My student teacher got a job!
Not that I doubted she would, but still. Right?
Last spring, I wrote several proud mama posts about her.
This summer, we didn't keep in close contact.
I was starting to be a little nervous about it.
I knew she wouldn't contact me until she got something...unless she needed something.
And I hadn't heard from the other student teacher in our department either.
Then finally a couple of weeks ago, I got a text "I got a job at WGTG charter middle school!"
It was from my student teacher.
We arranged to meet for happy hour to catch up.
We also invited the other student teacher (she didn't make it, which made me sad).
It was still epic...
She is excited and scared and ready.
She will be the only teacher in her building teaching 6th grade ELA.
As is typical of many charter schools, she has been provided minimal guidance, curriculum, or materials.
So, we talked about curriculum.
I suggested a number of authors and book titles I thought might be a good fit for 6th grade.
I told her about a slang or jargon dictionary project I used several times when I taught middle school.
She told me about the objectives and titles she knows she has access to.
Then we had a conversation that warmed my heart and flattered my vanity.
During her interview, she was asked how she would handle a student who repeatedly asked questions and gave answers that weren't consistently relevant.
She said "I don't remember what answer I gave, but then when we were about to move on, I thought of you and I stopped and said 'Wait, scratch that!" and then I talked about using Popsicle sticks to choose who gets to respond."
Now, Pick-a-Stick is in no way, shape, or form, my idea.
But I taught her that.
She went on to say that when she was filling out paper work with her principal, her principal told her one of the reasons she was hired was because of her ability to think outside the box.
Her principal then cited the Popsicle stick strategy as her reasoning.
My student teacher looked at me and said "Really? Is that thinking outside the box? I didn't know."
So I explained:
The regular box is a big square. My box is up and to the left and only barely overlaps a normal person's box.
It was a good moment.
It made me feel pretty good.
It made her feel pretty good.
She is my fourth student teacher and the third who I have kept in touch with long enough to see her successfully launch her career.
With any luck, she will keep in touch throughout the year and I will get a peek at both her successes and her frustrations.
Working with adults, for me, is always a good thing.
It is how I grow, how I feed my soul, how I stay connected and positive and engaged.
As an added bonus, sometimes it seems to rub off on those I work with too.