Something reminded me today of my first real student teaching experience in college. Jordan and I were dating, and I was teaching a small group of first-graders in a summer school program. We had spent the previous semester learning all about the reading and math programs we'd be using - we had practiced the assessments, reviewed all the pre-made lesson plans, and passed off practice lessons with this great curriculum for new readers. And then I started, and this great curriculum I'd mastered was totally beyond my little group. So, it was up to me to come up with something new. My days went something like this:
5:00 up, praying for energy to make it through the day!
6:00 leave with my carpool to go teach in Spanish Fork
1:00 lunch + work (in the Engineering Advisement Center)
5:00 classes, running, dinner
9:00 homework + lesson planning/prepping with Jordan's help
12:00 + falling asleep still running through my lessons for the next day
Every day, I'd be starting from scratch to come up with fun creative ways to teach these kiddos (that would also be acceptable for my supervising teacher! And of course this was before the days of pinterest or TPT, so whatever I could think of of is what I could teach! :) Jordan would stay at my apartment with me helping me cut/color/create whatever I needed until curfew around 11 or 12. Then I'd finish things up for the next hour or two and jump back in the next day. These were intense days! And also, so sweet to remember. We still have a big giant cardboard die that Jordan made for me to use in a math lesson one day (taped up and re-taped many times over the years) that I don't know if I'll ever be able to part with because it holds such sweet memories of Jordan helping me through!
(I thought I knew what tired meant after seasons like this of such little sleep... I don't know what I'd have done if I knew these were the kinds of nights (4 or 5 hours of uninterrupted sleep!) I'd be praying for in years to come...!)
Something that I've realized over the years though is that coming up with these little fun and silly activities - especially at the just getting ready to read stage - is still so fun for me! This morning, Porter and I played with little magnet letters practicing making words while Isaac watched close by, and then I traced their hands and the boys kept running out to Jordan's office to give him their handprints (With Isaac's first crumpled into balls and put into ziploc bags -- "Wrap it up!") These little teaching times are some of my favorite mothering moments, so I'm grateful I got that little crash course so long ago!