Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Where Has The Time Gone?

I create this as I am sitting through finals week at SDSU with all the student teachers. This brings me back to the memories of “boot camp” we had for two weeks in January.

(Updated 5/3) Those two sentences were all I fit in during my three-day finals schedule. School, among many other things, got the best of me during this stressful last week of school at SDSU! Naturally, I put off the final papers until the due dates as well which doesn’t help. On top of it, the championship season of track & field is around the corner next week which includes an added stress as well. Anyway, the point of this blog post is to briefly reflect on my unique experience as a student-teacher-athlete. I was fortunate enough to get a taste of what it’s like to be a high school teacher with my phenomenal cooperating teacher Mr. Mark Kreie.

(Updated 5/11) The year is now over! I am sitting in my hotel room waiting to have a 25-lap date with the NDSU track. Anyways, continuing where I left off. I am very satisfied with my experience this spring. Again, being a student-teacher-athlete was one of the most challenging and enriching experiences of my life. First, being a student this spring. I began the first two weeks of classes with a two-week “boot camp” with all of my student-teaching peers as we participated in classes every day from 8 to 4. This student portion of my journey consisted of a multitude of assignments to complete over the time-period, along with an introduction of our assignments throughout the semester. This complicated the athlete portion of my life in which I missed 3:20 practice daily.

Once boot camp was complete, I set off for my duties in the classroom, with the list of assignments lurking in the back of my mind. For the duration of the semester, I was to complete a weekly assignment, along with several larger projects due at midterm and finals. The weekly assignments consisted of lesson reflections, first, mid, and final reflections. Similarly, we had a handful of professional excellence assignments to conclude such as parent communication, two teacher evaluations, two student evaluations, a law based assignment, a management plan, a Personal Learning Objective (PLO), a stress management plan, and a unit plan. As we wrapped up the semester, we all met again for three days during finals week as I previously spoke of. During this three days, we completed any final assignments and were granted time to work on our final projects for the gallery walk. As I graduated, I now look forward to not being a student for several more years, until I pursue my Master’s Degree J

There were many reasons for why I am grateful to have been placed with Mr. Kreie, but the focal fortune was the fact that he was so considerate of my time. For those who are unaware, Mr. Kreie was quite the basketball star for the Minnesota Crookston Golden Eagles! Because of this, I feel he was sensitive to my needs as a student-athlete and assisted me in any way imaginable. When there may have been stressful periods during my life, Mr. Kreie offered to help whether it was words of wisdom, covering the online video for the day, helping me plan, etc. I got a great taste of what it’s like to be a full-time teacher with Mr. Kreie, and he enlightened me on all there is to know. Mr. Kreie was also an open book of resources. He was not protective of his resources but encouraged me to use them not only during the spring but throughout my teaching career.

I was satisfied with how easily I fell into the “groove” of working a full-time job. My body was slowly acclimating to the early mornings and potentially late nights. I remember several late Tuesday nights creating the weekly Wednesday Quiz and Quiz Retake. Similarly, there were many late nights grading tests or quizzes that I was unable to get to during my planning periods. One thing I learned, along with many other student-teachers, was how difficult it is to be productive during planning periods! At BHS, students are encouraged to visit teachers for one-on-one help during planning periods. Fortunately, this meant I experienced a lot of tutoring during the semester (which I really enjoy), but unfortunately this meant no time to finish grading or planning for the next day. As a whole, I am luckier than most of my peers with the phenomenal teacher I was placed with. I had two preps, and I didn’t necessarily feel overly swamped with “teacher work” to be completed. Several days were easier or harder than most, but I enjoyed my exposure to education!

This is my most unique category in which none of my peers were able to relate to. Yes, I understand many attempted to take on part-time jobs during student-teaching, but taking part in the athletic experience is something faintly divergent. If we were to compare a sheer number of hours, I estimate nearly 20 hours of hard work dedicated to my athletic experience. This includes, but is not limited to, daily practice (including 8 AM Sunday long runs 12-16 miles), team meetings, weightlifting, core and stretching, online running log completion, training room appearances for rehab/ice bathing, etc. Now 20 hours is a heavy workload for a student who most likely is able to work only weekends, but I understand several worked on the weekdays as well. I doubt many other student-teachers worked over 20 hours per week, but if they did, I have a counter argument. (Updated 5/24) My life would have been much easier this semester if I wasn’t so self-conscious of how much sleep I was getting. Although some days are tough to get through off of 5-6 hours of sleep, I could not perform well with that amount of sleep. I did my best this semester but did not get the necessary sleep to perform at my highest level. This fact alone leaves me at a disadvantage to most other runners who are most likely not in my situation.

Another factor this semester was the time spent on my feet during the day. My legs took some time getting used to wearing dress shoes all days. Every day was a battle to get to practice on time. Practice started at 3:20 PM, and I got out of school early at 3:15 PM every day, some days later. Lastly, this is the most stress I have had to go through most likely ever in my lifetime. This makes it even more challenging to perform at a peak level.

These are not a list of excuses for why I didn’t perform better, but more so positive reassurance of how I will train for my job next year. When I stick to thinking positively, I am very satisfied with how well I balanced everything from school, a girlfriend, student teaching, competing, and having a life.

The year is finally over, the four years flew by here at SDSU. I am so grateful to have encountered so many individuals here that have changed my life. This is my last post as a student, and I apologize for length if any brave soul has read this far. This is a satisfying feeling to close the chapter of my collegiate lifestyle with this blog post. Argue with me if I am wrong, but being a Student-Athlete-Teacher will be one of the most difficult tasks I ever accomplish in my life! 

(Below are two examples (4/19 & 4/24) of hectic days this semester, but the two of many!)