These are my stories of my student teaching adventures, plus those fun times that Sarasota, Florida brings me.
Keep checking back to read and see how I grow as a teacher and person.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012


Tomorrow marks my last day of student teaching. It will be such an emotional day for me. I am happy to have been able to complete my field with such an amazing class, but I am sad that I have to leave them. I have learned more than I could ever imagine and am SO grateful for this experience. As I am typing this I can feel my nerves kick in, I am so nervous about ending tomorrow. It is the first time that I really have been so attached to my students and have them super attached to me. This class is one that I will never forget and will compare to my future classes. They were more than students to me, and children that I will always have a spot in my heart. I am happy to be done and know that next fall I will (fingers crossed) have my own classroom to teach and love just like I did with this class.

As I relax before tomorrow I will think about all the fun times I had here at Ashton, and here in Sarasota. Sadly this Saturday I will be leaving this BEAUTIFUL weather for Ohio... do I need to say more? One day I might just be back down here to live and teach. For now though wish me luck on my last day! Emotions will be high!!


Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Lessons Learned

Today was my last lesson I taught for my student teaching, and I wanted to go back and talk about some of the lessons that I have learned this semester.
  • ·         Never assume the children know what do it even when the task is basic. As adults we know what to do when given a paper or task but kindergartners come in knowing little to nothing. You as the teacher have to teach them each step. Even with our class being high leveled I would have to explain tasks step by step to make sure they could do every step correctly.
  •             Patience is key! When I am with my students I have the most patience in the world, when it comes to adults that is a little different though. Even though I do have patience, I relearned what is really meant this fall. When I was working with my reading groups and they were trying to read each word in their books patience was huge, it would take some of them up to a minute to read a word as simple as ‘big.’ Being patient made it so worth the wait, once they read that word and knew it was right they had the biggest confidence in the world. This went with anything too; math was another area were my patience led to great thinking and huge learning strides.
  •       Differentiation is the best thing you can do for your class. Having a class with so many different levels makes it hard for you to always teach the same thing to them all. We had reading centers and would always have at least one center that was different from our high leveled to our lower leveled students.
  •             That last lesson brings me to this next one: our Jehovah Witness. I have never been exposed to someone with this religion and when I did this semester I was able to turn a whole new leave. He is a wonderful child and really got me thinking about how I could teach our holiday’s without offending his family and him. Being able to have this in my experience really opened my eyes into a world that I am going into for the rest of my life, one that made me see you really have to take each child as they are so different, and meet the needs of them all.
  •       Parent conferences don’t always go by the book. This semester was the first time I was in a parent conference and it was way off of the book. It taught me to always be ready for ANYTHING, and to take it all in before coming out with something positive.
  •       DATA will take over my life, but in a positive way. Having tons of data for your students will just help you that much more with helping them. I have looked over so much data this semester and taken to figure out where I was going go with teaching my objectives.
  •       Support is the most important part to everyday and I don’t mean just for the students! I was always giving my support to my class because it is not fun to watch them fail at something. Supporting them and seeing them support each other was the greatest, I really can’t describe it. I could give support to my class forever, but I also needed it too. Having such amazing support from my family and friends kept me going everyday! I learned that even though given support was great but receiving it back was what kept me strong and helping my students.
  •      The beach is a necessary place for relaxation… and I am not messing around. That was the place I went after a long day when I needed a break from the real life. Having the beach there also made me reflect on my day and get ready for the next day! 
These are just some of the lessons I have been through and learned from, I could go for days and days about all the lessons I have learned from this amazing experience. Student teaching has really changed my into an amazing teacher. I can not wait until I have my own classroom and get to keep learning from all these lessons I come across. 

Thursday, November 22, 2012


It has been awhile but I thought today was a perfect time to write on new post all about how blessed I am. I don't even know where to beginning either, I have such a wonderful life and have been blessed more than I could ever imagine!

Having the family and friends that I have make every day even more special! I have the most support behind every decision that I make and I am always been encouraged to do everything I dreamed of. Without that support I wouldn't be down in Sarasota, Florida doing my student teaching. The choice of leaving my home, family, and friends for three months was one of the hardest choicest I have made in my life. With the support of all of them, I was able to realize that this experience is once in a lifetime and would be such an amazing time.

