One of the things I am struggling with as a student teacher is that I don’t really feel like the lessons are “mine”. I am working with two CTs, and for the most part, I feel like the structure and sequencing of the lessons I am planning and teaching is theirs. On one hand, I really appreciate this because it lets me focus on other aspects of my budding practice. On the other hand, I am really hoping that once I have my own classroom (or even as I progress further into my student teaching experience in the next few months), I will feel be able to infuse more of my ideas into my lesson plans.
This is challenging right now because even if I implement lessons that align more with how I envision my classroom, my kids and CTs aren’t used to it. For example, my precalculus class is used to taking notes and observing many examples by my teacher, along with practicing problems in groups and using stations. I am attempting to add some more investigative activities into their normal routine, like finding coordinates on the unit circle using special right triangles as manipulatives. It took the kids longer than I expected to do this, probably partially because they aren’t used to this kind of activity. We weren’t able to get to other parts of the unit circle during that lesson (symmetry in the coordinates, radians, etc.), and my CT suggested that I move on because I had already spent more time on this than she ever had.
Is this a normal feeling to have during student teaching? Should I be okay with just focusing on improving aspects of my teaching within someone else’s structure? Don’t get me wrong — I am not bashing my teachers’ styles, and I have a lot to learn from both of them. There are just some things that I would like to have in my future classroom that I’m finding hard to practice now.