In Which the Space-Time Continuum is Nearly Annihilated
Tuesday morning, I miraculously found my way to the school at which I am doing my second seven-week session. This school, according to the ever-accurate Mapquest, is approximately 34 minutes from my house. I know how to get to the town in which the school is located, but I wasn't sure exactly where the school was. Being ever-cautious, I allowed myself an hour, giving my directionally-challenged self plenty of room to get lost. Well, get lost I did. I'm glad that I gave myself that hour, because I pulled into the parking lot of the school at exactly 9:30am, the time I was scheduled to meet with her.
After winding my way through the labyrinth of hallways (this town has one elementary school, and, thusly, eight sections of second grade, the grade I'll be student teaching), I finally made my way to the office. The, uh, wrong office. The, uh, grades 3-5 office. I promptly got lost on my way to the K-2 office, and somehow stumbled upon it after about three minutes of aimless wandering. There, they gave me easy-to-follow directions to the classroom, which, miraculously, I found without incident. On my way out, I should've asked them for a fucking map.
Anyway. I was expecting the room to be empty, and the teacher to be sitting in there while her kids were at special or something, which is how the other teacher handled it. But no. I walked in on a class bustling with children bundling up a year's worth of seasonally-dressed paper dolls with string, "like a present," she instructed them. "If you need help, Ms. Frazzled or I will help you."
Oh. Well. Actually, Ms. Frazzled has the fine motor skills of a four year-old and the spacial relations concepts of a kindergartner, so she'll probably just watch and pronounce everything you do a "Great job!" in hopes of avoiding having to figure out what the hell you're doing. Luckily, these kids turned out to be pretty well-trained, and simply repeating the directions I heard the teacher give - "Now tie it like a shoelace" - was enough to prompt them and not make me look like a totally inept schmuck.
Way to make an impression, right? That was my introduction to this woman's room.
But that wasn't the only thing that threw me off. Ohhhh, no. The first thing that I noticed was that this woman - who bears the same (real) last name as Ms. Sneakers - resembles Ms. Sneakers in a rather striking manner. Same blonde hair in a messy ponytail; same facial bone structure and body type... and they were even dressed alike. Ms Sneakers-Clone (which is what this woman shall be henceforth known as, or Ms. S-C for short) was clad in pale blue capris and a white t-shirt that was very similar to that belonging to Ms. Sneakers... but, alas, no pink sneakers. Instead, she wore pretty white sandals. However, the overall effect was quite unnerving. I briefly wondered which episode of The Twilight Zone I'd become party to.
Despite this brief upset in the space-time continuum, I think that things with Ms. S-C are going to work out just fine. She's extremely friendly and personable, and she made me feel comfortable right away, just like she'd done on the phone. Her manner with the kids is great. Obviously she's had the whole year to fine-tune her relationship with them, but she was able to sit with me and talk for about half an hour and they carried on just as they were supposed to. And she has those highly-developed observation skills common to all good teachers; she'd pause every few minutes to address something, and get right back on track with me. It was interesting to see.
My first in-person impressions of both of these women are good. While I obviously don't know anything of any real substance yet, I have positive feelings towards both of them so far. At the very least, I'm not cringing in horror yet. That'll start as the end of August approaches. For now, I'll just enjoy the fact that I'm pre-horror.