Volume 12, Number 5

Greetings everyone – welcome to the short month of February.  Weather-wise, for the most part, it’s been a good and mild winter here in the east – less so in central, the west and Labrador.  Week # 5 interns – your internships are moving right along and by now all of you are in the “thick” of teaching – hope it’s going well for you – note the word “well” not “perfect”!

This week one of the submissions references the issue of mental health in our schools.  A complex subject, our provincial school boards and the Department of Education in recent years have developed some very worthwhile initiatives to deal with mental health issues.  However, the onus is on all teachers to be ever vigilant in their classes so they may be able to help students suffering from these various issues.  We encourage students to talk to someone and seek out help but as educators we are not always successful in that effort.

Enjoy the issue.

Feedback From This Year’s (2018) Interns

That is what makes teaching so unique
I have spent my whole life dreaming of becoming a teacher and imagining what my classroom would look like someday.

As the fifth week of my internship begins, I have come to realize that one thing that I failed to consider was the wide range of student behavior that I would have to deal with. Regarding behavior, I believe that I have a very realistic class for my internship. Some days are great with very little problems, and other days I feel like the days are spent just telling the students to sit down, stop talking, and to focus on their work.

While it can definitely be challenging at times, I have no doubt that it is preparing me as best as possible for the future. But what I love most about these challenging moments is that they make the positive moments so much more rewarding for everyone, and I think that is what makes teaching so unique.  (Elementary Intern)

I still don’t always know what I am doing
I started my internship at the beginning of January with a slight knot in my stomach. I was informed that I would be teaching in a third-grade classroom, which was not the age or grade I intended to teach. Due to my plans to attend a different school falling through, I was placed at this new place on short notice.

My additional fears about this shift included the exceptionally high ratio of children with exceptionalities in the grade, and the anxiety of whether or not I was ready to handle so many needs with zero hands-on, classroom experience.

What I found out about this internship has shifted my original paradigm about the class, the school, and teaching in general. I now view my internship as an opportunity to embrace the issues and struggles that go into a classroom with high needs children. I notice the tendencies and mannerisms of my mentoring teacher and strive to reach her level of poise, patience, and practicality while teaching.

When my fears about this term changed into challenges in my mind’s eye, the focus went from ‘How can I do this?’ to ‘Let’s find out how to do this.” I still don’t always know what I am doing or what the right move is, but I refuse to let the insecurity or fear take over.   (Primary Intern)  

At first it was a little awkward
Well it’s been almost a month since I started my internship! They say time flies when you’re having fun and that’s certainly true in this case!

I decided to return to my old high school for my internship and I have been enjoying myself quite a bit. At first it was a little awkward but I’ve had no trouble readjusting.

We just recently finished midterms at my school, or as I like to call it “midterm mayhem”. For me it was a week full of supervision either in the hallways or exam rooms, observing my co-operating teacher interview students and even interviewing some on my own; then of course some correcting amongst all of those. But it’s never just that simple. For a week or two before exams we were concerning ourselves with lesson planning and planning for exams. Now I’m starting to prepare to fully take over another one of my teacher’s courses very soon.

Things are slowly getting busier each day for me. I am very much looking forward to teaching classes but more so as I just received an opportunity to teach a Science class at my school in one of my favorite subjects no less.

I’m very much enjoying my internship thus far even though some students’ behaviors frustrate me slightly. I’m learning lots about the profession and about my students as well. I realized a few weeks back that I’m already dreading going back to MUN as I’ll miss my school, my teacher, and my students.

Hope all is well with everyone.  (Secondary Intern)

Even though every day comes with frustrations
Every day I teach I realize more and more why I am choosing this career! Even though every day comes with frustrations it is so rewarding to start building relationships with my students and learn my way in the classroom.  (Intermediate/Secondary Intern)

 I underestimated the importance of mental health in the school system
I have completed the fourth week of my internship and I would like to think that the students have taught me just as much as I have taught them so far. I am interning at a small school of about 200 students from grades 8-12, and I am teaching a course at each grade level.

Generally, I have a great group of students. We have had some challenges; however, it is all a learning experience and I will be better prepared when those challenges arise in the future.

Prior to my internship, I underestimated the importance of mental health in the school system. My school recently started a mental health clinic that takes place every second Tuesday with a nurse; however, I feel that this is not enough. I have asked the teachers about mental health support and training, and they have only completed one Professional Development day with it. I believe it is a bigger issue than we realize. Small schools present challenges that I did not anticipate, but I am very happy for the opportunity to learn from this experience. (Intermediate/Secondary Intern) 

In bed every night by 8:30 with aching feet
My first month as an intern have been hectic. I have never been more physically or mentally exhausted in my life. I never imagined it was possible to be so tired at the end of a work day that I would be in bed every night by 8:30PM; or for my feet, knees, hips and all other joints to hurt so badly. But, here I am. In bed every night by 8:30 with aching feet with no doubt in my mind that this is what I am meant to be doing.

While my first month as an intern has been hectic, it has been everything I’d hoped it would be. I have been able to make some great connections with the students at my school through extra-curricular activities. Although it is a huge school, most of the kids seem to remember me and laugh at my lame jokes, which is nice. The first month has been an excellent reinforcement that I have chosen the right career.  (Intermediate Intern)

All because we let them try
Interning in kindergarten has already given me a greater understanding of all the little things that kindergarten teaches students. I can’t imagine having half day kindergarten and still successfully completing everything that gets done in the run of a day in our classroom. It’s a delightful whirlwind most days, but a little trying at other times. I love sharing in their triumphs.

I’ve spoken with my co-operating teacher about the shift in parenting where the parents do not want their children using safety scissors, and sometimes even glue, at home. There are several students who still have difficulty cutting out simple shapes. Similarly, there are also parents who automatically do everything for their child. They pick up their clothing when it’s strewn about the floor, clean their garbage up, pick up their toys, and open all their snacks for them. They eliminate opportunities for a child to learn to figure things out and gain some independence. When students enter kindergarten, the teacher is tasked with building all this self-care, independence and willingness to try. This can be challenging when it is not expected or encouraged at home. It can also be difficult at school, because other staff members can be a little too willing to help the kindergarteners, which deprives the student of the chance to try it themselves.

Something we have been working on is getting fully dressed for winter unassisted. This might sound simple, but it’s difficult for many of the students. Winter gear can be difficult to put on. Boots need to go on the right feet, mittens need to be tucked, many snow pants have straps that crisscross, zippers need to be zipped. Although we do help students who are struggling, they have to try it (really, really try it) twice before we help, and ask a classmate to help instead if they have finished getting dressed already. When I do help, I explain everything I’m doing, and make them watch every step, for example: “you can tell your boots apart by this stripe on the outside, see?”. So, every day, I’ve been walking several students through how to zip their coat, saying “you take this piece and slide it down into this piece, then hold right here and pull up on the zipper with this hand, okay?”. It’s a tiny bit slower, but they watch closely and I know it’s only a matter of time and they will be able to do it.

Thursday afternoon, we are all getting ready. It’s the usual chaos – clothing, book bags, and baggies scattered, other students passing through the hall to get back to their classroom, and our class moving back and forth trying to get ready. One student comes to me, and just looks up. I know precisely what he wants, I’ve helped him every day since I started my internship. He knows the drill: I smile and say “Did you try it?” and he smiles, and tries his coat. Unsuccessful, he looks up at me again. “Try it again, you can do it”. He fiddles with it for a minute, and lets out a little excited yelp. He’s got it! I start cheering “Oooh you got it, up up up!” and his face breaks into a huge grin. I’m cheering, my co-operating teacher is cheering, the other students start cheering, and he is so excited he is bouncing up and down. I hear a “Miss!” from behind me, so I turn around quickly, and another student has just got her coat for the first time too! We all start cheering for her too, and she looks so proud.

All because we let them try. (Primary Intern)

Quote of the Week
There are three things to remember when teaching:  know your stuff; know whom you are stuffing; and then stuff them elegantly!  (Lola May)

 

MUN Email Accounts
Teacher interns are gently reminded they should check their MUN email accounts on a regular basis.  That’s the only way our undergraduate offices and your instructors can communicate with you.  You don’t want to miss any important reminders re dates, etc.

Interns, If I’ve Missed Your eMEMO Submission
Sometimes that happens, unfortunately! In fact 2 thus far this year!  However, they were included in last week’s issue – so don’t be shy, please let me know!

