Throughout the entire 16 weeks of student teaching it has been a rollercoaster ride. I have had the best time of my entire four years of college in my internship. Starting out in January, I had no idea things would drastically change near the end of my internship. As we get ourselves strapped into our coaster car, think about this question. How do you stay mentally strong in a time of uncertainty?
Now that we are all strapped in on our coaster car, let us head up the first hill. Beginning of student teaching there was a lot of anxiousness in everything that I did. I was so nervous taking on classes that I knew relatively little about compared to my cooperating teacher. I prepared lessons and research as much as I could to be prepared enough to teach the content. Once I started to take over classes, I found my anxiousness start to disappear and I became more comfortable in teaching my students. After this first hill, I felt a sense of confidence in my teaching abilities. I am not the best teacher, but I could at least start to be more natural in the classroom and mechanics lab.
Uh oh! Now we have a loop-de-loop. Moving into taking on a full load of classes, I started to think, "How am I going to get all of my assignments, lesson planning, and content created?" Having six classes and five preps made it difficult to balance my work/personal life. Strategically planning out my week became a norm so I could still enjoy some personal time throughout the week. Coming out of the loop-de-loop, I realized my fears weren't as bad as I thought.
Ohh no!! Corkscrew! This challenge was by far the worst. Navigating remote online learning. Coming to the end of my internship, I had to figure out how in the world to teach skill-based mechanics courses through remote/online ways. I researched multiple discussion groups, NAAE CoP, and finding resources on my own to deliver good instruction.
After all the corkscrew of student teaching, I had some time to look back upon my entire internship and thought, "The entire ride of student teaching may look intimidating, but getting on the ride, taking each challenge one at a time you will have the thrill ride of your life." I enjoyed my internship, students, and colleagues. I will always look back on this experience as the oddest way to start my teaching career.