This week I began my practicum experience in third grade. I'm in the same school where I did my first grade practicum, so I don't have too much of a school culture adjustment. What I am finding though is that third grade is about a million times different than the other grades I've observed. The students have fully developed personalities and they are testing the boundaries of the classroom in much more obvious ways. I don't have a class full of sweet babies who spend the whole day trying to love on me, I've got a room full of sweet babies who are trying their best NOT to be seen as sweet babies.
In the two days I spent in the classroom we had some explosive situations and events which required really strong classroom management skills. Skills that I am still in the process of developing. There were tears, hurt feelings, and more drama than a Real Housewives episode. Never in my life would I have believed 8 year olds would experience such intense changes in attitude throughout the day. I figured they were still too young to begin experiencing the craziness that comes with trying to establish yourself as an individual.
Boy was I wrong.
However, all of this being said, I have never felt so alive and important and needed than I did over the last two days. There is a group of boys in particular that made me feel like dragging my butt out of bed and showing up that day was worth something to someone.
This is not to say that I didn't have similar feelings during other practicum experiences. I did. This experience feels different though. I'm not able to put my finger on why that may be just yet, but I am beyond excited to spend more time with these kids and find out.