I really thought I'd set things up so that they'd go smoothly for student teaching this semester. I had a meeting with the Associate Dean of Teacher Education and my Disability Resources advocate, we worked out what accommodations that they could give me without disrupting the goals of the program and I came out of that meeting feeling like I could be comfortable about how they would move forward to find me a placement.
That was probably mid-to-late October. When I hadn't heard anything about my placement by mid-December, I emailed the program coordinator. He told me that they were working on a placement at one of the local high schools, but they hadn't secured anything yet. That made me nervous, but I figured I'd wait some more and give them a chance to work things out before I went to someone farther up the chain. After all, what else could I do? I just hoped that I'd hear something before the first day of student teaching, January 19th. Alright, I wasn't really going to wait until the 19th, but I did give them until last week. I tried getting in touch with the Student Teaching Coordinator all week. After leaving message after message on his voicemail, I called the Associate Dean last Thursday (who actually answered the phone after two rings). He admitted that they weren't having much success finding me a placement, but assured me that they were going to continue working on getting me a placement that worked. He also assured me that if I didn't get placed by the 19th it wasn't going to be held against me.
I have Graduate Student Teaching Orientation and then my first Student Teaching Seminar on Wednesday afternoon/evening and then on Thursday...well probably nothing. But I'm all ready to go! I've got lots professional looking new clothes, I've got a nice new bag to carry all of my lesson plans, notebooks, and supplies. Unfortunately, not knowing what grade and subject I'll be teaching, what book I'll be using, I feel unprepared when it comes to the subject matter. When they're training you to be a history teacher, all of the classes are very specialized, like The History of the American Presidency, Colonial America, The Modern Middle East, Race in America, American Military Culture, Dissent in America, you get the picture - SPECIALIZED. When you get a job, part of that job is to become an expert in the subjects that your teaching. The first time you teach a course, you're learning almost as much as the students are, especially when it comes to the specifics and the organization of the materials. So once again, I'm nervous as hell, I hate not having prep time before I get into the classroom. I'd like to have the textbook, had time to design some powerpoint slides, get acquainted with the material and my cooperating teacher well before I got into the classroom. As things stand now, I'm going to be working my ass off that first week just trying to get ahead of the materials so that I can plan ahead.
On the positive side of things, our Christmas went well. The custody swap went beautifully. We had the little man on Christmas Eve, which we spent having a "Christmas Morning" here and then going to my mom's for dinner. Christmas LM went to his mom's house and then BF and I went to my dad's in-laws for the day. We also had another get together on the 26th at my dad's with the Earnest family. It was great to see my cousins, who I rarely see, and really just to see that whole side of my family. It was a long day, but a really nice time. And then for New Year's Eve, we went to my cousin and her family's house for a nice little get together, which ended promptly at midnight when we figured out that we are too old for New Year's Eve to be the all-night party it once was.
My hips are still doing pretty terribly, but I had an MRI about a month ago and I have an appointment with my rheumatologist to get it read on the 23rd of this month. I'm hoping that she'll agree to do a hip replacement surgery to just end the pain in my hips and all of the other trouble that my hips are causing; my ankle is a wreck, my leg is always turned out to the side, my knees ache, and now my lower back is acting up as well. Not that I would be able to have a hip replacement until after student teaching, but if all went well I would be laid up for the summer, but I could be ready to teach by the fall, or at the latest the spring semester of next year.
Alright, I suppose that's it for now. Not really all that much going on without school going, but things should be speeding up pretty soon. Not too much I hope!