Practicum Journal: Day One (I though I’d share ‘cuz this was a funny day.) Note: I changed names.
So, I was pretty nervous this morning. After I got ahold of my Practicum teacher, I found out she taught math: the subject I was worst at in high school. I am one for getting lost, so I made sure to write directions down a few times before I left, to make sure I’d remember where I had to go. When I got out to my car, of course it was covered with a thick layer of frost. I had no clue where the ice scraper was—I share a car with my sister, so we both use the ice scraper when we need to. I called her twice and texted her, but she was already in class. So, I just used the windshield wash fluid stuff (that I can use after we got that part fixed on the car over Christmas break) until finally I could see. What a fabulous morning it was so far.
When I got there, I saw a door that said: “Use East Doors.” I had no idea what direction I was facing. I saw other sets of doors, as well, but I was so super lost. Then I saw an adult walking toward her car. “I have a question!” I called out. “Where are the doors to go in, by the office?”
“Right around the corner,” she said motioning.
“Thanks.” When I got into the office, there was a line of kids waiting to talk with the secretary or whoever that was answering questions and directing students where they should go. I pulled out my volunteer form. I sort of held it up and the lady nodded, so I waited until she was done with the student she was talking to.
“I’m doing practicum,” I said.
“Just sign in here,” she said, handing me a volunteer lanyard.
“Do you know where [this teacher]’s room is?”
“Yeah, I don’t know where her room is.”
“You go down this hall,” she started, directing with hand gestures, “and when you come to stairs, go down.”
“Stairs.” I repeated.
“Yes. Go down.” She finished giving me directions, and I headed out to find Mrs J’s classroom. Notice how I don’t remember the rest of the directions here? Well, I forgot them as soon as I went down the stairs. “Room 100,” I had been told. I thought.
So, I wandered the halls, following door signs. “108…107….106…” I kept going. “105…104…103…102…101…” And then, where I thought room 100 should be, there were stairs. Oh no. I had gotten there earlier to see if I could talk to Mrs J before class started. I wandered the halls some more, kind of hanging out by the stairs where room 100 should have been. Some adults came down the stairs.
“I’m looking for Mrs J’s room,” I told them.
“Follow us, she’s in her own little wing. But it’s on the complete other side. You’re on the right floor, though.” Turns out, her room was the first one I had walked by: 150.
When the first class of 7th graders got there, I found a seat at a round table beside all the desks. Mrs Jhad each of the six kids stand up and introduce themselves. They told me their name, where they’re from, what languages they speak, and how long they’ve been here. I introduced myself as “Miss Anna,” said I grew up in Minnesota and only speak English, and that I go to school at Augustana. A few of the parents of the kids work in Worthington, which is not too far from where I’m from. Most of the class was a group discussion. And here I was, sitting on the sidelines thinking, “What do I do?” When Mrs Jpassed out a worksheet, I pulled up beside one of the girls on the edge (who I’ll call Tina) and looked on with her. As a class, they worked on the sheet together and discussed aspects. I was so scared because it was MATH, but they were working on negative numbers, adding them and subtracting them. The one thing I know how to do is add and subtract. Mrs J also introduced and reviewed English math terms. This class was somewhat quiet: there were two boys and four girls.
Between classes, I asked Mrs J what I should do, and she told me, “Exactly like what you did.” Sitting next to one of the students and looking over her shoulder, helping when she needed it. Okay. That, I can do.
The next class had seven students in it. As they walked in, one of the girls smiled at me. She sat in the spot Tina had sat in. I will call her Anastasia. After the students had introduced themselves, I introduced myself. Anastasia had family that lived in Minnesota, and she had actually been there to visit them. Mrs J handed out the worksheet and I pulled up alongside Anastasia, asking her about visiting Minnesota a bit. She told me that she likes it better than South Dakota. She has family living there, but she’s been in Sioux Falls since she got here. One of the first things I noticed about this class was that there was a tad bit more discipline needed, as there were four boys (three of them quite loud and chatty). This class was also quicker to catch on to some things.
Mrs J told me after this class was done that in this class, the students knew more English and simply knew more. I think that most of them had been here longer, as well. I told her I would see her tomorrow, and she said that if I would like to go and visit the music room for a day, she had emailed the music teacher who had said that was okay. 8th graders have music the same time the first class of 7th graders had math. We’ll see.
Oh, and on my way back to the office, I got lost again. When I finally passed by someone to ask where the office was, it was right around the corner. But hey, I got to the building and back with no problems!
I thought it was so awesome that I didn’t panic or experience any of the despair that I could have potentially felt today. I really liked my practicum today, and I actually had a good day all-around. I only have 4 more days of it, but I think I’ll like it. =)
Smiling, Anna =)^2