My Experience at Lincoln Middle School
Over the eight weeks spend at Lincoln IB World Middle School I developed immensely as an educator. I got to see first hand how a middle school art class operates and successfully runs. I gained important insights into classroom management from my mentor teacher Julie Hansen. I made lifelong relationships with my mentor teacher, colleagues, administration, and most importantly students. I learn quickly about the power of relationships in the classroom. I learned how get control of the classroom without demanding. Students at Lincoln Middle School definitely tested me forcing me to keep cool and not let it bother me. I remember on the second week of teaching I was given the reigns to the class. I was pushed passed my breaking point and had to remember that I am the adult and they are the kids. I learned to be flexible with my plans and that making adjustments is part of being a teacher. I learned first hand the impact of anticipation. I am not one to have assigned seats in a classroom, but in a class that needs strict rules, a seating chart can be a successful management strategy. For example in one of my classes there were four boys who sat together, all of which had difficulty working and staying on task. I anticipated that by moving two of them away, the boys would get more work done. Though the two boys that were separated were upset at me for changing their seats, all four boys were less distracted. I got the opportunity to advocate for my art students as well as the Lincoln middle school art program by contributing to the Lincoln Art’s Café and represent our school at the Empty Bowls fundraiser dinner. During the art show I was able to collaborate with other teachers and use my skills as an audio engineer. I worked first hand with parents during parent-teacher conferences, as well, used parents for resources in dealing with behavioral issues in class. I also made calls home to give students praise. One thing that I would have done different was planning my timeline for our last project together. The project ran a little longer than expected and I had to return to Lincoln for the final critique.