Things have been going great! I am finally connecting with my little fifth graders. I don't think I mentioned this yet, but my class is all girls! This particular school separates the boys and girls in fifth grade only. So I have a room full of giggly pre-adolescent girls and it's super fun :)
The first week was a little awkward because the teacher let me introduce myself to the class but didn't really allow me to have any interaction with them after that. Then I was supposed to teach them a lesson to be videotaped the next week! So the day of the lesson arrived and I was so nervous because I barely knew anything about the girls and I was really pining for my little kindergartners at that point.
LUCKILY (at least in retrospect), the teacher had a PTA meeting in the middle of the day (weird huh??) and so I was responsible for picking the class up from PE and bringing them back to the classroom and keeping them occupied while she was gone. She ended up being gone for an hour and a half!
Those girls were so excited to see me arrive by myself at the end of PE! I think they were dying to find out what my deal was. I took them back to the class and told them what was going on. I told them that if they say quietly I would let them ask me anything they wanted to.
Before they started asking, one of the girls said "You're going to be an awesome teacher." And a couple of the other girls agreed. Remember, this was really my first instance interacting with them! I laughed and said "How do you know that??" And another girl replied "Because you're being awesome right now."
It was a great moment. This why I'm doing all of this.
Then they asked me a full range of questions: When's your birthday, are you married, why did you decide to become a teacher (I almost cried when I tried explaining it :p), etc. After that, I took them outside to run around a bit. During this time, a bunch of them huddled around me and we chatted some more. One of them decided that she would like to call me Miss Pancake instead of Miss Cook and it has sort of stuck for the whole class ever since. They're so great :)
Thanks to this opportunity to get to know the girls and develop some mutual admiration and respect, my lesson went extremely well. One down, two to go and I'm home free!
I also took the K-6 Subject Area Examination -- a 5-hour test that is the ultimate determiner of whether I can be certified or not -- on Saturday morning and PASSED!!! What a perfect end to a not-so-great week.