I absolutely loved teaching high school! I had such an amazingly educational and positive experience with my placement at Rocky Mountain High School. I thought that making connections with the kids and developing respect and good classroom management would be hard, but it came very natural to me once I started teaching. I have now realized that some of my strongest attributes as a teacher are developing positive relationships with my students and classroom management. Before this semester I thought those were areas I needed to improve on but I now know developing positive realtionships comes very easy to me and I really enjoy getting to know the kids. I also learned that students can almost never learn or enjoy learning unless they trust and respect their teacher. The phrase, "creating a respectful and safe classroom environment," actually makes sense to me now and truly means something to me as teacher. I have learned that I truly do want to teach art and show students that they are creative and they are an artist no matter what they think. I was inspired, motivated, and I learned so much this semester from the kids, from Kimberly Noel, Missy Wolfe, and my recitation. I have realized that selfishly I want to teach art to continue to experience this inspiration, but also to share that with my students. I want to instill in them a love of art and life-long learning! I cannot wait for more chances to do this.
What would you do differently? I would sit down with my cooperating teacher next time, if I had a chance, and plan out the whole semester for each of the classes. Our outline was so broad that sometimes I couldn't draw the connections I should have for the students and for myself. If we had an outline that we handed out the the students I don't think that they would have as many questions throughout the semester about what we are doing next. I would also have observed other teachers at the school. After observing on Wednesdays and seeing how beneficial it has been, I wish I would have done it more in Rocky. I also think that I would be more strict and push the students next time I am in a high school classroom. If I sub in high school or one day have my own high school classroom I will definitely keep the positive relationships I had with the students, but I want to be able to push them more and get their very best work out of them. I need to find that fine balance of keeping a good relationship and letting you push them to do their best.
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