Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Student Teacher

            The best thing a new year brings is new people.  New teachers are fun, new students are fun, but best of all are new student teachers.  Watching a student teacher is like seeing into your past.  When you were a student teacher, you dressed impeccably every day; you worked hard to present a professional appearance.  You labored over your lesson plans.  You loved the kids with an open heart that had never been stomped on yet.  Students pick up on the enthusiasm a student teacher brings to the school.  Kids love having the young, nice, and usually very good looking teacher.  Our student teacher this year brings all these good qualities to the table in spades.  

            I first noticed our student teacher a few days before school started.  He was walking around the building with Mr. Collins, the drama teacher.  Mr. Collins is 55 years old, has salt and pepper hair, and carries about 50 extra pounds.  Walking with him was a tall, athletic looking, blond haired young man.   I thought he was Mr. Collins’ son.  When I passed him in the hall later that day, he smiled, said “Hello,” and continued on to tell me what a great school he thought we had.  I stopped, visited, and learned that even though he had attended a large university, he grew up in a small town and had attended a 1A school. 

            As he described his past, I was struck by how much he reminded me of my youngest son who has just completed college.  They not only share many of the same high school experiences and played the same sports, but they also bear a striking resemblance to each other.  It was even more surprising when I discovered they shared the same name – David.  

            I wished student-teacher-David well for the year, and guessed that a very successful teaching career was in his future.  He exhibits a confidence beyond his years.  It will be very easy for him to strike up good relationships with the students.  The middle school girls will fall in love with him.  The middle school boys will look up to him, will want him as a friend, and will want to be just like him.   David is exactly the kind of young man we want to enter the teaching profession.

            I discovered how much David is appreciated today.  In the first weeks of school, teachers are very visible in the halls and around the lockers helping students find their way through everything.  Few teachers get into their classes on time because there are so many stragglers having trouble opening their locker or finding room numbers.  

First period this morning, after the halls had cleared, several teachers were still standing in the hall chatting.  I assumed they had already noticed a problem with some students and moved over to find out what was going on.

            “This is going to be a really cool semester.”

            “Yeah, he’s a dream all right.”

            “Oooo.  A reason to dress up each day.”

            “Hey guys,” I said.  “What’s up?”

            “Ah, we’re just talking about our new guy,” one of the teachers offered.

            “Who’s that?” I asked.

            “You know.  David.  Collins’ student teacher.”

            “Yeah, he is cute,” I offered.

            “Cute?  He is so hot!”

            I was standing with four women I considered peers in teaching, when suddenly I had this vortex-type of sensation.  They suddenly morphed 20 years younger and I morphed 20 years older!  I started laughing.

            “Dang you guys make me feel 100 years old!” I exclaimed.  Four puzzled faces grinned back.

            I had been feeling such motherly pride in seeing David walk our halls, soon to enter our most noble of professions.  It sure wasn’t motherly pride I saw in the wide-eyed grins looking back at me.  Yeah, David is going to have a great semester here.

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