Monday, January 25, 2010


I taught my second lesson today. It went much better than the first although I still feel a bit overwhelmed. I pulled out my teacher voice today and I have to say it worked amazingly well with first graders.

Over the weekend I was feeling a little bit confused and frustrated. I DO feel called to be a teacher. It has taken me a lot of prayer to figure out that this is what I want to do with my life and I do feel like it is the right fit. However, it seems more recently I have come into contact with SO many negative teachers. Every time I am introduced to someone as the “student teacher” they always ask me “is this really what you want to do?!” I was thinking about it a lot over the weekend and I can’t remember a teacher (apart from one retired teacher I know who was a missionary in Guatemala for 16 years) who encouraged me and told me that they loved their job. The teachers I meet are negative and burnt out. It is very sad. What I am realizing is that teaching is hard! There are parents to please, kids to care for, administrators who have unrealistic expectations, the pay is low, and the hours are long (even though teachers have off the summer they seem to work just as many total hours throughout the calendar year as any other job).

What I am praying for is that I will continually remind myself that I am not becoming a teacher just to have a job. I want to be a teacher because that is what God has called me to do! I am sure teachers would hear me say this and think I was being idealistic and I’m sure this is what they expect to hear from brand new teachers. Please pray that during my student teaching I will gain confidence as a teacher and that it will become easier and more natural. Please pray for the teachers that I interact with, that they will be encouraging. And please pray that I will continue to know why this is the career that I have chosen and that I will remember what a unique opportunity I have to impact the lives of my students.

Friday, January 22, 2010

One Lesson Down…974,873,297 to GO…

Today was the first time I taught an entire lesson that I planned all on my own! I loved planning the lesson and I enjoyed teaching it too. I did learn that I have work to do on classroom management :) The kids were having fun and were very excited, but once I started asking questions I had a hard time getting them refocused. The classroom teacher told me I’m not mean enough. So hopefully I can get a little “meaner.” After I taught the lesson I had the kids make life size skeletons. They turned out super cute.

Here are some funny comments the kiddos made…
(After I showed some real X-rays to the kids) “Miss Stephens, are you a Doctor?”

“Miss Stephens, how did you learn all of this stuff about bones!?”

(I asked the kids what a marionette was because it was in a book that I read. Keep in mind that these kids are only 6. This is the answer one of the girls gave me.) “A marionette is like a puppet, but you don’t put your hand in it. It is on strings and you hold it by these two crossed sticks, and you can make it dance around and stuff.” ( I was thinking…WHAT! I could not have explained it any better :))

Next week I’ll be teaching social studies every day. I am SO thankful to be with the classroom teacher I have to guide me. She is wonderful! If I can be half as good as her I will be so happy. I do feel a little overwhelmed with the thought of completely taking over the class. I know this is a great experience though and I’ll come out having learned a ton! And hopefully having gained better classroom management skills. That is the scariest thing to me about teaching. The kiddos make it all worthwhile though :) I just adore them!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

First Funny Story

I began student teaching yesterday and the first couple of days have been great. I LOVE the class of first graders I’m working with. They are a VERY smart bunch. I will be teaching my first lesson to them on Friday. I’m teaching about bones…the anatomy class I took last Spring should be helpful!

So here is my first funny kiddo story:

Teacher: “Boys and girls your spelling words for the week have the ‘dr’ sound at the beginning. Do you know what letters make the ‘dr’ sound?”

Kids: “D-R!!”

Teacher: “That’s right! And can you tell me some words that begin with D-R?”

Kids: “Drape, Drink, Drag, Dress, Drum…”

Funny Kiddo: “Drawe”

Teacher: “What? What is Drawe?”

Kiddo: “Ya know…drawe”

Kids: “Oh he means like draw the curtains shut.”

Funny Kiddo: “No no. Not like curtains. I mean DRAWE! (gestures down)”

So the teacher looks at me and is like what?! And I point to my hip and say drawers.

Teacher: “Ohhhhhh! Like underwear!”

Funny kiddo: “YEAH! Drawes!!!”

Teacher: “You’re saying drawers. Haha. Yes, that is a word for underwear or for drawers that we pull out of a dresser.”

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Revelation 21

What has happened in Haiti makes me so sad. It is unbelievable to me that an earthquake like that could even happen. And of all of the places, the most impoverished country in the western hemisphere, in the most populated city of the country, was where it hit.

I believe God is in control, but I don't pretend to understand it all. I am reminded by my dear friend Alex, who holds Haiti close to her heart, to cling to Revelation 21.

'Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more. And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, 'Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God. He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.'"

A friend of mine from FL is a missionary in Haiti. Here's his blog.