Sunday, February 1, 2009

Hello, my name is Ms. Pittman, EC teacher at McIver Education Center

So, I have officially started work as an EC teacher for transition-age students at McIver Education Center. I have substituted in my class for two weeks and then officially became the teacher one week ago. In the last three weeks, I have been learning as much about my students and fellow teachers as possible (i.e., their learning styles, schedules, prompt needs, academic ability, personalities, etc.) At the same time, I am also learning more about myself. It is a lot different to go from a student teacher position where there is always someone to hold you accountable and to tell you what you need to do and by when. Now, I am left to my own devices and when I ask questions and opinions from others I get a standard, "It's your classroom teach." 

Well, it is. It is my classroom, however I have inherited my classroom from another teacher who is retiring. So, as I step into my class, I am confronted with several different opinions from my coworkers. Some tell me to do as I see fit, others try to tell me how it would work better, and still others tell me that I need to do things a certain way. What I need to do is figure out what is best for me and my students so that I am comfortable in my new position and my students flourish. There are a lot of times that I feel over my head, yet a few times that I can see progress in development of relations with my students. I can say though, that I have great assistants in my class, who know the students well and are supportive of me. Speaking from experience, that makes a HUGE difference!

I have also inherited a classroom full of junk. My predecessor was evidently a major pack rat and kept materials and papers from way back when for a use that only she could foresee at the time.  So, we have since dumped about 10 large bins full of old papers and materials that have turned yellow with age, several tables full of unused baskets and such, and three tables. I still need to decide how to decorate the classroom so that it looks pleasing to the eye, yet also of a still befitting a group of young adults. Above is a pic of my classroom after the dumpage (we still have a long way to go) so let me know if you have any suggestions for my bulletin boards and rest of the class.