Week 3 is done.
When I realized that as my mentor teacher and I walked out of the building yesterday, I was stunned. Where did the time go? It's like over the last few days, things have started to make sense and I'm starting to feel like I'm in control. And very soon things are going to wrap up.
I've had a great time teaching for the last 3 weeks. The actual teaching part has mostly been what I expected. What has been different is all the other stuff. Things like the politics, and procedures, and all that "other stuff" that takes up so much time. Even something as simple as photocopying an assignment for the students required locating the photocopy room (one of the many doors labeled "teacher's workroom" is actually the copy room) and then having to learn how to use the machine. I could go on and on about all the little things that unexpectedly took up so much of my time, but that would take along time.
Figuring out how to work closely with someone has also been challenging. I get along very well with my mentor teacher. We are on the same page with pretty much everything (classroom management, how to relate to students, that sort of thing). But he's really good at what he does, so it's been really challenging to try to do my own thing. It's hard to come up with my own demo when his is really awesome.
Possibly the thing that gives me the most cause to pause about my future career plans is watching other teachers. Some of them are awesome. They know their stuff and they treat the kids really well. But other teachers... I need to think about how I'll feel working with/near them for the theoretical next 30 years. I've tried hard as a parent to spend most of my time with other parents who share the same basic ideas about parenting. This feels really similar. What to do?
In the short term? Enjoy my last 2 weeks which will be a blur of tests, oscillatory motion, teaching with a sub, a field trip and seeing a bunch of 16/17yos get really excited about Christmas.