Greetings everyone and welcome to issue # 7. Hope you all had a lovely Valentine’s Day yesterday. Ordinarily, this eMemo is sent out Sunday afternoons but for reasons related to Saturday night’s snow storm and Valentine’s Day, this issue never “got done” yesterday and is being completed this Monday afternoon. See Concluding Comments from the Editor for more details.
Feedback From This Year’s Interns
So receptive and excited about learning
I am doing my internship in Grade1and absolutely loving it. Already I have gotten to know each student so well and grown to care about them all.
The one thing that is so great about Grade 1 is that the students are so receptive and excited about learning. As long as I use an excited, expressive voice, I can see them struggling to contain their own excitement about what we’re going to learn and do.
I am going to teach my first full day this week and am really looking forward to it. Of course I would be happy anywhere in primary and elementary but I really do have a special love for primary.
How much work goes into teaching
I always knew that teachers did a lot of work but this internship has been very eye opening. Since I have started taking on more courses, I have truly realized how much work goes into teaching. There is the actual teaching which involves you constantly thinking how about how you can make this more interesting or how you can make that one student pay more attention. So that alone is a lot of work.
On top of that you are preparing lessons for the week, photocopying, developing worksheets and preparing the upcoming test. You are constantly working and thinking. One of the teachers at my school said he had never napped until he started his internship and I totally understand why now!
By the time Friday comes along, I am ready for the weekend. But I think all of this work is worth it once you have just one student say to you “I finally understand that concept miss”. All the work is worthwhile when you can make a difference in a student’s life. (Secondary Intern)
How to help teens
I spent this weekend participating in an ASIST workshop which was a workshop that teaches you all about how to talk to someone who is considering suicide. There were a few teachers there from the District School and they had commented that this training has really helped them in their profession.
I guess in a regular school setting, suicide is not as prevalent as you think. However, I think this training is important for teachers to have as this topic does come up with students and it can obviously happen to students.
It really opened my eyes on how to help teens who may have a rough situation at home, or maybe are dealing with things that they can’t handle. It is important as a teacher to be trained to help students work through these issues and maybe you might even save a life. If anyone out there is considering taking this workshop, I highly recommend it.
And now on a more positive note, I have a test to prepare and tomorrow is my first day teaching 5 courses straight with no prep. Wish me luck!
Becoming much more comfortable teaching
So far my internship has been going well, and I can’t believe how quickly the time is passing by!
The first few weeks I was definitely nervous but I am happy to report that as time marches on I am becoming much more comfortable teaching. My co-operating teacher and all the teachers in the school have been extremely supportive and helpful.
I am enjoying this experience very much and making the most out of every day, taking in what I can to improve for the next class.
On The Lighter Side of Teaching (Part 1)
“Seems as though she’s been taking this Teacher
of the Year thing a bit too far!”
Recommended Book Resource for Primary & Elementary Interns
Crow Call (2009)
Author: Lois Lowry
Illustrator: Bagram Ibatoulline
Lois Lowry retells a story from her childhood as she gets to know her father again after he returns from the war. Illustrated in tones of brown, the colors of the rainbow plaid of Lois’ hunting shirt bring hope to this quiet story of a new beginning.
Before Lois’ dad went to war he bought her a shirt that she wanted, a shirt that hangs to her knees, but one she cherishes because he gave it to her. Now Dad is back, and he takes Lois crow hunting one November morning in her plaid shirt. Crows eat the crops and farmers shoot them to preserve their livelihoods and feed their families. Lois’ job will be to use the crow call to get the crows flying upward to make them an easier target for hunters.
As Lois and her dad walk through the woods, Lois is uneasy. She does not want to be part of killing crows, but she does not want to disappoint her dad, especially as they are getting to know each other all over. She says, “I wish the crows didn’t eat crops”, and her dad replies that crows don’t know any better—to which Lois responds, hesitating as she says it, “yes, but…they might have babies to take care of, baby crows”. Dad explains that once baby crows grow up, their parents never see them again and wouldn’t recognize them among other crows.
Lois starts calling crows, and is very good at it. As more crows rise from the trees, Lois keeps crow calling, until wherever one looks, crows can be seen on the branches of the trees. Lois is happy to see them as she stands, breathless from the crow calling, and laughing at the “patterns of calling crows” as they circle the sky. Dad sits on a rock, smiling at her. “Listen, Daddy! Do you hear them? They think I’m their friend! Maybe their baby, all grown up!”
