Friday, March 15, 2013

Book Club Friday + and an overdue update!


Yesterday was my last day at my first student teaching placement and I cannot believe it is already over. The class surprised me with a TON of goodies and a surprise party! My teacher put together the cutest baskets of goodies, the kids wrote notes and everyone had snacks and went around and said something nice to me. I was fighting tears the entire time... as soon as the kids left and I had to say goodbye to my teacher, I cried. I admit it. Twice now I have cried in my cooperating teacher's room (she probably wants to change her final assessment of me to, "cries too much!").

It was sweet though, and as one of my Instagram friends said, I will never forget this. Luckily, in today's age, keeping in touch is simple with Facebook and Twitter and I know my teacher and I will keep in touch. I could not have been blessed with a better teacher! She was wonderful and so easy to work with. Having all the kids shout out what grades I should teach permanently was also such a rewarding feeling, because they were all grades where I would see THEM again! They were such a great bunch and I loved working with them.

But, after the past 7 weeks of trying to be on my toes for 8 hours and constantly ready to impress, I am exhausted. Luckily, I have a fun spring tradition ahead of me for this weekend!

Today I am headed up to Minneapolis for the Jodi Picoult book signing and my friend Lisa's going away party. This is the fourth year in a row that I have gone north for the the JP signing and to meet up with my other close friend, Lesli! It has definitely turned into more than just a "book signing" that I am going to Minneapolis for and more of a tradition where I get to see my good friends to the north and have a great relaxing weekend.

In the past I have come back from this weekend refreshed and rejuvenated and I am expecting nothing less than that from this weekend! I know I have a grueling spring ahead of me of job searching, so making sure to get in some mental health is extremely important.

Speaking of the grueling job search, I have had two mock interviews with two local superintendents (or reps/assistants for the interim superintendent if the district did not currently have one) and they have gone TERRIFIC! I do not want to jinx myself, but I have to say, they both made me feel so good about my accomplishments in the past two years and that could not have come at a better moment! I was still feeling down about the opportunity I did not get with the first interview and a "good" interview experience was exactly what I needed!

Next weekend there is a big teacher job fair a few hours north of me that I will be attending and I am hoping to meet more officials there. I really feel good about this and am confident I will have a job in the fall if I can keep up this momentum!

Completely switching gears here, but it IS Friday and I have not participated in Book Club Friday in aaaages, so why not today?? ;)

I just finished a book I cannot get off my mind. It is a book that most teachers or people in education will know... It is called Educating Esme by Esme Raji Codell. This book had me in tears, had me laughing and had me completely enamored with Esme. This book is her diary of her first year teaching fifth grade in a very urban Chicago school.

She was gutsy, confident and completely in charge of a class that could have easily steamrolled her. Instead, she earned their respect and they respected her back (most of the time). A skill I have learned many times while subbing in rooms with kids just like hers. Respect is huge with this demographic.

We need more teachers like Esme that will work in the urban schools. This book inspired me and quickly reminded me of where I want to be. There are kids in need at every school, but our urban schools across the country are in trouble. As a student that attended all urban schools from K-12, schools that were not considered "at risk" when I was there and were traditionally good schools for years and years (one for over 100 years!), this hits home majorly for me. To hear current teachers say they "won't teach at this or that school" breaks my heart. I know it's hard. I completely get it. But... those kids need more people like Esme.

Getting off soapbox now.

Read it. You will love it.

So, tell me what you have been up to. I have been trying to keep up, but these days that is not always happening. What is going on in your neck of the woods??

Sidebar about the line "neck of the woods": Figurative language will forever remind me of the class I just left because we did a unit on figurative language and it was hilaaaaaarious!

Today I am linking up with Heather for Book Club Friday. If you're a reader, you should play along!


Lisa from Lisa's Yarns said...

I can't believe this first placement is over already! I feel like I was just wishing you luck on your first day! I am glad you had such a great experience. I do not think it is bad that you cried - clearly it showed you developed a relationship with those kids which is not a bad thing. Plus crying is just a natural way to process emotions so don't feel bad about it (I am saying this because I cry ALL THE TIME these days so I am trying to make myself feel better by saying it's normal. Ha).

I am so glad I get to see you this weekend both today and tomorrow! :)

I am really behind on blogs right now and am considering doing a mark all as read as I just don't see myself catching up...

Julie said...

Congrats on finishing your first place placement! Good luck in your next one and next grade too. I haven't heard of the book so I'm going to have to look it up. Does jp have a new book coming out?

Julie said...

Congrats on finishing your first place placement! Good luck in your next one and next grade too. I haven't heard of the book so I'm going to have to look it up. Does jp have a new book coming out?

jen @ grown in southern ground said...

so jealous about the Jodi Picoult book signing!

Shoshanah said...

I definitely wish I was closer to Minneapolis so I could join you all! But it's just quite in driving distance...

Kyria @ Travel Spot said...

Have fun this weekend with Lisa and Leslie! I wish I could be there with you guys!

Kelly (She Wears a Red Sox Cap) said...

Amazing that you are already done! I'm glad it went so well though :) I haven't read that book yet but I definitely want to!

I didn't go into urban teaching when I first graduated because from my practicum experiences it seemed like I needed a little more tough love than I had at the time haha. But, now I could probably do it. But now, I'm in love with my school community and my friends at work so I don't know if I will ever switch. Also, I'm pretty good at dealing with suburban (and mostly Harvard and MIT professors haha) parents, so I think that is an accomplishment in itself :) Someday maybe I will switch though :)