Saturday, April 5, 2008

Cindi and Ted, Chapter Nine

I was actually engaged to be MARRIED!! I was going to be spending the rest of my life with this one particular man that I absolutely loved and adored. I would get to use the word husband!

We spent the summer just talking about the wedding occasionally, as we knew we had a lot of time to get things planned. Way back then, you didn't need to have everything planned out, ordered, arranged, etc. a year beforehand like you do now. Besides, I had a busy fall coming up.

Since I had taken a few summer classes, I was going to be able to graduate a semester early from college and would hopefully get a little headstart on getting a teaching job. The college I went to was in the process of switching from quarters to semesters, so there were still a few little quirks to work out. I would have a 5 week block of classes, then a week off, and then 10 weeks of student teaching that would take me right up to Christmas vacation and then I was DONE!!

The five week block was pretty tough. I believe I had four classes at that time and they were long, 5 days a week classes. They were basically being done in the same time format as summer classes (yuck). Fortunately my grandparents lived about 8 miles from the university, so I stayed with them for that time, and just drove over to school. I wasn't able to get an apartment for just 5 weeks, and dorms weren't available for only 5 weeks either. So it was either stay with my grandparents or drive back and forth from home each day. Some people did that, but it certainly wasn't my idea of a good time to spend two and a half hours on the road each day!

The 5 weeks went by fast, but I missed Ted. A lot. Then I had a week off. That was really nice. However, I used that time to buy some clothes. (I do NOT like to shop, but I needed some professional clothes to wear for student teaching.) I also had gotten in touch with my cooperating teacher and spent some time in the classroom with her before I officially started.

Once my student teaching started, things got crazy. My cooperating teacher turned out to be a royal pain. She said she'd never had a student teacher before, so she really wasn't quite sure what to expect. Well, I'd never done student teaching before, so I didn't know what to expect either. She told me that I needed to have three copies of each daily lesson plan: one for me, one for her, and one for the principal. Back then we didn't have copy machines to use, so I wrote them all out on notebook paper with carbon paper in between. Each half hour lesson that I would be teaching had to have a THREE page plan, in triplicate! That also including the opening activities at the beginning of each day, along with the closing activities of each day. For each lesson, I was to not only include any and all supplies necessary, but the name of the text book, if I used one, the chapter number and title, the lesson number and title, my method of instruction AND list all the questions that I would ask the students, and the answers I was hoping to elicit from the class.


I spent much more time doing lesson plans than teaching the lessons. It was terrible. But the worst part of all this lesson planning was at the END of my student teaching experience when I found out that NO OTHER STUDENT TEACHERS in my group had to do this. They only had to use a lesson plan book issued by the school district and fill it in appropriately. They did their entire week of plans in less than 2 hours. Heck, I was spending hours and hours each and every night.

And I missed Ted. IMMENSELY. We could talk on the phone during the week, but only for a little while. I had way too much to do. We both realized that it was only a temporary situation, but it was driving us crazy. On weekends we were able to see each other, and one Sunday we had a full day planned.

We were going to Cleveland to see the Browns play the Steelers! We were going with Tim and Patty (his brother and sister-in-law) and Peg and Mac (his sister and brother-in-law). I knew that my plans weren't done for the following week, so I took as much of my stuff with me as I could and worked on them in the car on the way up and the way back. We had a wonderful day together...we all had a great time! But when I eventually got home, I knew I was going to have to pull an all-nighter to get my plans done.

That didn't happen. And I had to face my cooperating teacher the following morning and tell her that all my plans for the week were not done. She was not happy. She dug out her plans from the year before and turned those in, and would teach the lessons. She asked me if I learned anything. I told her that I had....I told her that I learned that I could do absolutely NOTHING besides school work until I finished my student teaching. Then she told me that that wasn't true. She said that relaxation was important and I would just need to manage my time better.


I was coming in at least an hour early each and every day, doing her bulletin boards (which were extremely important to her!), and I was staying anywhere from an hour to three hours after school to grade papers, set up the lessons I would be teaching, reading things in the small professional library they had at the school (you couldn't take things home). When I got home I would take time to change clothes, then work on lesson plans until almost midnight every single night, taking a few minutes out to eat dinner, talk to Ted on the phone, and take a bath.


Basically, in my humble opinion, she was NOT a good cooperating teacher. After the entire experience she told me that she would never again have a student teacher. She thought it was too much work. I just shook my head and chuckled to myself on that one.

Sooooooo, all the wedding plans we were hoping to make that fall, didn't really materialize. We had notes about things, but nothing official. Right before Christmas I called the photographer and arranged for him to take the engagement photos between Christmas and New Year's. We had begun talking about a guest list too. My mom was working on the catering part of the reception and my dad knew someone who was going to be able to supply the beverages at a good price. So by this time it was getting to be a matter of making things official and coordinating it all.

But what we really needed was a place for the reception. And THAT turned out to be one of the biggest problems of all.

To be continued...


Paulie said...

Yu sure know how to hold a person in suspense! Thanks for checking out my blog.

I can't believe your student teaching threw you right into the whole class teaching immediately. I did it for 9 weeks in the classroom and 9 weeks in the media center but the first week, I just taught one lesson and each week added more. Good thing that teacher didn't want more student teachers!