That brings me to today, even though I still have 8 more days of teaching left I can say now that this is an experience that I would not change for anything in my life. I have been so blessed with the school I am at, my mentor teacher, my students, my host, and my supervisor that I couldn't see student teaching going any other way. Even though being awhile from family is tough, I tell myself everyday that this is only 3 months of my WHOLE life. I can make it through and have such amazing stories to tell for the rest of my life.

With this experience I have been blessed with being able to do so many different things here in Florida. Such as: Ringling Museum, collecting shark teeth from the beach, seeing the most amazing sunsets around, being at the number one beach in America, going to Disney World, seeing the most amazing chalk drawings at the Chalk Festival, countless events with my students, hanging an Ashland dollar at the Siesta Key Oyster Bar, trying out all the local restaurants, and so much more. Here are just some photos of my favorite things I have done...

At the end of everyday I think about how blessed I am to be where I am in my life. I can not see myself anywhere else and with any different experiences. Thank you for everyone that has been a part of it and that has helped me become who I am and get to the place I am today. 


Sunday, November 4, 2012

Being a Teacher

This past week was so much more than I could of imagined. I was teaching fully on my own and it was the best feeling in the world. To have those students in your hands and gaining knowledge that you are handing them is extraordinary! That feeling of first taking over is something that I won't ever forget, and it is one that I never want to go away. During this week I definitely had my moments where I realized you have to be prepared for anything. Having such a great mentor teacher and the weeks before this one, let me be able to handle those situations. Which I am so blessed for, I have grown so much since September 5.

As I think back to freshman year and my pre-school block I can say that I have grown so much more than I ever thought I could. I remember that feeling when I first went into the classroom on the very first day of field and I was so nervous I didn't even know what to say. I was still unsure what if teaching was really for me at that point, and really didn't know what I was getting into. I can now say that teaching so definitely for me and that I love every part of it, well except all the testing...

From that first day of field to now I have grown into the teaching profession and have become a teacher. I have gained so much knowledge and have been able to apply it all somewhere in my teaching. I have also gained a appreciation for every teacher out there because it is really a hard profession, and you have so much on your shoulders. Knowing this is my last field experience before starting my teaching career gets me so excited! I am so excited to be able to get my own classroom and students, and be able to teach them everything.

This being my first full week of teaching solo, we did Nursery Rhymes! I decided to teach my class the rhymes with hand motions so they were able to learn them more quickly, and just have more fun! Our first one we learned was "There was an Old Lady..." and that was a huge hit, every day they wanted to say that one with our hand motions! I definitely had a lot of fun this week teaching them all the nursery rhymes. We also did some writing prompts to go with our rhymes. The first one we did was "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star, I wish..." and they had to answer with a wish they had. It was so cute to see what they were wishing for!! The second writing we did was with Humpty Dumpty, I gave them the question of 'What would you do to put Humpty Dumpty back together again?' Again their answers were adorable! It was such a fun week for not only me but the students!!

Says, "I wish for to be a princess."

"I would use band-ads."
"I would jump in the story and find out what's wrong."

Off of teaching, this week I did two really fun and cool things here in Florida...

 On Thursday Nicole and I went to the Chalk Festival that is held in Sarasota! It was spectacular to see people using chalk and drawing such amazing pieces of art. I was in aww about it! Even though most of them were not done drawing it was really neat to see them in progress. Below are some photos I told from it.


Then on Saturday I had received 3 free tickets to a UCF football game. I thought it would be a great experience and just something fun to do. When we got there the atmosphere was great, it was just like being home and going to an Ashland or Ohio State game. Plus once we got to our seats, we had an amazing view. It was a great game, close the whole time, and the UCF Bulls were able to pull out the win!

Only 35 days left here in Sarasota...crazy!

Have a great week!

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Love from Home

Short post but a great update!

This past week I took over everything but one lesson, and even though it felt like my students were sleeping (maybe its because it was a 4 day week) it was a great week! I felt so good teaching and having it be my classroom, so this coming week I know it will just get better as I take over everything.