On The Lighter Side of Teaching (Part 1)

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     “I said those three little words that drove her through the roof: back to school!”

Recommended Book Resource for Primary and Elementary Interns

Stolen Words
Author: Melanie Florence (2017)
Illustrator: Gabrielle Grimard

How do say grandfather in Cree? The seven year old girl skipped and danced home from school one day, clutching the dream carver she had made, excited to ask her grandfather this important question. When he replied, “I lost my words a long time ago”, she asked a quieter question, “How do you lose words?”

Grandfather began to explain about how the children were taken to a residential school and how harshly they were treated. The little girl handed him her dream catcher and said, “Maybe it will help you find your words again”, as grandfather smiled and kissed her.

The next day the little girl skipped home again and said to her grandfather, “Tanisi, nimosom”, as she took a tattered book, Introduction to Cree, from her book bag. Grandfather whispered, “Nosisim” (Granddaughter). “The word felt familiar in his mouth. It felt like his home. His mother”.

 

As they walked together, the little girl asked her grandfather to read to her. “Will you teach me your words?” And Grandfather’s “heart danced as he nodded, holding the book against his chest”.

The illustrations are colored in shades to match the mood of each part of the story, from black and white to soft colours, to vibrant colours. This is a story of the love between a grandfather and granddaughter and how this love became hope and possibility.

On The Lighter Side of Teaching (Part 2)

     Cartoon 1814

“Why, yes.  I do think you should join the swim team.
You’ll just need to get your mother’s seal of approval first.”

Research Study:  Educators’ Perceptions of the Characteristics of Effective Principals

This is a study yours truly is currently involved in and is scheduled to be completed by late spring/early summer of this year.  It is open to all educators, active and retired.  The survey will take approximately 30 minutes to complete and all participants are eligible to be entered into a draw for an Apple iPad.  If you are interested in participating, please email the editor at jdelaney@mun.ca

Editor’s Note
If you are attempting to read this eMEMO via my blog, you may be having difficulty accessing the site (being asked for a password etc.!).  Not sure what’s going on there.

A number of readers have sent in suggestions – thank you – and the one that seems to be most reliable is:

www.themondayememo.wordpress.com

Just click on the latest issue and you are good!

Education Law Corner
We continue this week with another incident of teacher misconduct as reported by the Ontario College of Teachers (OCT).

Member: Angela Anita Grogan
Registration No: 291737
Decision: Revocation

A Discipline Committee panel revoked the teaching certificate of Angela Anita Grogan for falsely reporting that a male colleague had physically abused and inappropriately touched a female student. Grogan, employed by the Toronto District School Board, was certified to teach in July 1984.

The hearing took place on November 1, 12, 13, 15 and December 2 in 2013, January 13, April 1–2 and October 17 in 2014, and on October 23, 2015. The member attended all the hearing dates and was represented by legal counsel. The College called 11 witnesses, including school administrators, teachers, educational assistants and a school board representative. The panel found that during the 2008–09 academic year, Grogan falsely reported to school administrators in separate incidents that a colleague had: • stood on a student’s toes and did not allow her to get out of her chair in the classroom; and • stroked the student’s hair and touched her shoulder. Grogan was on medical leave until her intended retirement in June 2016. The panel found her guilty of professional misconduct and ordered that her Certificate of Qualification and Registration be revoked. The panel also found that Grogan inappropriately called her colleague a liar in front of staff and students, but it made no finding of professional misconduct because this was an isolated incident.

Grogan filed a Notice of Appeal in relation to the finding of professional misconduct to the Ontario Divisional December 2017 | Professionally Speaking 57 GOVERNING OURSELVES HEARINGS Court on May 28, 2015. Her appeal was subsequently dismissed. While the panel acknowledged that it’s very important to encourage teachers to report all incidents of abuse where a teacher has a reasonably held suspicion that a student needs protection, the Committee found no evidence that Grogan had reasonable grounds to suspect that any abuse had occurred in this case. The panel noted that members of the profession need not worry that they, too, may have their certificates revoked if they follow through on their duty to report, provided that they have a reasonably held belief that a student is in need of protection.

Revocation is being ordered in this case to address the member’s egregious conduct. In its decision, the panel stated, “The Member had levelled groundless accusations of physical and sexual abuse against (a colleague), which were both stigmatizing and career-threatening.” Members of the panel also noted that “false reporting can be extremely damaging,” and that this was not the type of behavior that the duty to report seeks to encourage.

Source:  Ontario College of Teachers Professionally Speaking magazine (December, 2017).   

 On The Lighter Side of Teaching (Part 3) 

Cartoon 1815

“Throwing someone under the bus is just an expression, Heather!”

For follow-up, please contact:

Jerome G. Delaney, Editor
Associate Professor – Educational Administration
Faculty of Education
Memorial University of Newfoundland
St. John’s, NL  Canada A1B 3X8
Telephone:  709-864-2071
Facsimile:   709-864-2345 Email:  jdelaney@mun.ca

 

 

 

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Posted in special issues, Volume 12 (Winter 2018) | Leave a comment

Volume 12, Number 4

Hello everyone – welcome to issue # 4 of the eMEMO Blog.  January is almost a memory – how accurate is that old Latin expression, “Tempus fujit” – “time flies”.  Hopefully, you interns are indeed “having fun” as the time is flying by! Those of you in the senior high grades begin exams this week.  As mentioned in an earlier issue, exam time is also a valuable learning lesson; soak it all in, teacher candidates.

Enjoy the issue.

Feedback From This Year’s (2018) Interns

On the west coast of Newfoundland
I am ecstatic to have my internship in a primary grade on the west coast of Newfoundland. Even though we are new in our internships, I am already learning so much and my co-operating teacher is extremely helpful. During my Education degree we have learned that consistency is key to having effective classroom management and I have now witnessed this first hand.

Every morning our class has a morning routine where we go over the date, days of school, our class schedule, helpers, etc. This is wonderful because students know what to expect every day. When I become a full time teacher, I will ensure that I have my own morning routine because I believe it is important for students to know what to expect every morning and to start their day off on a positive note.

It is great to be able to see classroom management strategies that work and to be able to practice them on a daily basis. I am so excited to gather more knowledge on teaching and what it entails. I know this will be a great and memorable experience for me. I am lucky to have been placed where I am and to grow/learn with my co-operating teacher.  (Primary Intern)

Miss, you are the best teacher I have ever had
As I prepare to go into week 3 of my internship, I never could have imagined everything I would learn in such a short amount of time. I have learned so much about additional resources and classroom management techniques that I haven’t been introduced to before and I have also learned more about myself.

Growing up I was told I was “too shy” to be a teacher and that you had to have a “loud personality” for the career, which is clearly not the case. I am learning that I am more than capable of becoming the wonderful teacher that students deserve to have.

In fact, I have never been more proud of myself in that in the past 2 weeks I have become more confident in who I am and today when a student approached me and said, “Miss, you are the best teacher I have ever had”, I knew I was doing something right and thankful I have chosen the career path I have. (Primary Intern)

They are probably bored of the high school lifestyle
Even after only being on the internship for just two short weeks I have already learned and experienced so much. Firstly, having two co-operating teachers, one in junior high and the other in senior high, I have already seen the wide variety of expectations across the grade levels.

Grade 9 students do not seem to be given much responsibility for their education and still show signs of immaturity at various points in class. However, they also seem to have an incredible amount of energy when, if managed, can dramatically change a student’s involvement in class for the better. One of my other classes, Math 2200, is full of grade 10 students since they are all in semesterized Math. These students are still surprisingly energetic and over these first couple of weeks have been quite enjoyable to teach.

Finally, the Calculus class, while more my speed mathematically, have the least responsive students. I believe this to be typical of Grade 12 students who are only half a year away from graduating. They are probably bored of the high school lifestyle and are seeking more of a challenge. While the different grades offer quite a challenge on the teaching front, it has also been an interesting learning experience thus far and I hope the remainder of the internship remains just as interesting and enjoyable. (Intermediate/Secondary Intern)

It’s nice to know that they’re interested
Having started my long-term internship some time ago, I feel that it’s safe to say that I feel at home. The students are pleasant, and filled with energy that is sometimes hard to contain, but ultimately worthwhile.

It’s interesting to hear what they have to say given today’s often tense political climate and anxious news headings. Most importantly, it’s nice to know that they’re interested (or at least pretending to be) in what I have to share with them as a teacher in the making.

