Jumping Into the Deep End


Jumping Into the Deep EndDespite my best efforts, I wonder if sometimes my classroom may feel a little bit like a slumber party.


Without the party.


If I’m not careful, I drift into instructional routines and lose sight of the learning experiences I am trying to foster. My routines can lead to classroom ruts, lulling my students into catatonic schooling.


Having a student teacher helps keep learning fresh. She gives everything a new perspective. She transforms what could be a slumber party, into a pool party. We’re always diving into new learning experiences.


Each day is a dive into uncertainty. Each day is an exciting jump into the deep end, for the student teacher, the students, and this teacher.


Since leading the classroom is new for Alex, each lesson is a foray into questions. What is is that the students need to learn? How can I create an experience that will help the students learn? How will I know they understand?


Alex works diligently to create a learning environment that engages our exceptional students. We have created various types of rocks using starburst candies. We have tried writing lessons using mystery bags. We created fossils with modeling clay. She worked pie into “Pi Day”. We created multi-media biographical reports using QR codes. We do mash-writing. With each new lesson, we dive into the unknown. We splash around and get a feel for information that works, and what is irrelevant. We learn about learning, and we learn about ourselves.


Over the past few weeks, as Alex has taken over the class, I have had a chance to jump in to other deep waters. I visit the classrooms of colleagues around my building. With their invitation, I visit various grade levels throughout the day, learning from amazing peers, and along side their brilliant students. I’m gleaning new ideas to improve my classroom organization, as well as insights into enhancing the teamwork dynamics of my students. I’ve even had extra opportunities to work with our principal, and see the building through an administrative lens.


Inviting a student teacher into our classroom is always a leap of faith, but also a wonderful dive into uncertainty. This year, it has been an exciting jump into the deep end, where we have grown stronger and more confident as learners.



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