Tuesday, 13 May 2014

Teacher Tuesdays: Introduction

I wanted my blog to cover all of my interests so I decided to start "Teacher Tuesdays". My hope is that this will let me reflect on my teaching practices and share triumphs and failures with fellow teachers. At the moment I don't have a lot of experience in the profession but I wanted to be able to track my development as a professional. I just completed my education degree at the University of Lethbridge, during which I completed four practicums.

First, I had to complete a preliminary practicum called Ed2500 to make sure that the education faculty was the right fit. Mine was at an elementary school here in Lethbridge where they have a Montessori program. I taught in a grades 1-3 classroom and because of the nature of the program I got a lot of experience in one-on-one instruction. I was really interested in the Montessori approach and witnessed various benefits and downfalls of it.

I completed my first practicum in the faculty of education at St. Patrick's Fine Arts Elementary on the west side of Lethbridge. I taught grade six language arts, grade four and five art, and grade three drama. I was forced to step out of my comfort zone and teach subjects that had no previous experience in. The kids were awesome!

In my second professional semester I was placed at Victoria Park Alternative High School. The school was designed to help students who could not be successful in the typical school setting. I taught English 10-1, 10-2, and 10-4, and CALM 20 in the classroom and also marked distance learning modules for English 30-1 and 30-2. It was an amazing experience! All of the students I worked with had unimaginable difficulties to overcome. I was in awe everyday at the strength that some of my students showed. Teaching there made me want to help students in their positions before they got to the point where they needed to be put in an alternative program. I became drawn to Junior High or Middle School because I feel like that is when you can effect the most change in a student's lives. It is at that age when students make large changes in their lives, physically, socially, and emotionally.

My final teaching practicum was my internship at Wilson Middle School. The school is located in a low income area of Lethbridge and fed a lot of students to Victoria Park. I was so excited to get placed there and was able to teach grade eight language arts and math, and grade seven physical education. The kids were awesome! I also got to coach the junior girls volleyball team, junior girls basketball team, and grade seven badminton team. For me middle school kids are at the perfect age! they are old enough that you can joke with them but not to the point that they hate school or have a bad attitude towards their teachers. Wilson is an amazing school and the students and staff there are truly amazing! I would be in heaven if I was able to teach at a school that had a school dynamic anywhere close to that at Wilson.

During my university career I also developed my teaching portfolio. It includes examples of unit plans I developed and shares some of my experiences during each of my practicums. If you would like to see it click on my 'teach' tab at the top of the blog.

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