I look forward to the illustrious time that I have left with them. (Secondary Intern)

I have taught lessons, jammed a few copiers, but most importantly, built relationships
My internship has been a whirlwind of excitement! Learning about classroom dynamics and management has been the biggest experience thus far.

The class I am in has a very interesting dynamic; they are somewhat immature for their age and there is occasional bullying. This has been the biggest struggle, as we want all our students to feel comfortable and safe. Therefore, we have had to take some class time and have lengthy discussions about these issues because otherwise there is tension in the room.

After these issues were resolved, the classroom worked like a well-oiled machine. The students know what they have to do re the general schedule, and are often quite polite. The students are very interested in learning and become very involved in discussions. Overall, it is a wonderful experience with a wonderful co-operating teacher. I have taught lessons, jammed a few copiers, but most importantly built relationships. (Elementary Intern)

The students were so considerate
I cannot believe that the third week is nearly finished. I have been very busy since the first day of my internship. It is exhausting but fulfilling as I am not only learning from my co-operating teacher and students, but also the other teachers. Most of the teachers are willing to share their experiences and useful tips, which helps me to build up my own teaching strategies effectively and avoid some mistakes.

The school is promoting technology, so I have the chance to learn how to get all the work done on Google Classroom and practice programing for creating Math equations.

I was so nervous for my first lesson even though I have taught a couple years before. However, the students were so considerate and tried to collaborate with me to perform a lesson and that helped me to gain my confidence back.  I have been enjoying being a teacher with them and I am glad that I made the right decision to switch my career to become a teacher. (Intermediate-Secondary Intern)

Been having a great experience
My extended internship has been great thus far; it certainly is a great learning experience. I am doing my placement in a rural school that takes in students from a number of different communities from grades 7-12. My co-operating teacher is a high school teacher so I’ve spent most of my time teaching at the secondary level. However, I have had some time down in intermediate and after midterms my co-op teacher is going to utilize the advantage of having secondary and intermediate in the same school by giving me experience in both levels.

Now that I’ve finished my third week, I’m making some connections with various students. Many students feel comfortable asking me questions about content and about real-life things such as stuff about university. I’ve had a number of Grade 12 students ask me about courses at MUN and other programs.

Although I am beginning to feel very comfortable and connected with the staff and students, I also find myself experiencing some frustration when people are not doing what they are supposed to do. For example, my co-op teacher gave me a short list of students who are in danger of failing their Chemistry midterm so he said we would have to get them in a small group to help them out. Some of them worked away and asked questions while others never even bought a pencil or calculator to the small tutorial; clearly, they didn’t care at all about not knowing the content.

I guess what I’m trying to say is that it’s difficult and frustrating to help someone who doesn’t want to be helped. This learning experience was the only positive thing I could pull from this situation. Rather than that, I’ve been having a great experience at my school and I can’t wait to see what the next couple of months will hold. (Intermediate/Secondary Intern)

I am writing to highlight the use of exit cards by Math teachers
I am completing my internship at a suburban school that serves more than 900 students in Grades 9 – 12. Prescribed programs are offered in English and French Immersion. I am teaching Science 1206, Chemistry 2202, and Chemistry 3202 under the supervision of two co-operating teachers.

However, I am writing to highlight the use of exit cards by Math teachers at my school. I believe that they are an excellent assessment tool because it is important to monitor student progress during a unit rather than merely determining student progress at the end of a unit with a unit test. They inform the teacher if the class is experiencing difficulty with a concept. As a result, the teacher can spend more time on it if the need arises. I will use exit cards when I am a teacher because a concept in a Science course often builds on the concepts that come before it.  (Secondary Intern)

We both learned and it made me laugh

I am doing my internship in a Grade 3 English classroom on the west coast. So far it has been great amount of fun and I have made so many memories that will last a life time.

One of my favorite moments occurred a few weeks ago. My class had done a painting project and my students were writing reflections on what they liked, didn’t like and what they learned. I anticipated my students mentioning warm or cool colors which was the main point of our lesson.

Instead, one of my students wrote, “I learned not to put my sleeve in paint”. This certainly made me chuckle as I too, learned from the experience that having aprons handy for painting is a must-have in a primary classroom! We both learned and it made me laugh. (Primary Intern)

Quote of the Week
“Teachers are picked on in the news.  We are constantly hearing how education needs to be fixed. Yet we enthusiastically do our jobs for the kids because we know we are making a difference for every child – sometimes small gains, sometimes large gains.”  (Christina Demonbreun)

MUN Email Accounts
Teacher interns are gently reminded they should check their MUN email accounts on a regular basis.  That’s the only way our undergraduate offices and your instructors can communicate with you.  You don’t want to miss any important reminders re dates, etc.

Interns, If I’ve Missed Your eMEMO Submission
Sometimes that happens, unfortunately! In fact 2 thus far this year!  However, they’re included in this issue – my apologies to those 2 interns.

On The Lighter Side of Teaching (Part 1)

Cartoon 1810

“Ruminate, chew on your food for thought. . . and remember no horseplay!”

Recommended Book Resource for Primary and Elementary Interns

Show Way
Author: Jacqueline Woodson (2005)
Illustrator: Hudson Talbot

Show Ways are quilts that have secret meanings. Slaves made them as quilts to freedom for many years. This is the story of Soonie’s family, a generation of families who made these quilts. The illustrations are like a quilt themselves, intricate patterns and colours of hope and freedom backgrounded in the dark colours of despair and imprisonment.

When Soonie’s great grandma was seven, she was sold without her parents, but she had a small piece of muslin from her ma and two needles and thread from the “big house”. In her new surroundings, Soonie learned to sew “coloured thread into stars and moons and roads that slave children grew up and followed late in the night.

When Soonie’s great grandma grew up, she married and had a baby, Mathis May, whom she taught to sew. When Mathis May was seven, she was sold, but like her ma she took a piece of muslin, a needle and thread, and kept on sewing. The slaves on her new plantation soon learned about her skills of making a Show Way. They came to Mathis May when “they needed to talk, came to her for the stories of brave people, came to her for the patch pieces just before they disappeared into the night”.

Mathis May had a baby girl whose name was lost in history, but this baby grew up and had Soonie. Soonie grew up free, but poor and hardworking. When she was seven, she took in wash like her mama. They still made quilts, but now they sold them at the market, “sewed those quilts to live, sewed those quilts to remember. And though some could book read, most could not. Stars and moons and roads. Picture reading was what they’d always known”.

Soonie grew up and had a baby girl called Georgiana.  Georgiana was reading by age five, and became a school teacher. She had two girls, who when they were seven walked “in a line to change the laws that kept black people and white people living separate”. They were scared at times, but inside their dresses were Show Way patches their Grandma Soonie had given them, and “something about those patches made ‘Scared” hang his head and walk away”.

They grew up and one of them had a baby girl named Jacqueline (the author). When she was seven, she learned to sew the Show Way quilts in honor of her past. When she grew up, she wrote books. Now she has a daughter, Toshi, to whom she tells the stories. And, lucky for us, we get to enjoy Jacqueline’s wonderful picture books, too.

On The Lighter Side of Teaching (Part 2)

Cartoon 1811

        “I know what grows in my child’s kinder garden. . . the love for his teacher!”

Research Study:  Educators’ Perceptions of the Characteristics of Effective Principals

This is a study yours truly is currently involved in and is scheduled to be completed by late spring/early summer of this year.  It is open to all educators, active and retired.  The survey will take approximately 30 minutes to complete and all participants are eligible to be entered into a draw for an Apple iPad.  If you are interested in participating, please email the editor at jdelaney@mun.ca

Editor’s Note
If you are attempting to read this eMEMO via my blog, you may be having difficulty accessing the site (being asked for a password etc.!).  Not sure what’s going on there.

A number of readers have sent in suggestions – thank you – and the one that seems to be most reliable is:

www.themondayememo.wordpress.com

Just click on the latest issue and you are good!

 Education Law Corner 

This week we print the results of a teacher discipline hearing published in the OCT’s Professionally Speaking magazine (December, 2017).

Member: Richard S. Buckley
Registration No: 438110
Decision: Suspension, reprimand, conditions

A Discipline Committee panel suspended the certificate of Richard Buckley, a former teacher with the Bluewater District School Board, for engaging in a sexualized relationship with a student.

