Tomorrow, the adventure begins.
Teacher Class has been going on since the first part of February. We've learned a lot of theory; for the next two weeks we will be putting into practice what we have learned with "Field Experience". Not exactly "student teaching", but more intensive by far than simple "classroom observation". The 22 of us have been assigned to 6 different schools within a 40 mile radius of central Austin. We have been assigned to coorperating teachers (who get a princely $50 stipend for putting up with us for 2 weeks) and know which instructors will be making the trips out to "observe" us as we try our wings.
Yesterday, our teacher asked us to discuss what we had done to prepare ourselves for the experience, and what questions we still had.
It seems that new shoes were high on the list. Many of us have new shoes (which we have dutifully been wearing for the past 2 weeks so they aren't TOTALLY new shoes tomorrow). Freezers have been stocked against the reality of all-day school and several-evenings-a-week cohort sessions. We've reviewed class material and made some sketchy lessons plans, to be filled in when we have a better idea of the classes with which we'll be working. Daycare arrangements are complete for those with small children. We have looked up bell schedules and student handbooks and dress codes. Most of us took the precaution of driving the route to our assigned schools during rush hour to make sure on the timing. We have nametags, folders of paperwork and sufficient pens and pencils.
The overall plan is in order. It's the details that still are bothering most of us, and it seems the details haven't changed much since we were considerably younger.
Where will I park? I'm not a teacher, I'm not a student, and I can't really claim a "Visitor" slot for the whole two weeks!
What if my cooperating teacher misses a day? To whom will I report, and what shall I do?
And yes, what shall I do about lunch? Shall I take it or buy it? What if no one wants to sit with me?
"Rose" and I will be at the same school, in the same department. Rose is not more than a couple of years older than my daughter, slight and energetic, she kayaks for fun and dresses in t-shirts from various marathons. We're an unlikely pair, but I greatly look forward to working with her in the fall.
We've decided - we're both taking our lunches. It's good to have a friend.