Lost in a February Song

Student teaching is awesome.It’s only been 2 weeks at Slate Creek Elementary School here in Newton, in a 4th grade classroom, but I can already tell this is what I want to do with my life. Or at least part of my life.The students are lovable and challenging, sweet and sneaky, but (so far) I can’t think of one I’m not thankful for. I laugh a lot with this group of kids, and have already learned so much in classroom management from my cooperating teacher. I keep notes on the cute moments: the child who shows incredible patience and encouragement to the student who likes to yell in people’s ears for fun; the student who gives me two valentine cards a week ahead of time; the child who offers to loan me one of her books because it’s so good, I need to read it, too. They already respond well to me, and while I’m thankful that I’m slowly being eased in to the position of full time teacher, I am ready to start teaching some lessons and helping these 4th graders through assessments. Ah, but there is always a “but”. Did I mention I still have a life outside of student teaching?I don’t recall that I do. I wake up, go to school, take attendance, read to the students, work with a small group on math skills, plan for more lessons, answer questions, then go to meetings, do a bit of work for campus ministries here at Bethel, eat supper, prepare for the next day… oh, it’s 10 pm–sleep!Finding a routine in college is difficult from Day 1 of freshman year. And though class schedules change from semester to semester, we find some pattern to our days. It doesn’t make us boring; it keeps us sane. However, in my last semester of my undergraduate days, I have to find a whole new pattern. I’m still searching, because I’m not quite sure where keeping up with modmates and family and exercise and me-time come in yet. Those important things that keep me smiling after I’ve left my 4th graders… they’re still just as necessary now as a senior as they were to me my first semester freshman year. Even if I am ready to strike out on my own, find a job, a house, cook all my own meals… I’m still a bit lost in February, as we head in to the third week of this month. I’m just trying to keep the faith that I’ll find my routine, get back in motion, so that I can enjoy all aspects of this final, challenging, wonderful semester.