The best part of this week was receiving a care package from home! It was amazing opening it and just seeing all fall items! I got so much that I don't know what to do with it! My favorites have to be the Copley Fire shirt that is supporting Breast Cancer and the candy corn! It was just what I needed to cheer me back up, plus now I have fall decorations and a great candle to look at everyday! Thank you again to everyone that was involved in making it!!!

This coming week is all me teaching, and to end the week is the Chalk Festival and a UCF football game! 


Sunday, October 21, 2012

This past week I had to say goodbye to one of my newest friends, Autumn. Her 6 weeks here in Sarasota doing her student teaching is up and now she is heading back to good old Ohio for part two! I wish her the best of luck during her time with the elementary students!  

I also witnessed a whole school of teachers come together for a former teacher who now has brain cancer. It was amazing to see everyone stand up, clap, hug, and shed some tears for her. Made me realize that people really do care for each other and want to see the best of them. I give all my prayers and thoughts to her and her full recovery. 

On a better note, this week was our last week of farm and my first week of my unit! It was on prediction, and boy did the kids have fun with it! Every day we would have a clue to our mystery box and then read a book to predict on! Then on Thursday I read a book, call Who's in the Shed?, to them but didn't finish it, instead I had the students predict what was going to be behind the shed. They were very upset when I didn't finish, but they did such an amazing job predicting. On Friday, I first gave the last clue to the mystery box then revealed it. Words can not explain how excited they were for that and for when I showed them what was in it! Once they calmed down, I read the last page of the book to reveal who was behind the shed, that let out another uproar in the classroom. Thankfully it was a good one! We then proceed to go outside to make homemade ice cream! That was a 'treat'...but so much fun! I had such an amazing time teaching my unit, it got me so pumped for next week and doing my race track for beginning/middle/end!

                              Here is an example of their predicting for Who's in the Shed?
I wish I could show them to you all, they were so adorable!

                                                The mystery box! It was a pumpkin!!

                                                   Making our homemade icecream!

After school on Friday, Nicole and I went to a retired teacher garage sale. HELLO! It was the best luck and choice we could have ever made! After over a hour of looking through books and materials, I came out of there will over 80 books for just $40! YES, you read that right! We both got a great deal. The best part is she then gave us a tub of lesson theme materials for free! We got so many worksheets, and activities for different themes. I was so blessed that she was doing this and we knew about it!

This coming week is all about pumpkins! Plus it is a FOUR DAY WEEK! Until next time!


P.S.- 48 days until I touch down back in Ohio!

Monday, October 15, 2012

Catching Up!

A couple weeks behind, oops!

Two weeks ago was Fire Safety Week! Everyday when we were reading a book about fire safety or fire man I would automatically think of my dad. Then once my students found out that my dad was a firefighter I was receiving nonstop questions about him. It was so amazing to see them so excited about something so simple! Plus on Fun Friday we made fire trucks out of graham crackers, icing, and candy!

Last week was all about farm!  It was so funny seeing all the students just making ever animal sound they could think of. This was my favorite week so far because it hit the closest to home and I knew so much about it! Along with farm, I had another observation which went so amazing. If there is something that makes me the most nervous it would have to be observations. Until now. This observation really made me feel like I had 'the teacher' down, I know now I can do it and have the confidence. Getting such great feedback from my supervisor and mentor teacher has really made me come out and take control of my teaching. That observation also was the first time I took over the classroom by myself! It was so much better than I expected and made me realize how I can't wait for my own classroom and students!!!

During the weekend we, Nicole, Autumn, and I, went to the Old Salty Dog! We got to sit by the ocean and watch the most amazing sunset while eating dinner! Plus it was a great time to get together one last time before Autumn leaves for Ohio. We also went to the Point of Rocks, which is a Sarasota secret and can only be gotten to at low tide. It was such a cool experience to walk out into the ocean and step on these rocks to see tide pools and more shells than you could ever count!

Sunday also marked the half way point of my student teaching and time here in Florida! It is crazy to me that I have been here for a month and a half. Having the beach right at my fingers for more than a weeks vacation is amazing! It is the perfect thing to do when you have had a long day or just need a break. When I have to leave that will be the biggest challenge for me, I will have to find my 'own beach' in Ohio to let me relax at!

One of my favorite beach photos I have taken! You can really see the white soft sands of Siesta Key and a great sunset!

Until next time, Caitlyn