Reflections from Sarah: A CS Student Teacher

Welcome back to the Student Teaching blog! A lot has happened since our last chat. The weeks have truly been flying by. It is crazy to think that we are nearing the halfway mark of Student Teaching. I feel like it just started yesterday! Today, I’m going to get really real with y’all and talk about some recent challenges I’ve been facing while student teaching in Chicago. Buckle up!

Here’s the tea: teacher life is HARD! *teachers everywhere are rolling their eyes at me thinking duhhhh*

Of course, I know not all days will be filled with rainbows and butterflies, but lately it’s just been extra hard. I’ll admit I have been feeling a bit burnt out. I think several factors have brought me to this point ~ lack of sleep, sunshine, exercise, and proper nutrition are probably the forerunners!  I think every teacher reaches this state sometime during the school year. The honeymoon phase of teaching ends and the reality of early mornings, long nights, and busy weekends filled with grading sets in. For example, I’ve been staring at a pile of 300+ papers to grade for hours now with no motivation to get started. Lesson planning is becoming tedious. Lack of parent communication has been frustrating. Some days, even my most clever management strategies just seem to flop. I hear that 5 o’clock alarm go off and I think to myself, “whyyyyyyyyyy meeeeeeeee?”

So, I’ll say it again. Teacher life is hard… BUT, I have learned that it is also so rewarding. Even on the toughest days in the classroom I can look at my students and instantly be reminded why I decided to do this. Their joy and eagerness to learn makes me excited to continue this journey with them. They are also so sweet and thoughtful. I mean, just look at all this candy they gave me on Valentines day! Score! I guess my point is, when you feel like you’re drowning in paperwork and the mornings come way too quickly (because they will), look to your students for motivation. Know you are making a huge difference in their lives and that your work is not in vain! Have a great week teacher warriors and thanks for coming to my TED Talk:)

PRO TIP #2 – Get out and explore on the weekends! Chicago is filled with so many fun experiences and you can often get good student discounts too. My mom and I went to the WNDR museum and it was fascinating. Check out this photo!