For those who have been following the Student Teaching saga, I have an update.
After much reflection, I pushed my university to offer me a different placement. The university wasn’t sure they felt okay about offering me that option, since my relationship with my Supervisory Teacher had been so good previous to the unexpected tragedy. They also let me know that English placements aren’t easy to find, and that even if they said they wanted to re-place me, there was no guarantee that a place could be found. I was persistent, though.
I just felt like it wouldn’t be in either of my Supervisory Teacher’s or my best interests to continue working together. Although I can’t fully empathize and don’t want to pretend to, I do know that the death of a child is something you never get over. It’s a little insensitive (and uncomfortable) to ask her to mentor me while she is so heavily and newly in the grieving process. I also feel like I’m going to learn more from someone who has the mental space to be in the weeds of mundanety with me (lesson plans, classroom management, etc…) instead of wrapped up in the profound cycle that is life. Lastly, my career is too important to let myself become the student teacher who acts as a distraction for my Supervisory Teacher’s grief, especially because this career is how I intend to spend the rest of my life (not that she has expressed that sentiment, but many others on the periphery have).
My university gave me the word earlier this week that, if I want, they will pull me from my placement and find another for me with a stipulation: I will join the next cohort of students and do 5 weeks and 10 weeks all over again, instead of doing 15 weeks at once as planned.
I’ve taken them up on it.
I was going to have a teaching credential in December and a Master’s degree in June, and this changes things a little bit. I will now have both a Master’s degree and a teaching credential in June. It’s a delay, but June is a better time to look for work as a teacher and I’ll be more qualified while I’m applying for things, since I’ll also have that Master’s degree to help me along.
Honestly, it’s a big relief. The only thing I’m a little worried about is who I’ll be placed with next. Keep your fingers crossed for me that it’s someone amazing.