Exciting Times! Pre-Internship Week #1

What a wonderful and tiring, terrific and exhausting, incredible and frustrating career I have chosen!         I         LOVE         IT!

The past four days of my pre-internship have been four the most exhausting AND incredible days ever. By being in the school every day instead of once a week, I have been building wonderful and strong relationships with my students, I have been learning tons and tons from my cooperating teacher, and I have seen my comfort and confidence levels increasing. I love feeling a part of the school community as well. I have come to see that the school I am placed in is extremely supportive and nurturing. Any new teacher would be blessed to get a job there!

Today I taught my fourth lesson on poetry – I am really excited about my unit! The students also seem engaged and energetic to learn more about poetry!

Lesson #1 – Pre-assessment regarding poetry & Poetry Introduction

Lesson #2 – Colour Poems

Lesson #3 – Sensory Poems

Lesson #4 – Concrete Poems

I have been marking the students’ poems each night and while it is difficult, I love it! My students are very bright and artistic! They really are wonderful poets! It is very easy to teach this unit to students who are so excited to learn!

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I have been more exhausted than every before! I have also been happier and more ambitious than every before! I cannot wait to have my own school, my own staff, my own classroom, and my own students!  — ONE MORE YEAR.

Tomorrow is a Culture Fair and Celebration of Learning. I know it will be another busy day, but I couldn’t be more excited!

The Outcome

I won’t lie, over the last couple of years in university I have asked myself a couple of times why I hadn’t put my time into a career that pays a bit more for my hard work and time. When deciding to become a teacher, I also had nursing in mind. Periodically, I had a feeling of regret. This regret would disappear in a week or so but during that time, I wished for a more solid compensation for overtime hours and a higher wage. I fought this inner battle for the past year and a half or so.

As I progress further into my education program, I am starting to see a familiar trend that all of us early elementary teachers share – we do not do it for the money. Instead, we all have hearts overflowing with empathy, kindness, and sincerity for our students. We go to schools every day and we instantly see why we chose this career. Our passion is to give our students the absolute best that we can each and every day – even if that means spending our evenings and weekends preparing our teaching to better suit each one of our little learners.

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Why I Teach

This quote sums up the reason that I know that I chose the right career. It is due to the smiling faces, the kind words, the difference that I can make in my students’ lives and learning.

So while I may not make huge amounts of money, what I am able to do really is priceless.

See you later, Alligator

Well, today was the day. It was the day that I said goodbye to my littles! I took a lot of time today to chat and build my relationships with the students. They were especially sweet with their hugs and sweet comments today. I cannot believe how strong my friendships are with them! They have helped me become a closer version to the teacher I one day want to be.

I cannot forget to mention my cooperating teacher. She has opened my eyes to many things. Firstly, I have come to realize that I can be a bit too hard on myself and I instead have to think of the good. Last week during my physical education lesson I was very negative because the students were louder and chaotic. But, Susan prompted me to think about what the students got out of the lesson. Yes, the students were able to be active and to practice skills, so really, what more can I ask? I have to realize that I cannot control everything…this is going to be hard for me! Secondly, I have learned that I am sometimes too soft spoken. I need to work on being more assertive with my voice. Phrases such as “Can you please do this”, give students the assumption that they have an option. I have to improve my phrasing and ‘teacher voice’. Thirdly, I learned that at the end of the day, those students are children. Six hours is a long day for them and they really do need time to have fun and be kids. I have always thought of grade twos as mature and invested in classwork all day, but this is not the case. They are still young and their brilliant minds need time for relaxation and fun as well.

They students made me feel especially emotional today. I really am going to miss them. There are quite a few of them that I have ‘brought home in my pocket’ for the next few months (I do not physically have them with me but in my thoughts). While I am planning for my three-week pre-internship in March, I will be thinking of my diverse learners.

Below are a few of the cards that I received today. These cards will definitely be keepers!

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Today marks the end of something that I was terrified to do. I was terrified to stand in front of a class and teach, I was terrified to say the wrong thing, I was terrified to challenge myself. Instead, I persevered and I am now a confident and inspired pre-service teacher.

My next challenge is to plan an interdisciplinary and engaging unit on poetry for March! Remember Gladys McDonald School, it is not a goodbye but a see ya later!

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How many lips did the flower have?

Answer: Tulips!

This week was my second last day out in the field for my pre-internship. Don’t ask me where the semester has gone, because I have no idea! It flew by!

I had a hard day. I found one thing out – I will be very surprised if one day I become a gym teacher! My first ever physical education lesson was not so great. It was by far the worst lesson I have ever done. It was chaotic, wild, and unorganized. It gave me an instant headache and I remember thinking, “It’s a flop”.

I went into the day thinking that a Phys.ed lesson would be easy and fun! Instead, it was long and difficult! I incorporated a fun

I thought that I had incorporated a fun set for the students with Uno cards. Instead, I heard a student ask if that was all we were doing so after a few rounds, I took the hint and moved on. Afterward, I set up stations for the students to rotate through. I think I may have had too many stations and not enough guidance on what to do. The class was only half an hour long so it did not leave much time to show students what to do in each station.

My physical education lesson can be found here.

