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Tuesday, April 26, 2016

No matter what.

My student teacher has about a week left in my classroom. I am going to miss her.

She has grown SOOOOOOOO much.

Today, when I unlocked the door and walked into my classroom, I noticed a number of things.

All the chairs and desks were neatly arranged.

The board had today's date on it, as well as today's agenda, objectives, and homework.

The only visible mess was the paperwork I left on the desks yesterday before I went home.

A Do Now for today had already been created.

Seating charts were completed and posted.

It looked ready.

It looked like I try to leave it.

She's beginning to experiment with scary protocols that require students to talk and move and think.

The lesson was well-balanced and paced. It incorporated time limits, homework use, small group discussion, a short quiz, modeling of reading, and modeling of answering questions about the reading.

It went well most hours, but more than that, she was able to adjust the lesson based on the needs of each group.

Her classroom management is gradually improving as she learns what battles to pick, how to follow through, how to project authority by acting assertive, and how to avoid getting sucked into power struggles. (All things I think I am still learning most days.)

Best of all, she no longer hesitates to make suggestions or ask questions.

Her confidence has grown exponentially.

I think she's ready, or as ready as anyone can ever be to launch a teaching career...

The icing on the cake came near the end of the day.

I was walking down the hall during a passing period, between 5th and 6th hour, I think, or maybe 6th and 7th hour. It doesn't really matter.

I parked myself outside the 9th grade office to avoid the traffic and student watch for a few minutes.

One of my more challenging young ladies came down the hall (without yelling, already a feat for her).

I asked her if she liked the book Speak they started reading this week.

She did the cutest thing. She lifted her chin, glanced right and left to make sure no one was watching, and nodded a definite affirmative. She might even have muttered "yeah."

A minute later, a young man who has consistently struggled with attendance and task completion, but who also consistently tests proficient came ambling along (at better than a snail's pace. Also a feat on its own).

I asked him the same question.

And he did the cutest thing. He lifted his chin, glanced right and left to make sure no one was watching, nodded, smiled, and said "It's cool, it's cool."

No matter what else my student teacher might have left to learn, no matter what she still struggles with or worries about, no matter what else she has gotten right this semester, nothing matters more to me than this:

She got some tough nuts to crack enough to read something...and admit to liking it.

That is a great thing...and if I had a hand in her ability to make that happen, that is a pretty good thing too.

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