And let the student teaching begin!

I hope all you future and current teachers had a good (and warm) winter break! 

I was scheduled to start student teaching (eek!) on Monday, however, due to inclement weather we got two snow days! What a way to start off student teaching! My first official day was Wednesday and we hit the ground running due to the two days off. 

I’m teaching all Juniors, broken down into two honors classes, one advanced, and two general.  My cooperating teacher and I are taking a Co-Teaching approach for all of the classes.  We are doing this style of teaching because she said this is what the principal said the state wants and plus she said it will give me that experience and help me land a job.  The two general classes are already co-taught with a special education teacher, so having three adults in the room now for these two classes will be interesting. 

Even though it was my first day, I jumped right in and taught a few classes.  With pre-teaching and methods, I was used to only going in a few days a week, and mostly observing, helping with individual work, or grading papers.  It’s hard to believe that I’m going to be going in every day now.  I hope I remember this when my alarm goes off at 5 am….

My last day with my kids was on Monday.  Normally I’m in the classroom on Fridays, but there needed to be a last minute change so I could be observed by my university supervisor (he needed to do so by Wednesday).  Since there wasn’t enough time to formulate a proper lesson and the kids had a late start so classes were only 30 minutes, my cooperating teacher taught the lesson 4th hour and I stepped in 5th hour to be observed. 

My cooperating teacher sent me this email today:

One (probably more than one, but the smartest one in there) of the students 5th hour said you were a really good teacher.  I explained the situation to them—the short notice, etc., and you having to step into my lesson plans, and they just shrugged and nodded, like there wasn’t even a glitch, and they said they liked  your style of teaching.  So kudos!  Best of luck in student teaching.

This email was the highlight of my day!! It’s such a wonderful feeling when your students think you’re a good teacher!

For my Methods class, I completed a 5 day Hunger Games unit with the focus of rebellion.  I didn’t want to bombard everyone’s timelines with all the information, but if you would like a copy please let me know! Remember CASE (copy and steal everything)!

Basic overview of the unit:

I created an in-class Hunger Games (complete with tributes and the elimination of the tributes).  This will give students a hands-on experience of the event. I created lessons regarding an overview of famous rebellions in history, propaganda, concept maps (character relationships and character development), and pamphlet creation (which will tie in with propaganda).  The lesson concludes with an in class essay that requires the students to analyze the text and use textual evidence to support their claims.  There are also journal questions the students need to answer throughout the unit.

Good news! I finally got my student teaching placement!

I’ll be at another school in my district about half an hour away from my house.  I need to fill out a fingerprint form (again) and contact my new cooperating teacher before the school district goes on winter break.  I’ll be there from the day the school comes back from winter break until May 1st and then I graduate May 4th. 

I guess the CoE at my college is having a lot of difficulty placing people and they won’t let us teach and the same school we do our methods hours at.  I’m just happy I can go into Thanksgiving break knowing my placement.  When my cousin graduated from the same college (he was an Elementary Ed major) he didn’t find out his placement until the week before his cooperating school came back from break. 

Here is the lesson plan for my Transcendental/Wordsworth lesson

Unit: Transcendentalism

Common Core Standards

  • RL.11-12.4 – Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in the text, including figurative and connotative meanings; analyze  the impact of a specific word choice on meaning and tone, including words with multiple meanings or language that is particularly fresh, engaging, or beautiful



  • Recognize basic tenants of Transcendentalism
  • Analyze Transcendentalism pieces of work
  • Determine which tenants of Transcendentalism appear in literature


  • How is Transcendentalism identified in literature?
    • At the end of the lesson, students will be able to answer this question.  As the unit continues, they will be able to further develop on this idea. 


  • Elements of Literature. 5th ed. Austin: Holt, Rinehart, and Winston, 2007. 162-174. Print.

Materials for Teacher

  • Literature book (teacher’s edition)
  • Annotated Wordsworth poem
  • Worksheet key

Materials for Students

  • Literature book
  • Annotated Wordsworth poem
  • Worksheet

Anticipatory Set

  • The lesson will begin by the students getting out the worksheet from the previous day.  As a class, we will go over the answers to the remaining questions that they did not have for homework.  This will activate and reinforce their background knowledge for Transcendentalism. 

Sequence of Learning Activities

  1. The students will get out the worksheet from the previous day.
    1. They will have completed the first six questions by the start of class
  2. As a class, we will answer the remaining questions.
  3. Ms. Yaremko will then take over the class and go over the notes prepared for the day. 
  4. After notes have been completed, I will instruct the students to take out the poem they had annotated for homework (Tables Turned by William Wordsworth).
  5. The class will divide into eight groups
    1. I will count them off by 8 so that the groups are approximately equal
    2. Each group will receive a stanza and be asked to dissect it, including looking up words with unfamiliar meanings and/or dissecting the meaning of that particular stanza.
  6. When the class comes back together, we will go through the poem stanza by stanza.
    1. We will discuss what Wordsworth is saying in each stanza, define some unfamiliar words (if they haven’t looked them up on their own), and analyze a few key lines

                                                                                      i.      Each group will report on their assigned stanza

  1. After looking at each stanza separately, we will look at the work as a whole

                                                                                      i.      See questioning


  • Summarize the overall meaning of the poem.
  • Explain how this poem can be considered transcendental.
    • What are the tenants found in the poem?
    • Analyze the meaning, why is he saying what he’s saying?
    • Decide if the element of irony found in the poem is effective or counterproductive.


  • For students that are more visual learners, I will display my notes on the Wordsworth poem on the Elmo so that students may have an auditory and visual representation of the text and notes. 


  • Students will be assessed informally.  For this lesson, the students will be assessed on their knowledge of the tenants of transcendentalism based on their participation and responses during the class discussion. 


  • To conclude the lesson, I will ask the students at random to name either an element of modernism we discussed or an element found in the poem that we analyzed. 

When my students have a spontaneous and serious debate


I’m all:


In my 3rd hour class, I have a student that is repeatedly distruptive and doesn’t readily do classwork.  My cooperating teacher told me that he told her that I’m “too nice and need to be meaner”. 

I think it’s interesting that he wants me to discipline him more.  I’m not exactly sure where the line is drawn for me.  I don’t want to overstep my boundaries as a methods student/student teacher, but the kids also need to respect me.  I’m also only there one day a week, so it’s weird to try and discipline students I only see on Fridays. 

Where do I draw the line between being too tough and being too soft?

Since my Methods professor was late to the last lesson I taught, she had to come observe me again this past Friday.  Except this time, I was the one who was late.  It was awful.  I planned on going over a worksheet with the kids, my cooperating teacher would go over Transcendentalism notes, and then I would go over a Wordsworth poem with them.  Since I was late though, I came in at the tail end of the notes.  It was awful.

I had the kids get into small groups (around 3 or 4) and gave each group a stanza.  The groups were supposed to completely dissect their stanza and then give a summary of what it was about and any information they extracted from it to the class.  The kids did a great job dissecting the poem and they seem to have a good handle on Transcendentalism. 

Afterwards, my cooperating teacher and I discussed the lesson with my professor.  They both said that the lesson went really well and that I seemed more confident this time.  My professor said that she was really impressed with how well I “hit the ground running”.  So, that’s a good thing, I think. 

Other than that class, the rest of the day went by in a fairly relaxed way.  My 3rd hour class is working on a project that relates to Brave New World, and 4th and 5th hour were finishing up watching Chocolat.