i suddenly, and randomly, feel like a real teacher. i was walking in from recess with my kids yesterday and it occurred to me that i am their teacher. i am what i set out to be so many years ago. i'm really doing this. not that i haven't been doing it for the past 3 months or anything, but something about this week made it really hit me and i actually feel ok about it. the surreal feeling is leaving and, while i know that i have a lot of learning to do, i feel like i just might be able to handle this.
it's strange to put myself in the same category as all of my previous teachers. we are colleagues now. i'm not sure how long it will take for that to really sink in.
it's also strange to really, finally process that my goal has been reached. i've wanted to be a teacher since elementary school. i spent 5 years of college working toward becoming one. now that it's here i feel compelled to assess what i am doing with that achievement.
i've got a ways to go to before i become my "perfect" teacher, but i really feel like i'm getting things under control. i still plan at the last minute and constantly change my mind about what to do next, but i think that i might always do that to some extent. i like to think of it as being flexible and sensitive to the changing needs of my class. the main problem right now is that i don't have quite enough tricks up my sleeve to be completely successful all the time.
that said, sometimes i completely win. today, for instance, i ended up doing my afternoon lessons (which i planned during quiet time) in a completely different order than i had anticipated, because they seemed to flow from our book and discussion after quiet time. and it worked out beautifully.
on the other hand, sometimes i lose. this morning, i changed my mind about 10 times before finally settling on center activities about 1 minute before the kids came in to start them. needless to say i wasn't quite prepared, which meant things got a little dodgy with the kids while i finished getting ready. then, of course, one activity didn't take nearly as long as it should have and another one was a little over their heads and it was just chaos. fairly educational chaos, but chaos. planning ahead would really make this time go much more smoothly.
all in all, though, i think we are doing ok. there are definitely things i could do better, but there are a lot of things i could do worse. and i feel like we are getting some really good learning done. the other day one of my parents wrote in the communication book that her daughter is learning a lot lately, which was great validation. moments like that can really keep you going. it's nice to know that someone noticed.