This is officially my day! Well, almost. Last week I started the fall classes in my graduate teacher education program, which launches me into phase 2/4 towards licensure and certification. Not to mention, I’m into week 5 of student teaching at my school placement and it’s going tremendously well. Our fall concert is coming up and I’m teaching/conducting half of the pieces on the program. It has been so exciting to jump right in and start applying all of the theoretical things that I’ve held on from great teachers of my own as well as core knowledge from my education classes. However, putting it into practice doesn’t ever quite work as well as it does in my head. When I’m up in front of the group, I feel good! I’m totally in charge and prepared with a sequenced lesson plan that makes sense for the needs of the group. Not to mention, I always aim to have an eye out for chatty students and cell phones ducked behind music stands. It’s empowering, thrilling, and so much fun. However, sitting at home scouring my scores and trying to anticipate where challenges will fall in rehearsal while improving my conducting and memorizing student names fills my entire body with anxiety. The most terrifying moments of my day are when I stand at the front of the classroom during the 5-minute passing periods and my self-diagnosed social anxiety kicks in. 80 students cram through the door and I feel like I should make conversation, welcome them into the room, and start forming personal bonds with the students but I stand frozen as they waltz by me and by the time that I’ve mustered up the courage to speak with a simple, foolproof script, they’ve moved past me and I’m left to worry about the inevitable look of despair and confusion on my face that greeted them as they walked through the door. I’m working on it. It’s so frustrating and tough. Eric gives me a joking hard time that being a teacher can be the easiest job in the world because we’ve all sat in a classroom with the person who puts on a video or read blandly off of a powerpoint while checking fantasy football scores on their computer and watches the clock for the bell to ring. I not only hope, but promise that I will never be that teacher. My current stress level and performance anxiety on the podium are proof that I care too much. It might not be good for my central nervous system, but I hope that it will be good for my students and I can’t wait to read back through my year of field experience journal entries in June to see just how far I’ve come. So today, I’m celebrating this beautiful holiday starting with a 6:15 AM zero period jazz band call time and wearing my badge with pride, even if it doesn’t say the right job title or have my name on it. Happy holidays!
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