This matter was heard by the panel on November 15 and 16, 2016, and April 6, 2017. Buckley, who was certified to teach in June 2000, did not attend the hearing but had legal representation. Buckley tried to isolate the student by asking her to meet privately and go for a drive. When he was hospitalized due to mental illness, he told the student that he was going to kill himself. He also pressured her to cover up their relationship, which started via text message and/or Facebook.

The College previously found Buckley guilty of harassing a colleague. The Discipline Committee panel found Buckley guilty of professional misconduct and ordered that his teaching certificate be suspended for 24 months. He was directed to appear before the panel to receive a reprimand. He needs to do so within six months of the date of the order. It also ordered him to successfully complete, at his own expense and within 90 days of the panel’s order, a course or courses regarding the College’s ethical standards of care, respect, trust and integrity, and maintaining professional boundaries with students.

In its written decision, the panel stated, “The Member used his position as a teacher to exert his influence over a student. He acted in a manner which would reasonably have made the student feel that she was responsible for the Member’s life or death. Such severe emotional blackmail was a gross violation of the Member’s duty to safeguard his students’ psychological well-being.”

On The Lighter Side of Teaching (Part 3) 

Cartoon 1812

“So, how was your first day of teaching?”

 

Former Student Update
Richard Churchill (B.Ed. 2009)

I hope you’re all enjoying the beginning of your teaching internship. I fondly recall my internship in the 2009 winter semester at Beaconsfield Junior High. Now I find myself in my tenth year of teaching – how fast time passes.

Teaching is a tough job. It is mentally tasking and it is important to take some time for yourself. The best advice I can give you is to MAKE time for the things that bring you joy; like reading a book, going for hikes, exercising, going for coffee with friends, or playing music. Have a thing that makes you happy and brings you joy. You have to MAKE time for that thing because you are BUSY as an intern and it will be hard to FIND time. Don’t underestimate even a half hour of doing something that brings you joy. A half hour is better than nothing. Take care of yourself – you will be a better teacher because of it. It’s an awesome profession; enjoy it.

I am currently teaching Grade 6-12 English Language Arts at Tricentia Academy in Arnold’s Cove. Year 10 – wow!

A Worthwhile Article
Richard passed along this url which contains an excellent article for new and beginning teachers:

https://www.cultofpedagogy.com/marigolds/

It’s also highly relevant for seasoned teachers as well. 

For follow-up, please contact:

Jerome G. Delaney, Editor
Associate Professor – Educational Administration
Faculty of Education
Memorial University of Newfoundland
St. John’s, NL  Canada A1B 3X8
Telephone:  709-864-2071
Facsimile:   709-864-2345 Email:  jdelaney@mun.ca

 

Posted in special issues, Volume 12 (Winter 2018) | Leave a comment

Volume 12, Number 3

Greetings everyone – Week # 3 of the internship already!  Interns, hope all is well with you.  This week we publish submissions from you 2018 interns.  So far so good.  Weather-wise, the east coast seems to be doing a tad better than central and west; Labrador has lots of snow but also lots of big blue sky and super-cool temps!  Those of you teaching senior high classes soon start semester 1 exams – supervising exams etc. will be a learning experience as well.  Enjoy the issue.

Feedback From This Year’s (2018) Interns

Students love centers
One thing that I’ve noticed is that the students love centers. Even though they are only at each center for about 15 minutes, they accomplish more in those 15 minute blocks than they do during a single full-class lesson. They like to have choice, they like to be able to do a variety of things, and they like to be able to get up and move. Personally, I find it difficult to sit and focus on one thing for a long period of time – I can imagine how hard it is for young children. I’ve discovered that using centers engages students and helps them to do their best academically. (Primary Intern)

We are learning together
These first couple weeks of my internship have been wonderful and I’m learning so much. I believe this is mostly due to the high needs nature of my classroom. Within my room, there are ten students who are in the pre-referral stage for extra help, one student that is suspected to have FASD (fetal alcohol syndrome disorder) as well as a diagnosis of ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder), two children with autism, one child who is select mute and another who suffers from severe social anxiety. Some teachers have said that they pity me for having such a ‘rough’ group starting out but I respectfully disagree with them. I couldn’t have asked for a better classroom to learn in. My co-operating teacher is great and I am so excited to learn from her as well as all the children in my classroom. We are learning together and it truly is the most beautiful experience. I can’t wait to see what the rest of my placement has in store.
(Primary/Elementary Intern)

I received some terrible news
Man, the first two weeks of the internship flew by! As a Physical Education intern, I think I have interacted with nearly every student at my school at least once. That is one of the benefits of being in the gym. However, day one at the school I received some terrible news: we were going to lose the gym. After exams are over, it is being renovated. The bleachers are being taken out and the floor is being ripped up. So, for a few weeks, we will be left without a gym. However this presents an excellent opportunity.

For the last two weeks I have been stuck in the gym and have been brainstorming ways to not only get students out of there, but myself as well.  It’s entirely possible to have Phys. Ed. without the gym; it just requires a little bit of “outside the box” thinking. The cafeteria has a lot of floor space and the school also has a dedicated weight room and of course there are plenty of outside activities to engage in. My co-op teacher has tasked me with creating and teaching a unit that can fit inside the cafeteria, which I have been hard at work on.

Getting myself out of the gym has been a trickier matter. All the classes I teach are either in their or in the weight room. So my other goal this internship is to volunteer for extracurricular activities outside of athletics. I have already attended a meeting for the Creative Writing Club and I cannot wait for next week.

As the internship rolls on and I take on more teaching responsibilities, I look forward to implementing my own ideas into the school as well as learning from my co-op teacher how to properly engage students and teach Physical Education lessons. (Secondary/Intermediate Intern)

I am looking forward to the next two months
First two weeks of the internship went well, and I have already taught a few classes of Mathematics. I was nervous and excited about this internship, as I was worried about how the students were going to take me as their instructor. However, so far, I have all good experiences and my co-operating teacher is letting me take the responsibilities according to my interests while he is guiding me how to do the job well.

A few students have shared their thinking about Mathematics and have told me that those who are good in Mathematics are the smartest people! I just laughed and told them they can be as good as any other persons if they focus their interests and work hard at doing the Mathematics.

I hope this is going to be a valuable experience for me and I am looking forward to the next two months. (Intermediate/ Secondary Intern)

I am fortunate to be in Harlow, England for my winter internship
I am fortunate to be in Harlow, England for my winter internship. So far it has been a very enjoyable and eye-opening experience. This said, there are both positives and negatives that come to mind when I reflect on my first little bit of time here!

In general, the school I am interning at is wildly different than any that I have experienced in Canada. This sounds like a huge generalization, but I find that everything is more serious and intense here. This can be a positive thing, actually, because the majority of the students therefore take their education quite seriously. For example, I allow plenty of discussion in my classes because often every student is eager to contribute, and I’m constantly surprised by the quality of answers that they give. I feel like I’m learning just as much as I am (hopefully) teaching them. I’ve also thoroughly enjoyed joking around with the students and trying to get to know them all a bit better. The sense of humour of some of the students is incredible, and, not to portray stereotypes, but SO British.

One aspect of my school that I am not a fan of is the amount of disciplining that goes on. It is just too much in my opinion, and I am not looking forward to having to enforce certain school rules and policies (such as automatic detentions if homework isn’t done). Another somewhat annoying policy is that since I do not have something called a DBS check done I have to actually sign in and be ushered to my department’s office every morning. Even though they have my Canadian police check, without a DBS I am technically not supposed to be by myself in the building at any time (even though I’m often running around printing/photocopying, anyway). While it’s a pretty big inconvenience, I respect how serious the school prioritizes its students’ safety and adheres to its policies.  (Intermediate/Secondary Intern)

Quote of the Week

“I have found a profession that makes my feet sore and my heart full.  I have found a profession that isn’t okay with the easy route, a profession that forces me to make hard choices and spend way too much time thinking about others.  I have found something that makes me feel profoundly alive, and God willing, I will get to do it for the rest of my life!”  (Erin Taylor Green)

On The Lighter Side of Teaching (Part 1)

Cartoon 1807

   “I’m only in the third grade, and I’m already running out of memory!”

