02 February 2008

Miss Kitty Teaches Math

This week I took over the math instruction in the classroom where I'm doing my student teaching. I chose to take on math first because that's the school subject that I'm least comfortable teaching and for very good reason. Teaching math to 4th graders is so hard! I was trying to reinforce what they already knew about multiplication and division through tactile and visual activities. My mentor teacher and I hoped that more "hands-on" activities would make starting long division easier for them, but after every lesson I felt like they weren't really seeing the big picture of what I was trying to do. It's really, really hard for me to break down what I consider to be really easy math concepts into terms that children will understand. On the plus side, the students were always really excited to hear that I was going to be teaching math. I like to think that they were responding to my teaching awesomeness, even though deep down I know it's because they liked playing with cubes.

It's really kind of strange being like a "teacher." I know I'm not a real teacher yet, but it feels like I am. Yesterday I brought home a stack of papers to grade and I'm teaching lessons every day. My mentor teacher also asked me to put together a new seating chart because he wants them to change seats next week. I'm putting together seating charts! I've also basically been given the freedom to do whatever I want when I teach. Next week I'm going to start teaching reading and social studies, in addition to teaching math. And the week after, I'm going to start teaching all day for four weeks. AHHH!!! It's crazy! Who would have ever thought that I would be a teacher?