I walked down the hall. My palms were sweating and my was mind racing. What was I going to do? What was I going to say? How should I act? Finally, I approached the door. I reached for the handle and it slowly opened. I stood in the doorway with 30 pairs of eyes focused directly on me.
The teacher stood up and introduced me as Miss Michele, the student teacher for the year. I was there to help the teacher with the dance class because its size.
All the young girls took an instant liking to me, except for one girl, Carly. I did not understand why she would not listen to directions; she was the kid who just did not care. Carly was the one who would sit talking to anyone near her no matter how many times I asked her to stop. She would also make faces at other dancers or me during class, and she would try to have other dancers join her, which would disrupt the class.
Carly had a learning disability; she sometimes could not comprehend what she was seeing. For instance, if I was doing a combination for the class she would see a different step or even a different combination. She would always act up because she was confused.
She was the real reason I was assigned to the class. The teacher wanted me to work with her and help her understand the steps and keep up with the class. It was my first year in the student teaching program and I was already presented with a difficult and daunting task. At first, I did not know how I would to accomplish this, but I would not give up.
I started working with Carly, but it appeared I was not getting through; she seemed frustrated and confused. I realized I was approaching this task in the wrong way. I needed to work with her more individually, but I could not make her feel self-conscious or singled out. So, I would work with her along with a couple of other girls on specific steps. Whenever a new step was introduced, I put the girls in groups so they could help each other. I would put Carly in a group with other girls who did not understand the step as well, and I would work with them. When the recital came, she knew all of the steps and how to do them. I could see how proud she was of herself, and I was equally as proud of her.