Recommended Book Resource for Primary and Elementary Interns

What Do You Do With a Problem?
Author: Kobi Yamada (2016)
Illustrator: Mae Besom

Last year I reviewed the book “What do you do with an idea”. Now Kobi Yamada has moved onto problems. No one likes having problems, but they are part of our daily lives. And we often try to avoid them, not think about them, hope they will go away on their own. The book opens with, “I don’t know how it happened, but one day I had a problem. I didn’t want it. I didn’t ask for it. I really didn’t like having a problem, but it was there”.

The boy shoos at it, scowls at it, ignores it, but it doesn’t leave. Then he worries about it, “I worried a lot…I worried about this and worried about that”. And the more he worried, the more his problem grew. And the more he avoided his problem, the more he thought about it.

So he realized he had to face it, where he discovered something, he discovered his problem had “something beautiful inside”. It held an opportunity. “It was an opportunity…to learn and to grow. To be brave. To do something.” And,” some opportunities only come once”. So now he sees problems differently, because “every problem has an opportunity for something good. You just have to look for it”.

Mae Besom’s pencil and watercolor drawings are appealing and complementary to the meaning of the story. They add depth and life to the problem.

Told in a positive manner, and maybe a bit idealistic, but Kobe Yamada does a wonderful job of encouraging us to face our problems. And for those who are younger and perhaps new to problems, this book may even convince us that problems are good for us.

On The Lighter Side of Teaching (Part 2)

Cartoon 1808

“I have absolutely no patience with parents who have absolutely no patience!”

Research Study:  Educators’ Perceptions of the Characteristics of Effective Principals

This is a study yours truly is currently involved in and is scheduled to be completed by late spring/early summer of this year.  It is open to all educators, active and retired.  The survey will take approximately 30 minutes to complete and all participants are eligible to be entered into a draw for an Apple iPad.  If you are interested in participating, please email the editor at jdelaney@mun.ca

Editor’s Note

If you are attempting to read this eMEMO via my blog, you may be having difficulty accessing the site (being asked for a password etc.!).  Not sure what’s going on there.

A number of readers have sent in suggestions – thank you – and the one that seems to be most reliable is:  www.themondayememo.wordpress.com

Just click on the latest issue and you are good!

Education Law Corner
This week we continue with the topic of teacher misconduct in Canada.  Here’s another actual teacher misconduct case recently adjudicated by the Ontario College of Teachers (OCT).

Member: Kenneth Gavin Bernard Williamson
Registration No: 150105
Decision: Revocation, Fine, Costs

A Discipline Committee panel revoked the certificate of College member Kenneth Gavin Bernard Williamson for engaging in repeated violent sexual abuse of a child. Williamson sexually exploited a boy repeatedly over a long period of time. He gained access to him through a program meant to help vulnerable youth.

Certified to teach in June 1980, Williamson did not attend the hearing on December 5, 2016, nor was he represented by legal counsel.

Williamson was convicted of buggery, indecent assault and gross indecency. He was sentenced to four years’ imprisonment. The criminal charges were ultimately stayed due to an unreasonable delay in the courts. The Court of Appeal did not overturn the factual findings made by the trial judge or the fact that a jury had found Williamson guilty. The Supreme Court of Canada only dealt with the issue of unreasonable delay and did not consider the factual findings made by the trial judge.

The Discipline Committee panel found Williamson guilty of professional misconduct and ordered that his Certificate of Qualification and Registration be revoked.

It also imposed a $5,000 fine and costs of $10,839.

The panel imposed the fine for a number of reasons. It found that the member’s conduct was one of the worst violations a person in a position of trust could commit upon a child. Williamson showed no remorse for his conduct during his criminal trial, did not acknowledge the tremendous damage his abuse had inflicted upon the victim, and did not participate in the College proceeding.

The panel found the costs were warranted given Williamson’s rationale for failing to participate in these proceedings — namely that he was financially secure and did not plan to teach again and, therefore, did not need to engage in the College’s processes.

By failing to communicate or engage in discussions with the College, Williamson required the College to incur the full costs of a contested hearing, which placed significant emotional burden upon the witness in this case.

In its decision, the panel stated, “The Member abused a vulnerable child who saw him as a father figure. The Member has preyed on a child for his own sexual gratification, and he should never again have the privilege of being certified as a teacher in Ontario.”

The panel added that the sustained sexual abuse had a significant detrimental effect on the victim’s mental health and his quality of life. The abuse damaged him psychologically and caused him lifelong pain

 Source:   Professionally Speaking (December, 2017) – Page 59 (available at www.oct.ca)

On The Lighter Side of Teaching (Part 3) 

Cartoon 1809

“I wasn’t just running in the halls.  I was chasing my dreams!”

For follow-up, please contact:

Jerome G. Delaney, Editor
Associate Professor – Educational Administration
Faculty of Education
Memorial University of Newfoundland
St. John’s, NL  Canada A1B 3X8
Telephone:  709-864-2071
Facsimile:   709-864-2345
Email:  jdelaney@mun.ca

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in Volume 12 (Winter 2018) | Leave a comment

Volume 12, Number 2

Welcome back to issue # 2 of the eMEMO – how quick that first week has gone by!  Teacher candidates, we hope you all had a positive start to your internship.  Those of you interning at the senior high level will soon be starting, if you haven’t already, Term1 exams.  That will slow down your opportunities to begin your teaching duties as most of the teaching will be taken up with reviewing for those exams. But of course, review is always an important part of teaching and for a number of students, this review may mean the difference between a pass or a fail in a particular course.  The rest of you interns will not be slowed down by such a review.

I’m always reminded by a fellow PhD classmate when we were at the U of Alberta who used to say, “We soldier on” and so you do!  

Enjoy this issue – hopefully, yours truly does a better job with the insert this issue – specifically, keeping those eyes on the camera!!!!!  My “sports garb” should evoke some interesting comments!

Feedback From Last Year’s (2017) Interns
Editor’s Note:  Beginning with next week’s issue, we’ll have submissions from this year’s interns.

Approach to teaching is not quite the same as what I would like to see
My supervising teacher is an excellent teacher and loves to make students learn something new. However, this teacher’s approach to teaching is not quite the same as what I would like to see. The first thing I was told when I walked in my first day was that the students this year are far worse than any in previous years, both academically and behaviorally. Though I cannot fully disagree with this teacher’s assertion, I believe a different approach to teaching could turn the students’ attitudes around which could, in turn, improve their academic achievements.

If the teacher doesn’t seem to care about the students, why should they care about their work in the class? The most blatant example I can pull from my first few weeks in the class was correcting the first batch of reading comprehension tests that were written before the Christmas break. I noticed that nearly all the students in our classes cheated, even the most academically inclined. The worst part was that the majority of the test was opinion-based. After speaking with a few of the students in private, I understood the reason they cheated: the teacher was either on a cell phone or on the computer and didn’t pay attention to the class writing the test. I have seen this behavior from this teacher, even in the middle of lectures. This teacher then gets angry at the students when they use their phones in class. The way I see it, the students mirror the teacher’s actions.

Respect, effort and kindness are three qualities that I hope I exemplify and that I expect from the students. I made that clear the first class I was present and, thus far, the students have responded extremely well. Many of the hundred plus students in these classes have complained to the guidance counselor about the teacher, but no action has been taken. It made me happy to see the students so ecstatic when I walked in the first day because they knew they would have a different teacher, someone who made it a priority to show that their education matters.

In spite of these concerns, I have indeed learned a lot from my co-operating teacher and from the students as well. While I know the co-operating teacher cares a lot about our students and their success, this is oftentimes not shown. My own personal experience thus far has shown me that students truly are sponges soaking up the knowledge and the behaviors presented to them.  (Secondary Intern)

I am loving every minute of it
It’s pretty crazy to think about how far we’ve all come but how far we have left to go as “novice” teachers. Our time as interns is truly priceless. Being an intern thus far has truly been a roller coaster of an experience. The work load is very intense and the school days are busy. Although, being in front of a class has been a very rewarding experience.  I can feel myself improving every day and that is keeping me motivated. It is important for us to take advantage of this experience that will help define ourselves as teachers.

I have been placed in a junior high school for the extended internship with two co-operating teachers. I am teaching grade seven Early French Immersion Francais, grade seven Late French Immersion Francais, Grade seven Mathematiques and grade eight Mathematiques. One co-operating teacher is a French immersion Mathematics teacher and the other is the department head for Francais. I have been very fortunate to be placed with such experienced, knowledgeable and caring teachers. I have learned so much from them and look forward to what other wisdom they have to share with me during the internship.

