There are three weeks of actual student teaching left. I, for my part, am freaking out. Quietly. But I'm freaking out. About exit interviews and unemployment and job interviews and unemployment and interim employment and student loans and, and, and... At the portfolio meeting, the undergrads were chirping about their spring break plans. Some of them were going to go party, some were making the most of the break and going on actual interviews.
I don't know if my Grandfather will be alive by the time we make it to the break. But I know I won't be interviewing. I tried not to kick myself. Nothing anyone could do about the timing of that.
When we are formally assessed on a lesson, one of the questions they ask us is, how would you do this lesson differently, if you taught it to this class again? And if I were formally assessed on life, to this point, I'd say:
- Don't to worry about the car.
- Forgive yourself, and move on.
- You should have called home more. Or at least, Grandpa. All the set chewing you see or think you see in the school by the other 20 student teachers couldn't do anything to make him better. A bulletin board isn't worth more than his life. And anyone can put together a bulletin board.
- Stop comparing yourself to the undergrads. Stop weighing the mistakes you made in life to the Disneyana package they're presenting. You don't know what's happening backstage at Disney.
- Don't panic.
- And stop saying "... but I did my undergrad at state school." You had your reasons. And people died then, too. Besides, you know some pretty fabulous people who went to state school, too.
- When in doubt, don't say anything. Bite your tongue if you have to. Because if you're panicking, it'll probably come out worse than you meant it to.
- Also, think carefully about how you word your typing. While it sounds great in your head, no one is privy to the commentary going on between your ears. The details get lost with out, well... the details. So be specific and explicit.
- Forgive yourself. Move on.
- You do not function on 6 hours of sleep. You really don't function on 6 hours of sleep, 5 days in a row, even with large amounts of caffeine. This is probably avoidable. If people outside of the experience can't deal with your sleep requirements, find new friends. Moral of the story: get some sleep, even if it means taking a rain cheque and a nap in the car. So pack a blanket.
- Don't forget, try to leave it better than you found it.