Today, believe it or not, is my last day of formal training before I enter the classroom in the fall. For the past 7 weeks I have been in a very intense training program sponsored by Teach For America that is intended to build preparedness before one is in charge of their own class. I am proud to say that today is the last day of the 7 weeks. Today, to end our training, Indianapolis Teaching Fellows as well as Teach For America is having a luncheon with Gov. Mitch Daniels. It's an exciting way to end and start my time in Indianapolis.
The past seven weeks have been great in a lot of ways. I went from a college graduate that wasn't sure what life outside of college looked like to an elementary school teacher in Indianapolis. I'm grateful to have a job let alone work for an amazing organization like Teach For America. Over the past several weeks I have learned a lot about student behavior, classroom management, investment of students, diversity, community, effectiveness, lesson planning and lots of other little nuggets I'll add into my instruction this next school year. It's been like drinking from a fire hydrant.
I say training is over when, in reality, it's just beginning. Granted, I taught summer school in Atlanta, Georgia; however, the students I instructed down there didn't seem like "my class" or "my students". The students I'll have at Imagine West in Indianapolis will provide me with lots of training as I learn what it truly means to be a teacher that is trying to erase the achievement gap. The next few weeks before school starts looks like a variety of different things. From one angle it looks like a vacation. I will be seeing a lot of friends I haven't seen in awhile while also going to see Dave Matthews Band in various areas around the Midwest. I will also be going to Chicago with my family to partake in some fun activities as my family and I decompress from the stresses of every day life. In another sense these few weeks before school starts is a lot of work. I desperately need to make sure that my vision precedes my action. I need to make sure that when it's day one and my students are looking at Mr. Schaefer for the first time that they're getting the best Mr. Schaefer they can get.
So, as training is over, I'll have some vacation time; however, I'll be constantly thinking about the best ways to serve my first class and what I need to do to be the most effective teacher I can be.