence (but more responsibilities).
Student teachers must make adjustment for all this, and also the fact that he or she is a teacher-to-be, new to the school and students, and has a rocky way of teaching and managing a classroom, even with a bonafide teacher in the same room.
Keep up the good cheer- time gets better- the student teacher is not the only one filled with fears, humiliation and loneliness, so are the students. Make friends, discover new pleasures in school. You only live once. Best wishes.