Today Archana and I set up our classroom and did our weekly plan for the first week of school. Its weird to think that I'm going to spend my entire year with this person I've barely met before, but I actually feel great. Through casual conversation, we shared our views on a lot of teacher-related things such as home-work balance, and found we had a lot in common.
What a relief! The biggest thing I was worried about was not getting along with my mentor teacher, then having to just 'get through' the year, instead of enjoying every day of it.
I AM SO EXCITED!
I feel comfortable with Archana, and know that she respects my opinions and I can be honest with her. During our weekly planning for week 1, I suggested going outside two mornings for the team bonding activities, and was praised for thinking of that and getting the kids to do something different. Yay, positive praise and support. It may seem weird that I am celebrating that, but on practicums I have had quite a different experience with my AT's...
We put things on the wall of the classroom and tidied up things, I printed lettering for the wall off her laptop (another small thing I celebrated, that my AT's have prohibited in the past), laminated them, and put them up. The rest of the wall display stuff is Archana's, but I would use the same stuff myself so great!
One gem from today's conversations happened when we were planning for next week. I was checking with her 'can they do this?', 'how long will they take to do this?" etc, as my last practicum was with intermediates and so I am a bit out of sorts with year 4 students. I was surprised that some of our students won't be able to tie their own shoelaces. In my mind, that is something you learn as a 5 year old. That really got to me.. Archana reminded me that there will always be things that your students don't know that surprises you, always. But for you as a teacher, that's just one more thing for you to teach. Think of it in a positive way, that because this student lacks this piece of knowledge, they actually have more of a gap for you to cover, so you are able to teach them more and grow them more, in the same amount of time. It's all about perspective..