Have you ever had one of those days where you wish life were simple and you could be 4 years old again? Well... if you do... you should step into my life! I am an Early Childhood Education and Exceptional Needs major, and each day, I get to pretend like I'm 4 again!
This semester I am student teaching. I have two placements, which were determined by Purdue. The first is at Purdue's own Miller Child Learning Center (formerly Purdue Childcare Program-PCCP) where I spend my mornings in a multi-age classroom with children age 3-5.
In the afternoons, I am at GLASS (Greater Lafayette Area Special Services), working with children who have special needs who are mostly age 4-5 and will be going to kindergarten next year.
Each morning I wake up at 5:15 and head to school. I arrive by 7:10 each morning and work hard to make sure that things are set up for the day. I set out activities that the children will find interesting and exciting, and I prepare the art projects that we will make later in the day. The center opens at 7:30, so children can arrive any time after that. Our "early birds" usually come in between 7:45-8:00, so we have a little time to set up before they arrive. When the children start arriving, things get crazy! We have a busy day playing and learning! I usually leave MCLC around 11:30 after I eat a free, hot lunch provided by the center. (Thank goodness for the little things!!!)
I arrive at GLASS at 12:00 and the children arrive at 12:15 for their afternoon class. This week we have been talking about spring, which has been very fun. We are also working individually with children in assessing what they know, so we are pulling them out of class and "playing games" with them to see what they can do. This will help us to prepare for our transition conferences that will occur in the next few weeks and on into May.
Typically I leave school by 4:00 and head home. All I really want to do is crash, but I always have a lot to do after school to prepare for the next day or week. Last night I wrote lesson plans and tonight I was working on progress reports before I started to chat to you all. I try to stay awake until 9:00 or 9:30 but that's about my limit. I go to bed and sleep the sleep of the dead, most nights!
Each day, I am learning so much from the children! I will miss them dearly when I am done student teaching in 3 weeks. Being in the classroom has taught me so much and I know that this experience is one that will help me in my future as I start my teaching career.