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Saturday, September 22, 2007

Conflicted Thoughts...

(My Internet's been down. I wrote this on Sept. 22, and am back-posting it.)

I'm feeling extremely...emotional about school. I am frustrated with many things - the curriculum and the way I have to teach things, the overwhelming prevalence of pre-packaged programs (to the point where some of my lesson plans are nearly as simple as "See Book") and some of the classroom management tactics of my CT.

However, I absolutely adore the children. If I didn't care so much about the kids, the fact that I feel they are getting something of a sub-par educational experience might not disturb me as much as it does.

On Monday, one of the girls in my class ran up to me, gave me a crushing hug, and exclaimed "Te extra├▒o mucho!" I told her that I had missed her too, and then proceeded to melt.

I guess I am feeling two contrasting emotions. On the one hand, I am completely disheartened about many things. I don't even know how to explain it. When I was telling my professors about it, I'm afraid they just took it as complaining. I wasn't articulating myself well enough. There are some things regarding reading instruction that I don't totally agree with, but I know (think that perhaps?) are necessary in an early-elementary classroom. So, while I don't entirely believe in their efficacy, I could enthusiastically go along with the practices as long as the students were also receiving other more holistic types of instruction - a combination of the two would seem quite logical and would help to accommodate various learning styles and ability levels.

As much as I absolutely loved everything about school at the beginning, I knew that the time would come when my feelings changed, or at least became more complicated. I have certainly reached that point. By the middle of last week, I was deep in the throes of complicated introspective thought about...everything - the school, my CT's methods, the state of elementary education in the US, the things I value about education...

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