As Lois takes her dad’s hand to leave the woods, Dad carries his gun carefully. “…and though I am grateful to him for not using it, I feel there is no need to say thank you—Daddy knows this already. The crows will always be there and they will always eat the crops; and some other morning, on some other hill, a hunter, maybe not my daddy, will take aim.”
The last page of the book shows a picture of Lois Lowry as a child, wearing the plaid shirt. Her final comment is a message to all of us, “The details of this story are true. They happened in 1945, to me and my father. But parents and children groping toward understanding each other —that happens to everyone. And so this story is not really just my story, but everyone’s.”
On The Lighter Side of Teaching (Part 2)
“I chiffed my tooth. Now, I can own-we-sfeek
in bwoken Engwish!”
Education Law Corner
This week we turn our attention to one of the most important doctrines ever enshrined in law in Canada, the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. The Charter is a part of The Canada Act which came into effect in 1982 under the leadership of then prime minister, Pierre Elliott Trudeau.
At first blush, we educators might think that the Charter really doesn’t have much relevance in our lives as teachers in the K-12 school system. However, nothing could be further from the truth and in the next couple of eMemos we will try to shed some light as to why the Charter is truly a foundational document in Education Law.
Permeating the thinking behind the Charter is the concept of reasonableness. On a first reading of the various sections of the Charter,
teachers and school administrators may become somewhat concerned and perhaps even a tad paranoid when they come upon sections titled freedom of speech, freedom of assembly, freedom of association and freedom of opinion and expression. However, in Section 1 of the Charter it is acknowledged that the concept of reasonableness must prevail, nothing is absolute. That specific section reads:
The Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms guarantees
the rights and freedoms set out in it subject only to such
reasonable limits prescribed by law as can be demonstrably
justified in a free and democratic society.
More on the Charter in next week’s issue of the eMemo.
On The Lighter Side of Teaching (Part 3)
“I took the class online. . . . so I wouldn’t have to wait in line!”
Concluding Comment From The Editor
That’s it for this issue. A word of thanks to those interns who sent in submissions.
As mentioned in the introduction, I thought I should explain why the delayed eMemo this week. 4 reasons come to mind here: 1) the 2 hours I spent snow-blowing my driveway yesterday morning; 2) then the visit to see our new grand-daughter Olivia on Valentine’s Day; 3) my going with my wife to see the IceCaps v. Marlies game later in the afternoon at at Mile One; and lastly 4) my wife and I going out for a meal after the IceCaps game. When we arrived home at around 9:30ish, it was too late to start doing this issue! So, I thought I should do it today – and so it was/is!
AHL & NHL hockey-wise: The IceCaps defeated the Toronto Marlies Saturday night by a score of 3-1; I never got down to the game because of the storm. Yesterday the Marlies won by a score of 2-1 but it was a decent game. (PS: Oh, I have to see my optometrist this week as my eyes were somewhat damaged on Sunday by all those blue Leafs’ jerseys I saw at Mile One!)
Les Habitants have been experiencing some success as of late but are in great jeopardy as to whether or not they make it to the playoffs. Ce
n’est pas bon!
St. Bon’s-wise: Had another good game Friday night. Pardon my humility or lack thereof, but I scored 2 more goals and yes, there was a goalie in the other team’s net!!!!! The details: Goal # 1 – skating down the right wing with the puck, aimed and took a shot at the space between the goalie’s left arm and the goal post. And guess what? It went in!
Goal # 2 – got a breakaway, shot the puck at the space between the goalie’s right arm and the goal post. Guess again: It went in! Needless to say, I was euphoric as they were 2 good goals; even my team-mates seemed to be somewhat impressed with my “marksmanship”!
Obviously, my thinking then was to try and get the life-time elusive Delaney hat-trick! We’re down to 2 minutes left in the game – I wanted to score my 3rd goal but unfortunately we couldn’t even get out of our own zone and the clock ran out! Where was Connor McDavid when I needed him!!!!!!!!!!!!! The dream does continue!
Have a wonderful week everyone – Jerome