Today after school I had the opportunity to interview 5 potential candidates for a year-long student teaching program. The person would spent the entire year with me next year, beginning in August as an “intern” and then doing full teaching in the spring.
I would have LOVED the chance to do this as an undergrad!
But as I sat there with these college juniors, I imagined myself in their shoes. They have little experience with interviews. They have limited teaching experience save for field placements and summer camp jobs. All of their answers were based on book learning and what professors have told them.
How flipping scared they must have been! I couldn’t help but feel for them….even as I listened to their factory-installed answers, because that’s all they know right now. They have not yet lived this teacher life.
Theorists and Pintrest boards may help you now…but they won’t tell you:
*Who’s favorite food is wings.
*Who wants to move to Arizona when he’s grown because he hates snow.
*Who doesn’t have time to complete homework because evenings mean counseling sessions to deal with the aftermath of a messy divorce.
*Who loves anything unicorn related and won’t write a single thing that doesn’t include a unicorn character.
*Who finds comfort from sharing statistics like the number of movies Tom Hanks has starred in (80) and the number of chapters in a Frog and Toad book (5).
*Who acts silly and funny to cover up struggles with reading.
Those things aren’t covered in your classes. They aren’t found in books. You can’t buy them from Teachers Pay Teachers. This kind of learning comes from your students. From the community that you build in your classroom every day.
Putting myself in their shoes I felt their fear, but I also felt their excitement…for all there is to learn each day from these tiny humans. What an education they are really about to receive.