1. I don't get to see my kids.
This must be the first reason. I don't get to interact as much with the children in my class. I don't get to make the same connections I would if I were present in the classroom for longer periods of time. I miss that, and I feel in some ways that they have changed as a result.
2. I get bored.
While I have kept myself busy with school-related planning and activities, there have been a couple of moments when I have felt like I wasn't earning my salt. I strive to keep my mind occupied and on task, but any time a person has to be self-driven, that can be difficult.
3. I have to bat cleanup.
On a few occasions, I have had to enter a situation that I don't know anything about. I've had to sort out some behavior infractions that happened while students were not under my direct supervision, and I expected myself to "fix" the situations. It is understandable that kids will push limits. The chemistry with a different teacher will always change, so this is to be expected, but negative reactions are not invited. Sometimes I felt successful, and sometimes I felt lost.
4. I don't like to interrupt.
The teacher-candidate needs to feel that the class is hers. That's something that's hard to establish while the regular teacher is still in the room, so I try to leave the class in her hands as much as I can. That said, I still need to monitor her in order to guide her through the experience, but interrupting the flow of her lessons is difficult, and I don't want to be a distraction.
5. Time moves too slowly. When a person is displaced, the anticipation of something to come can be a hard thing to overcome. I understand that anticipation of this type - the anticipation of a return to glory (if that's not overstating things) is something that makes time crawl. It has certainly slowed down the third and fourth quarters of the school year for me.
6. Time moves too quickly.
With all of the ideas and plans that I've tried to create during my times outside the classroom, I still have not had enough time in the day to work through them all. Before I know it, the morning has passed, and it's time for lunch - at which time I try to check in with the student-teacher and my peers. Then the afternoon flies by in the same way. Just when I get started on something in earnest, the time is gone.
7. People think I have free time.
They see me at a keyboard, or they see me in the hallways, and my peers assume I'm avoiding work or playing. It doesn't matter if I've filled in for absent teachers and teachers who needed breaks. It doesn't matter if I've had professional discussions with the principal or if I've prepared schoolwide notes (or more targeted messages for a particular group of students). It doesn't matter that I've searched for and discovered some amazing tools and trends for education or if I've created many of my own materials to use in the coming weeks and years. It doesn't matter that I've developed and come to understand my own methods and how they align with researched educational practices. It doesn't matter that I have assisted in the reorganization of the school's disaster/safety team or that I have given suggestions for the school's system review. Nothing matters except that they see me outside my classroom and away from my students; therefore, I must be slacking. Could it be that they are projecting onto me what they themselves would do if they were in my shoes? Hmm.
8. I'm called to do "special" projects.
Did I mention that I have had some special assignments? Some of those are really not enjoyable assignments, but I grinned and bore them anyway. Sometimes I'm taken out of my comfort zone, which is not always where I want to be. As a so-called team player, I've had to fill different roles in the interest of the team, and I accept them (but I don't have to like them).
9. I am tied to the university forms and schedules
In many ways, university leaders and state legislators are disconnected with the ways classrooms actually work. They've created a quagmire of forms and schedules that every one of their teacher-candidates have to follow, and they don't allow the cooperating teachers (including me) to establish our own methods for helping their students develop professionally. The evaluation forms are limited to specific scores in specific areas and do not always tell the whole story about a candidate. This can frustrating, let alone the idea that sometimes it feels like jumping through hoops to fulfill requirements instead of doing the things that are necessary to truly guide the teacher-to-be.
10. Our family doesn't seem as cohesive.
Back to the beginning (number one, above): have you ever spent an extended time away from your parents or your siblings? When you returned to their presence, do you feel like you have to play catch-up? That's how things are for me and the kids. I feel like they've moved on in a sense, that they have broken up with the old guy and moved on to a new relationship. As someone who never liked break-ups, it's hard finding myself in the middle of one - even if it is only temporary. At best I feel I'm in an off-again/on-again relationship.
I don't know what the solution is - especially since there are some refreshingly positive things about having a student-teacher in my classroom, as well. I've already addressed a few of those in a previous post. Like anything in life, it is what you make it; I hope I have made it worthwhile for everyone involved.