During the internship, I have become involved with the school as a volleyball coach, helping out with after school tutorials and as a teacher sponsor for the Math team. I am loving every minute of it. (Intermediate Intern)

Humor and consistency in the classroom
I am currently doing my internship in grade 4 at a school on the west coast of Newfoundland and I am really enjoying the experience thus far.

One of the things that I realized during my first few days of the internship is the importance of consistency and humor when it comes to addressing the class and also in terms of effective classroom management. As a teacher, you do not want to be “friends” with the students but you have to be a mentor and authority figure. This does not mean that you cannot have fun with the students. My co-operating teacher, I think, is a great mentor in this regard as she works to encourage students to have fun and to discuss topics, but she is also able to deal with behaviour issues as they arise.

On another note, my teacher has also allowed me to teach a lesson and try out some of her suggested classroom management techniques. I have to say that consistency is key. Classroom management was one of the most intimidating aspects of teaching before I started my internship. Now I realise that, not only have I chosen the right profession, but I am gaining the confidence to be able to deal and approach such aspects of teaching.(Elementary Intern)

I cannot wait to see how the next few months play out
I am doing my internship at a K-6 school and I certainly love it so far. My co-operating teacher is a very well-rounded teacher who I have already learned so much from and I am only just finishing up my 4th week. As well, along with my co-operating teacher, the staff at my school was very welcoming when I first started and they have been very kind to me and I have learned a lot from them as well. It is certainly such a great feeling be at a school that has such a great atmosphere.

When I first started, I was told that I will either love teaching or I will love the idea of teaching; I knew after the first week that I loved teaching and I was exactly where I was supposed to be. A few of the teachers at my school ask me from time to time if I am still enjoying it, and if this is what I want to do for a living, and my answer is always yes.

There are certainly the challenging and hard days, but it does not change how I feel. I have always wanted to be a teacher for as long as I remember and it is great being able to pursuit my dream. Since it is only just the end of the fourth week of my internship I know that I will learn so much more in the upcoming months, but I know that I have already learned so much. I have already gotten to see a lot of different areas, accommodations, and situations that I know that I will have to deal with in the future. I feel that I am at a very diverse school as well as in a diverse class, which will certainly prepare me for the future; I am very thankful for that. I love my internship so much so far and I cannot wait to see how the next few months play out. (Primary Intern)

On The Lighter Side of Teaching (Part 1)

Cartoon 1804

   “Recess!  Does that mean we’re in a recession?”

Quote of the Week
“Every child is an artist.  The problem is how to remain an artist when we grow up.”  (Pablo Picasso)

Recommended Book Resource for Primary and Elementary Interns
Because I Had a Teacher (2016)
Author: Kobi Yamada
Illustrator: Natalie Russell

The book I have chosen for my first selection will help you realize the opportunities you have to affect the lives of students, cognitively and affectively. Kobi Yamada’s Because I Had a Teacher is a thank you to those teachers who care about the souls and minds of the students in their charge.

The hardcover version is small in size, but massive in its messages. Natalie Russell’s illustrations are simply drawn and colored, complementing the spirit of the book. It begins, “Because I had a teacher, I love to learn”, accompanied by a little bear (who lives on every page in the book) exploring a book amongst a cacophony of literature. The book continues, “I discovered I can do much more than I thought I could”, promoting hope, motivation, and self-confidence.

The words, “I realized it’s okay when some things are harder than others” and “I know that mistakes are just part of getting something right” acknowledge the realization that students can struggle and make mistakes, when it is accepted by the teacher. When students begin to believe it is okay to struggle, real learning is happening. Good teachers encourage this in their students by providing safe environments in which to make mistakes.

The last words of the book, “Because I had you I learned to believe in me” are a fitting ending for new beginnings for our students. This little book epitomizes what teachers are supposed to be and what good teachers want their students to become. Every teacher should have this book on their desks as a reminder of what it means to be a teacher.

On The Lighter Side of Teaching (Part 2)

Cartoon 1805

“Can I be a hairy potter?”

Education Law Corner 

Last week we discussed teacher misconduct in Canada and made reference to an magaine published quarterly by the Ontario College of Teachers (OCT).  We continue this week with an actual case recently adjudicated by the OCT.

Member: Corinne Bernadeth Christina Braam-Carew
OCT Registration No: 421934
Decision: Reprimand, conditions

A Discipline Committee panel reprimanded Corinne Bernadeth Christina Braam-Carew, a former teacher with the Peel District School Board. The panel found her guilty of professional misconduct and to be incompetent.

Braam-Carew, who was certified to teach in October 1998, did not attend the public hearings on October 20, 2016, and April 3, 2017, nor was she represented by legal counsel.

Her performance as a teacher was unsatisfactory based on three teacher-performance appraisals conducted by her principal. The panel found that she displayed a lack of knowledge, skill or judgment and disregard for the welfare of her students.

The panel ordered that she appear before it to receive a reprimand.

She was also directed to complete, at her own expense, an Additional Basic Qualification course or an Additional Qualification course, which covers curriculum, lesson planning, instructional strategies and assessment of student learning. She needs to do so prior to returning to teaching or taking any teaching position for which a Certificate of Qualification and Registration is required.

In addition, upon returning to a teaching position, she needs to make all reasonable efforts to have her employer carry out two teaching performance appraisals within two years after returning to teaching.

In its written decision, the panel stated, “The seriousness of the Member’s conduct in failing to teach her students diligently, and her refusal to improve her practice when support was given, indicate to the Committee that a reprimand is necessary. A reprimand allows the Committee to directly address with the Member the problem of her disengagement and disinterest in the improvement process.”

The panel added, “Given the Member’s failure to participate in the discipline process to date, the Member has shown a lack of accountability for her actions. The Committee has concerns regarding the Member’s governability, given her failure to engage in this process.”

Source:   Professionally Speaking (December, 2017) – Page 55 (available at www.oct.ca)

On The Lighter Side of Teaching (Part 3) 

Cartoon 1806

“Do you have any openings?”

Research Study:  Educators’ Perceptions of the Characteristics of Effective Principals

This is a study yours truly is currently involved in and is scheduled to be completed by late spring/early summer of this year.  It is open to all educators, active and retired.  The survey will take approximately 30 minutes to complete and all participants are eligible to be entered into a draw for an Apple iPad.  If you are interested in participating, please email the editor at jdelaney@mun.ca

Editor’s Note
If you are attempting to read this eMEMO via my blog, you may be having difficulty accessing the site (being asked for a password etc.!).  Not sure what’s going on there.  Hopefully Maurice and I (more Maurice than me) can figure out the problem and fix it. A suggestion is to google: Jerome Delaney and The Monday eMEMO and then look for Volume 12 Number 2.

 

For follow-up, please contact:

Jerome G. Delaney, Editor
Associate Professor – Educational Administration
Faculty of Education
Memorial University of Newfoundland
St. John’s, NL  Canada A1B 3X8
Telephone:  709-864-2071
Facsimile:   709-864-2345
Email:  jdelaney@mun.ca

 

Posted in Volume 12 (Winter 2018) | Leave a comment

Volume 12, Number 1

Greetings everyone – welcome to year 12 of The Monday eMemo.  This year we continue with our blog format, thanks again to the wonderful help I receive regularly from the coordinator of our Faculty’s Teaching and Learning Commons on the 5th floor of the Education Building, Mr. Maurice Barry.

Another innovation this year, thanks again to Maurice, is the transition of the Concluding Comments From The Editor in the eMemo from a written one to that of a video insert.  Yours truly coming to you in person – wow!  I’ll make sure my hair is in place – all 10 strands!  Oh, I should point out that this video insert will be scripted because if I ad lib, I’ll go on for hours as I just love being in front of a camera!

We may have a few start-up bugs with this feature but I’m sure with Maurice’s technological expertise those bugs will disappear real fast.  The regular features from past year’s issues will be on-stream in the next few issues.  Enjoy!

Feedback From Last Year’s (2017) Interns
Editor’s Note:  Beginning with the January 22nd issue, we’ll have submissions from this year’s interns.

