So far, things have gone reasonably well. My CT is nice but very honest about her thoughts and opinions. She encourages me to try new things with the students and attempt new ways of teaching, and is very knowledgeable. Quite frankly I find her intimidating and not very approachable about the issues I am experiencing. For example, this being halfway through the school year, I am unsure of how well students are responding to my teaching. I am trying to make a connection, but am finding that hard. They seem to treat me like a sub, always testing my limits. The students are fantastic, but I more often than not struggle with maintaining a level of authority that comes naturally to teachers. I sometimes feel that my colleagues forget that I have had no class time before now. If they feel that trial by fire works best, I disagree. Personally, I would prefer a little more guidance. Over the past month, I would venture to say that I have been left alone for the large majority of it, despite requiring guidance at this stage.
Yesterday and today have been particularly hard. I have been faced on many fronts with my abilities as a potential future educator. Colleagues have been encouraging me to get involved in school programs to make a better impression on the students and the administration as well as fellow teachers, but I find that my personal schedule and the distance I have to travel to school leaves me both mentally and physically exhausted. I do not mean this figuratively; in every sense of the word, I collapse when I get home, often having only 5 minutes to spare before leaving again to go to one of my McGill seminars (Mondays/Wednesdays) or to work (Tuesdays/Thursdays).
And yet I am told to “stop making excuses” and to step up to the plate. Is it too much to ask for just a little sympathy? A colleague (who shall go unnamed) said that I could stay until 4:30pm and help out with something for 30 minutes after school to get involved. However, I know that if I catch the 3:59pm bus (4 minutes after the final school bell), I arrive at home at 5pm. Therefore, if I was to catch the 4:40pm bus, I would arrive home at 5:40–a full 10 minutes after my seminars start–and would still have to walk to class. I have volunteered at lunch to help with the dance show and to help in the student support center, but I get the sense that my colleagues feel that I am not doing enough.
Sometimes I blame myself for not having any formal teaching education. Other times, I blame McGill for placing me so far from where I live, whereas other student teachers arrive home at 3pm and have 2 hours to plan their next day before going to seminar. I leave my house at 8am for a 9:30 start. This is, in my opinion, unreasonable. Colleagues here at my internship explain how they achieved greatness during their internships. I feel out of place quipping back with a remark about how they live within a 15 minute drive.
Time will tell how this will go. Hopefully I will post again next week. My assessment is tomorrow and I know that my CT will have things to say about my involvement in the school and my assignments.