Here we go!

| September 1, 2012

PS 503 Image credit: http://schools.nyc.gov/

My two summer classes have come and gone. They were five fairly intense weeks; and though they did not include any field work, I do feel more prepared for my time in the classroom. I took a social studies methods course, which, as the name implies, focused more on ‘how’ to teach the subject rather than ‘what’ to teach. I also took a disabilities and exclusion course, which (further) opened my eyes to the ways in which our society values a notion of ‘normal’ and both consciously and unconsciously creates a divide between so-called able-bodied and non-able-bodied.

My fall semester begins this week! I will be student teaching all year at P.S. 503 in Brooklyn’s Sunset Park. My student teaching experience, along with the experiences of my 11 colleagues at 503, will be slightly different from those of our other classmates. We are participating in a pilot program that allows us to stay at the same school all year, rather than switch between fall and spring semesters. We will still be working with a lower elementary class one semester and an upper elementary class the other semester. I know I am starting in the lower group, but I will not know until Tuesday who my cooperating teacher is and which grade level (1 or 2) I will be teaching.

About PS 503: 95% of its students qualify for reduced lunch, and over 50% of the student body are deemed ELL (English Language Learners). Nonetheless, the school is considered high-functioning. The original school (PS 314, I believe) was underperforming, shut down, and then split into two magnet schools. Those two schools, PS 503 and PS 506, are in the same building and share many resources, but they operate separately. Fortunately, 503 has the magic combination of accessible resources and wonderful faculty. I think this will be an incredible first experience as an educator.

What my weeks will look like:

Monday: Student teach all day, class at night

Tuesday: Student teach all day

Wednesday: Student teach all day, after-school meeting

Thursday: Student teach half day, class at night

Friday: Inquiry at 503 once per month, faculty meeting once per month

Goal: to write in this blog about once per week. Let’s see how it goes :)