Finding my “firm voice”
This week has been very exciting and a bit overwhelming. It’s safe to say I went to bed earlier than usual this week. I am interning at a school just outside St. John’s. We have 20 students and it’s definitely a class that keeps you busy! I feel I’ve come with some skills and lots of enthusiasm for teaching little ones – but I have some learning to do in the areas of finding my “firm voice.” My teacher has 16 years under her belt and as such I feel she will be able to teach me a lot. We both have a Science concentration, and I look forward to working with her to do fun experiments. I think this will be the most challenging semester yet- but certainly the most rewarding. (Primary Intern)

Humor and consistency in the classroom
I am currently doing my internship in grade 4 at a school on the west coast of Newfoundland and I am really enjoying the experience thus far.

One of the things that I realized during my first few days of the internship is the importance of consistency and humor when it comes to addressing the class and also in terms of effective classroom management. As a teacher, you do not want to be “friends” with the students but you have to be a mentor and authority figure. This does not mean that you cannot have fun with the students. My co-operating teacher, I think, is a great mentor in this regard as she works to encourage students to have fun and to discuss topics, but she is also able to deal with behaviour issues as they arise.

On another note, my teacher has also allowed me to teach a lesson and try out some of her suggested classroom management techniques. I have to say that consistency is key. Classroom management was one of the most intimidating aspects of teaching before I started my internship. Now I realise that, not only have I chosen the right profession, but I am gaining the confidence to be able to deal and approach such aspects of teaching.(Elementary Intern)

I have been very busy
The first month of my internship is about to conclude and the time has gone by “with the blink of an eye”. While there were no mid-term examinations at my school (junior high), I have been very busy with teaching my classes, working with extracurricular activities and staying up with my own personal life.

I am finally beginning to understand my roles and responsibilities as an educator. With some late nights and early mornings it is safe to say that things can become stressful at times. However, my passion and ability to take a step back to enjoy some personal time when needed has allowed me to be focused on my duties as an educator.

My school is very community-oriented and it allows me to develop relationships with the students much easier. Thus far, I am really enjoying my internship but I understand the hard work has just begun. I am really looking forward to learning more in the next two months and developing my skills as an educator. (Intermediate Intern)

I already know I am in the correct profession
It has been only four days into my internship and I already know I am in the correct profession. I am very fortunate that my co-operating teacher has confidence in allowing me to take over some classes already. The respect from students and staff at the school is truly amazing. When you see a smile on the students face at the end of the day and students coming to you while on duty asking you if they can complete that lesson again because they enjoyed it so much, you know that you are doing something right. Every morning when I put my two feet to the floor, I cannot wait to arrive at the school and began my teaching day. I wish nothing but the best to all other interns as they enter their second week of the internship.
(Secondary Intern)

On The Lighter Side of Teaching (Part 1)

Cartoon 1801

 

“And hand in all digital devices including smartphones, iPads, Google glasses. . . !”

 Quote of the Week
“I teach high school Math.  I sell a product to a market that doesn’t want it
but is forced by law to buy it.”  (Dan Meyer)  

On The Lighter Side of Teaching (Part 2)

Cartoon 1802

“Homework?  Well, I left it home, of course!”

Education Law Corner
One of the topics covered in my undergraduate and graduate Education Law courses (Education 4641 & Education 6335) is teacher misconduct.

There are 3 specific teacher regulatory bodies in Canada that deal directly with teacher misconduct in Canada:  the Ontario College of Teachers (OCT); the Teacher Regulation Branch of the BC Ministry of Education (TRB) which replaced the BC College of Teachers several years ago (2012); and the Saskatchewan Professional Teachers Regulatory Board (SPTRB) formed 2 years ago.  Each of these agencies publish magazines/newsletters 2-4 times a year.  The OCT’s Professionally Speaking magazine and the TRB’s Learn magazine publish actual teacher misconduct cases (names are usually included); to date, I have not seen any actual cases published in the SPRTB’s newsletter.  These 3 publications are all available online; simply google the magazine name/the name of the regulatory body.  In the next several eMemos we will print verbatim a case from one of these publications.

Member: Heather Elizabeth
Earl Registration No: 165174
Decision: Revocation, reprimand

A Discipline Committee panel revoked the certificate of Heather Elizabeth Earl, a former teacher with the Kawartha Pine Ridge District School Board, for sexually abusing a student. Earl engaged in a sexual relationship with a student for nearly three years. She paid the student approximately $200,000 to not report their relationship to the police. The student eventually did and Earl was charged with sexual assault and sexual exploitation. At the request of the Crown, those charges were stayed. Certified to teach in June 1979, Earl attended the hearing on June 2, 2017, and was represented by legal counsel. The Discipline Committee panel found Earl guilty of professional misconduct and ordered that her

Certificate of Qualification and Registration be revoked. The panel also ordered that she appear before it immediately after the hearing to receive a reprimand. In its decision, the panel denounced Earl’s egregious conduct in the strongest terms.

 On The Lighter Side of Teaching (Part 3) 

Cartoon 1803

“He falls asleep in class so much. . . they call him Bobblehead!”

 

 

 

Posted in Volume 12 (Winter 2018) | 2 Comments

Volume 11, Number 13 – The Final Issue for 2017

Greetings everyone.  This is the final  issue of  The Monday eMemo Blog and it is with some sadness and perhaps a little relief that I type up these next few pages.  It’s amazing how time impacts on everything we do.

With this eMemo we start off with issue # 1 and you feel that 13 issues, wow, that’s a heck of a lot of writing.  However, slowly, albeit regularly, you move along and all of a sudden, it’s the final issue!  What makes doing this eMemo a “thing of joy” is the pleasure and sense of satisfaction one feels when reading the interns’ submissions.

A legitimate criticism of the eMemo might be that the submissions are all too positive.  Fair enough but there are some comments in the submissions, I can think of at least 2 in this volume that were anything but positive, but hopefully realistic.  An editor has no control over that but I would like to think that what is being said in those submissions is indeed true and sincere and I have no reason to think otherwise.

Perhaps those interns who have negative comments to make about their internships don’t feel safe in doing so.  I’m not sure how we overcome that caution because the eMemo, I think, has been very welcoming and encouraging of all perspectives.  Perhaps this is something we can work on in Volume 12 (2018).  Suggestions as to how to do that are most welcome and would be extremely helpful.  Enjoy this final issue.

Feedback From This Year’s Interns

Thank God I didn’t listen
I imagined I would love teaching. My parents told me I would love it, my friends told me it was a perfect fit, and everyone else told me not to do it.

Within the first week of my internship, I realized that the weekends meant nothing to me anymore. All I wanted was to be in the classroom with the 16-year-olds. They became the best part of my day.

My friends would ask me how the internship was going and I would beam. Sure, there were difficult moments, and still are, but those moments are always worth it at the end of the day. I owe this good experience to a few different factors. Firstly, my supervising teacher, who is by far the kindest person I have ever met and there are no words to thank him properly. Secondly, the kids. Over the past three months I have gotten to teach the most remarkable, eclectic group of teenagers, who are wise beyond their years and crave intriguing conversation. They demand a lot and deserve the world. They are a rare bunch who I feel proud to know. Thirdly, the other interns/substitutes/teachers in my school. They are brilliant, genuine, and kind, I couldn’t have done this without them.

All the negative things I’ve heard about education from other people are no match for the happiness I feel every day. Thank God I didn’t listen!
(Secondary Intern)

We as teachers do not just teach curriculum
With just 1 week left in the internship, I look back and wonder where the time went. It seemed like yesterday that I walked into my school filled with nervousness and trepidation, not knowing what I was in for. Such feelings and emotions have largely disappeared and I now truly feel like a teacher -which is a great feeling.

To put it honestly, It has been a challenging and exhausting 12 weeks to date. The internship, I am sure, isn’t easy for any of us, but with hard work and a positive attitude day after day it is a profession that can be very enjoyable and fulfilling. I have already experienced that side of the coin. Through the ups and down and bumps in the road it is important to always remember that we are still novice, practicing teachers getting a snapshot as to what it is like being an educator. As my co-operating teacher has said numerous times, “Rome wasn’t built in a day”. Good things do indeed take time.

Throughout this experience I feel as if I have learned a lot, but with increased learning also comes an increased realization for what you do not know. Teaching encompasses so many things and it is indeed true that we as teachers do not just teach curriculum. Teaching content is one thing, but then there is classroom management/organization and dealing with many other situations that may suddenly and unexpectedly arise. All of these things just take a lot of practice and experience to ‘master’.

