First thing this morning, I sat in on an administrator meeting. These meetings happen once a week, and it is where an administrator from the building comes to meet with the team. Mainly, we discussed "problem" or "at-risk" students and talked about what needed to be done. Largely, these conversations resulted in making further accommodations in the classroom.
Today was also an exciting day because my cooperating teacher was gone to a conference, leaving me to teach by myself. I spent a lot of time preparing to make sure I knew what I was doing, and to my benefit, everything went very well! I felt like today was crucial for the students to finally see me as a teacher and as an authority figure in the classroom. Throughout the day, I got many questions about myself which presented me the opportunity to ask questions in return to the students. I got to know quite a few things about many of the students, which was good for me.
I was floored by the quality of discussion that I had with my first diff. block. The extent to which they analyze the texts that they read is much deeper than many college students I have had classes with. They have incredible vocabularies, and they are able to raise some very interesting points! I wish I had the opportunity to participate in a class like this when I was a sixth grader.
My second period class didn't have quite the level of discussion as first block, but they did pretty well. I would say that about 1/2 of them were actively participating the whole time. I suspect that the other 1/2 didn't get the story read. I suppose I'd better get used to that happening. Unfortunately, once they leave the classroom, I don't have any control over what they choose to do (or not to do).
All in all, I felt very comfortable being in charge today. I think that today changed the way the students perceive me for the better, and I'm looking forward to seeing how the rest of the week goes!