On Tuesdays and Thursdays I've been staying at the middle school during third period when my cooperating teacher has a planning period, and it has been a wonderful opportunity to familiarize myself with the school (she gave me a tour and the principal gave me a t-shirt), meet other teachers, watch some student presentations in other classes, learn to use the SmartBoard, and grade student papers! Not to mention, it's a great time to bounce ideas off of each other and discuss how the classes went and how we can modify them for the upcoming periods.
I love that she creates a positive, student classroom environment and the ease with which I have transitioned into a position of authority in the classroom. I appreciate the freedom she gives me in terms of how I approach activities, classroom management, etc. Even when she turns the classroom over to me she reminds me that I don't have to do it exactly the way she did and to feel free to do whatever's comfortable to me. The fact that I have been so involved in the classroom makes it far easier to jump in and teach a lesson despite the nerves.
My goal throughout the remainder of my placement is to achieve the same comfort level I have working with smaller groups of students when I'm addressing the class as a whole. It's frustrating when I feel as if I've finally figured out who I want to be in the classroom and what that's going to look like and then get up there and NOT be that teacher. It's clearly just a matter of working out the nerves, but I'd really be able to cross that threshold!