Next week is my last week teaching until March! I am going to miss my students too much. I keep telling them that it is not a goodbye, but a see ya later (or am I trying to tell myself this?). Next week I am going to have a fun activity playing Heads Up 7 Up, as the students have been asking me to play it for 8 weeks.

If Only The Land Could Talk

As part of my Arts Education class, I produced an oil pastel picture of a place dear to me. This place is a back road near the farm that I spent many years on growing up.

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My piece of art took me through a trip down memory lane. I recall the smells, the sights, the sounds, the scenes, and the feelings. All of these occurred at a place that is very dear to my heart – my family home. When people ask me where I live I sometimes find myself trying to explain that sometimes I live in Theodore, Saskatchewan with my dad and sometimes I explain that I live near Willowbrook, Saskatchewan with my mom. No one know that I would give anything to be back at our family farm as a real family.

My best memories are out there. These memories range from paddle boating on the creek to jumping on the trampoline to suppers in the field to hunting on the land that I knew like the back of my hand. One may say that that land was my childhood, it was my happiness…it was me.

When the divorce came, I couldn’t wait to leave that place. We all needed a new start, a new beginning. But then times changed and I longed to see my bedroom and feel the crunchy leaves under my feet in the yard. Some may say that land is not alive, but that land was apart of me. It was as alive as the birds that flew in the trees or as the grasses that moved in the breeze.

When I think of my life out on the farm I think of an easy autumn breeze, friends and family laughing, the chirping of crickets, and the smell of harvest. I think of the cool air on my face while skating under the stars during Christmas. I think of the flowing waters of the creek during springtime and the hustle and bustle of seeding the fields. I think of the hot summer sun on me as we hauled bales as a family or laughing and joking with neighbors while making silage. I never realized that my best memories were on that land.

My art piece shows an easy autumn scene on the land that is me. It shows a carefree girl with nothing to do or worry about except feeling the warm sun on her face and hearing the crunch of leaves underneath the quad. For some reason, I can lose myself when I am quadding. It is something about the wind on my face and the twirling leaves behind. My artwork shows the connection that I have with my land and my family home.

This art piece began as an acknowledgment of the beauty of Saskatchewan and my family home. It began as a testament to one of my greatest joys. But, it quickly intensified. I realized that I chose to draw this due to a feeling of loneliness for my home and the way things were before.

If only the land could talk.

 

Why do witches fly on brooms?

Answer: the vacuum cord was not long enough!

“Today is going to be another fun day with you” – S

“I love you Miss Reid” – M

This week helped me see that I am definitely on the right path! My students were absolute sweethearts with their hugs and cute little comments. It is the days like this that I feel like I am in the right place and thanks to these little learners I can continue through the rough times. There is a light at the end of the tunnel!

This week I taught a health lesson on healthy lungs. This lesson can be found here.

I started the lesson with a fun video about how lungs work. The students were engaged and watched attentively. In the video, it shows small hairs in one’s nose to filter dirt from going into the lungs and the students all giggled. I used this as a teachable moment and explained that yes these hairs exist but we should be thankful for that.

I then drew a diagram displaying the pathway that air makes into the lungs and out again. The students were then given a worksheet to colour and draw the pathways of oxygen.

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Meanwhile, I worked one-on-one with students and constructed lungs out of plastic bags and straws. I must say, this was quite a larger job than I had anticipated and took much longer! But, I would not change the activity at all. If the students had not constructed their own model lungs, they would not have enjoyed experimenting and engaging as much as they did.

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Once all of the students had constructed their model lungs, as a class, we experimented with them. We blew air into the lungs quickly as if we were doing jumping jacks, we blew air into them slowly as if we were sleepings, and we blew air into them at a tempo as if we were walking. This was a great way to get the students up and moving as well! We also explored asthma. We pinched the straws and learned that air could not get through the straws to the plastic bags like before. This showed the students what asthma does to the lungs.

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“Thank you for letting us do this today Miss Reid” – J

Somedays are hard. Somedays make me wish that I could time travel 5 years forward. Some days I wish I could leave and go home. But then there are days like this one. Thank you to my little learners for pushing me to move forward and keep working toward what I love doing. They think that I teach them, but we all know who the real learner is.

“All children are artists. The problem is how to remain an artist once he grows up.” – Pablo Picasso

This week I had the privelege of sitting in and helping out with a class of 30+ kindergarten students. Let me just say this was the best behaved class of 5-6 year old I have ever seen! I was extremely impressed!

I sat in on an art class, something that I have always been curious about. I have heard about these classes of young students who did art other than clone-like crafts that followed themes such as Halloween and Christmas. This group of students had learned about Vincent van Gogh and had replicated their own starry nights and they had investigated Andy Warhol and learned about his soup can art.

On this particular day, the students were introduced to Pablo Picasso.(BTW, his real name is Pablo Diego José Francisco de Paula Juan Nepomuceno María de los Remedios Cipriano de la Santísima Trinidad Ruiz y Picasso!!) Anyways, the students watched a cute video from Miss Patti’s ArtSmart TV. The students were super engaged in the video!

Once the video was finished I was partnered up with a litte guy named Jesse. We were a great match! Together we created the art piece below.

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I had a great time exploring the classroom (which is beatiful), but also getting to know Jesse, learning about another (I would say better) way to teach art, and what team teaching really looks like.