I learned 2 main things at the week long class I just took on being a mentor teacher.
1. I wasn't crazy or lazy or incompetent 5 years ago when I started teaching and had no idea what the fuck I was doing. I just didn't have anyone to show me what to do. Beginning teachers now, since the mentor legislation, are very fortunate to have an experienced colleague who is assigned and paid to help them through the rough times, and not to be thrown to the sharks in the traditional "sink or swim" method of inducting teachers. Honestly, at my first job, I didn't even know where the supply room was, or that I could have access to it. I didn't know where the faculty bathroom was for weeks. As far as curriculum development, I knew what I had learned in college, but that had NOTHING to do with working in a real classroom. Next year, I will SO make sure that my protege (That word seems so pompous and hilarious. It's better than "mentee" thought.) knows the ins and outs of the school, is armed with plenty of lesson plans and ideas, and I will teach her all the Jedi mind tricks I have learned in the past 5 years.
2. Sitting in class all day SUCKS ASS! Whenever I have an experience where I have to be the student again, it reminds me that I must let my kids move around, communicate with each other, make sense of the material by using it, and for god's sake, shut the hell up every once in a while! Why do we make kids sit and sit and sit at school? By Friday afternoon, I was talking to my neighbor, doodling, writing notes, and making excuses to leave the room. So, I wrote in big letters on the front of my planning calendar, "Kids need to move and talk and explore!" Elementary teachers seem to know this, but we high school teachers forget. Hopefully, I'll remember this in the fall.
Today's best thing about being a mom:
Sophie has made up her own "naughty" word. It is "peanut butter poo" When you ask her what who wants to eat, or what she is playing with, she'll get this little smirk on her face and say, "Ummm. Peanut butter poo!" She makes up knock-knock jokes like "Knock Knock." "Whose there?" "Peanut butter." "Peanut butter who?" "Peanut butter Poo!!" Then she laughs hysterically. I do too.
Today's worst thing about being a mom:
She's learned to scale the bathroom counter and turn the water on. I almost had a heart attack today when I went into the bathroom and found her teetering on the edge of the sink with the hot water running.
p.s. Just a little tip. If you complain to your spouse that he/she don't communicate with you well, and he/she says, "Well, sometimes you're kind of hard to talk to," a good response isn't, "Fuck that!"