Hi everyone! The other day I got to go visit the early childhood classroom that I will be student teaching in for the first five weeks. It didn't start out so well... I was already so nervous about going there, so I got up super early to get ready, found the directions on Google Maps, and left myself plenty of time to get there. Google Maps said it would take me ten minutes, so I left twenty minutes before I needed to be there. And the directions were wrong! They led me to a place that had a similar address, on a street with the same name, in the same town... but on the other side of the town. I had to pull over and try to use the not quite dependable GPS system on my cellphone. So I was twenty minutes late! Not the best way to make a good first impression! At least it didn't happen on the actual first day of student teaching. The teacher, Mrs. Wing, was understanding and barely seemed to notice I was late, so that part was good.
I spent the time just observing. The kids were so tiny... and that was just the morning class! Mrs. Wing explained to me that the afternoon class children were even younger. The children can start preschool when they are two or three years old, and stay in preschool until they are five or six and are ready for kindergarten.
When I was in Mrs. Jones's class I felt sure that second grade was going to be my grade... but now I'm already falling in love with early childhood! That's always how its been for me. Whenever I start working with a new age group, I start thinking that age group is awesome. For instance, back in my days as a day care worker, I thought I'd be uncomfortable working with tiny babies, until I got assigned to the baby room and learned that the babies were so adorable and cuddly and fun!
Ihile I was there the kids had "choice time" where they got to play in whatever areas of the room they felt like. Meanwhile the teacher and aide sat at different tables, and called children over to do little assignments with them. They were doing a snowman theme (although ironically there hasn't been any snow here) so at one table they were making a little snowman counting book with number stamps, and at another table they were pasting sequencing cards about making a snowman.
One thing I noticed was that Mrs. Wing has a really hurried, brisk way about her. I can tell she definitely loves the children and loves her job. I can tell by the way that she smiles at them, touches their heads, and talks to them. She would say things to me like, "Pewee tries to get away with things because he thinks he's so cute... which he is!" However the way she talks to them is also more hurried than I'm used to. Its hard to explain... just not as gentle and upbeat as I would expect an early childhood teacher to be. Of course this was only in an hour and a half of knowing her, so my impression could be all wrong!
I am interested to see how my five weeks there will be. Interning is different from student teaching. As an intern I will be mostly assisting, and I'll have one major project to do. I kind of hope Mrs. Wing will let me get more involved than just observing and hovering around the room listlessly though... I would love the chance to plan some activities or something! We'll have to see how it goes.
Thats it for now. On Tuesday I have to go meet with the teacher for my ten week student teaching placement, and then next Tuesday I start my internship!