All in all it has been a great experience. I know many/most of the students’ names and enjoy teaching them and conversing with them inside and outside of the gymnasium. They look at me as a teacher figure which is very satisfying. I enjoy the school environment and I am confident that with a lot of hard work and further experience it will be a career which I both enjoy and succeed in. At the end of the day all that I or any of us can give is our best, which is what I will continue to do. (Intermediate Intern).

The relationships between students, parents and fellow teachers have been amazing
Well it doesn’t take long for 12 weeks to go by especially in this field. Thinking back to my high school days when I decided to pursue a teaching degree I must have been pretty smart back then because I have undoubtedly made the right career choice! Teaching has given me everything I thought it would and more.

I always wanted a career where I could wake up in the morning and be excited and ready to go and that’s what I have found. The relationships between students, parents and fellow teachers have been amazing and getting to teach has been a great experience.

At the end of the internship I cannot say I am excited to return to Memorial to be a student again and not a teacher but knowing that this is the final three months before I enter the teaching profession makes it all worthwhile. This career defiantly gives more than it takes.  (Intermediate/Secondary Intern)

I have found my calling
Transitioning from the student to the teacher these past few months has been absolutely incredible. I have found my calling and I can genuinely say that I know this is definitely what I’m supposed to do with my life. Giving someone the knowledge they need to understand why, make connections and leave the classroom feeling like they’ve learned something new is such a wonderful feeling. I’ve learned so much in such a short amount of time, and I’ve been blessed to have worked with the most amazing co-operating teachers who have given me guidance and support throughout my internship.

This whole experience has allowed me to grow as a person. The profession definitely comes with its challenges, but along with those come the rewards. Simply hearing a student say, “Thanks Ms.” after helping them better understand a problem, or hearing students talk about something they’ve learned in class to their friends, makes the job all worthwhile.

Over the past few weeks I’ve been catching myself thinking about how much I’ll miss it when I have to leave. Having a few extra days added onto my internship is actually a blessing, I get more time with my students. And to hear them say that they hope there are more snow days so I have to stay even longer warms my heart. They’ve all shown me that teaching has been the right path for me to travel down. And I’m so fortunate to have begun this journey with all of them.

One thing I have come to realize to be true is that, like every job, teaching has its ups and downs, but it’s the type of job that can change someone’s life. And that, to me, is priceless. (Intermediate/Secondary Intern)

The success I am having so far stems mainly from my coaching
I have gained and learned so much from getting involved as much as possible within my school! I had been making the most of my few months here at my co-operating school since the first day, and as my time winds down I reflect on this amazing journey. All along the way I have taken away so much success from my commitment to the school athletics programs, and despite the long days, the results are beyond worth it. Helping coach three basketball teams at my school is not an easy task, and certainly requires countless hours of commitment. Since the first day back in January, I have hopped aboard a very serious basketball program and am loving where it is leading me. It is really showing me how much I love working with the students in a sports environment, and coming from a PE background, I really feel my degree has helped me provide success for my teams.

Every day after school I am there until 6:00 pm coaching one of the three teams, and every weekend since January I have been at a different tournament somewhere across the island. I choose to do this because I love seeing my students get the opportunity to participate in high quality sport, to see their improvements from their hard work, and because I love the game!

The most rewarding part of coaching is seeing the students learn and grow as athletes. When one week they can’t perform a skill, and the next week they can because of their hard work and your hard work as a coach. It truly is a great feeling!

Besides this, I have found that these relationships I have with my athletes have transitioned into success in my classes. These students now respect me more, listen to me more, and treat me as a teacher they have had for years because of how dedicated I am to their school. My relationships I have formed makes me feel as if I have been teaching these kids for years, and I honestly believe this contributes to being an effective teacher. If the students like and respect you, you are off to a good start to having good classroom management. I wholeheartedly believe the success I am having so far, stems mainly from my coaching in this school. I cannot wait to continue to coach them the rest of the year even after my internship ends. (Intermediate/Secondary Intern)

It’s up to the teacher to bring everything back and to de-catastrophize the day
One thing I’ve noticed during my internship in Kindergarten is the possibility of a well-planned day breaking entirely apart and its ending up with a completely different plan come 3:00 pm. I had never realized how good teachers must have the ability to think on their toes, be flexible, and understand that learning opportunities arise everywhere—in so many different situations.

Sticking to the plan is not always a good thing. Speaking for Kindergarten, routine is so important! So often routine can be broken, but it’s up to the teacher to bring everything back and to de-catastrophize the day. That takes a special kind of person! It is a thick stew of personality traits, characteristics, and behaviors that is responsible for a teacher’s ability to de-catastrophize.

Let’s have some fun—Imagine your favorite stew, only think of the vegetables as spontaneity, resourcefulness, creativity, and patience—the meat of the stew is organization. The spices that pull everything together are kindness, compassion, and understanding. The spoon that stirs the pot so nothing burns on the bottom is dedication. The heavy cast iron pot is passion. The stove that cooks the stew is the school community. Every entity is essential for positive results. If one is missing, the stew can be ruined before it even begins to cook. (Primary Intern)

One Mega Thank You to Mr. Maurice Barry
This is to formally thank Mr. Maurice Barry, coordinator of the Faculty of Education’s Teaching & Learning Commons located on the 5th floor of the Education Building.   When the idea of doing The Monday eMemo via a blog came up about a year ago, Maurice was most enthusiastic and offered his help and expertise on getting it set up.  Here we are now with our final issue going out today and all 13 issues have been via blog!

We first started off with Maurice doing the conversion from an MS Word issue to the blog issue upstairs in the Commons; I sat next to him as he tutored me through what he was doing.  4 or 5 issues later, we came down to my office on the 4th and Maurice put me at the driver’s wheel; prior to this of course he provided me with a 2 pager tutorial on how to do the conversion step-by-step.  He was at my side for at least a couple of issues and then it was time for me to “jump out of the nest” and “fly on my own”!  Still being a tad insecure at this point, I made sure I had his cellphone number and his home phone number very near just in case I ran into any difficulty.  I think I may have called him a maximum of twice and for the past several issues I have been doing the blog all by my lonesome!

I am certainly no computer expert nor a blog expert but Maurice being the consummate teacher and a great one at that obviously did a very competent job of teaching me the blog basics.  My blog insecurities have disappeared and the reaction to our blog format has been wonderful.  Now when we start up again in January, 2018 I’m hoping I won’t need a refresher course as retention is sometimes problematic in the learning game!  But if it is, I’m sure Maurice will be there to give me that helping hand.

Thank you, Mr. Barry, for all of the above and it’s always a pleasure to converse and work with you.  You are an invaluable asset to all of us – faculty members and our B. Ed. students; we are most fortunate to have you!

Recommended Book Resource for Primary and Elementary Interns
Mike Mulligan and his Steam Shovel (1939)
Author and Illustrator: Virginia Lee Burton

Celebrating its 75th anniversary, Mike Mulligan was reprinted in 2014. Sure to entertain all children, it will be especially appealing to young boys. More boys than girls struggle with reading, and teachers and parents are constantly looking for books to hold the attention of active young boys. Mike Mulligan still attracts busy boys who love trucks, cars, and just about anything that moves. The opening lines will draw in even the reluctant:

Mike Mulligan had a steam shovel. Her name was Mary Anne. Mike Mulligan was very proud of Mary Anne. He always said that she could dig as much in a day as a hundred men could dig in a week, but he had never been quite sure that this was true.

Mike Mulligan and Mar Anne had been part of building highways, railroads, and big cities. But now with the advent of gasoline, electric, and diesel shovels, there was no work for steam shovels, and Mike Mulligan and Mary Anne were VERY SAD. Most people were selling their steam shovels for junk, but Mike loved Mary Anne and would not do that to her.

Then, one day Mike read about how the town of Popperville was going to build a new town hall. So Mike Mulligan and Mary Anne went to Popperville and offered to dig the cellar in just one day. The person in charge said it would take 100 men to dig it in a week. Mike Mulligan repeated that Mary Anne could dig in one day what 100 men could dig in a week, even though he did not know if this was true. He even said if they could not do it in one day, they would not have to be paid.

So the challenge was on! They started early the next morning. A little boy came to watch, then more people. “Mike Mulligan and Mary Anne dug a little faster and a little better”. More and more people came as the day went by and Mike Mulligan and Mary Anne dug even faster and better. The people cheered them on, “Hurry, Mike Mulligan! Hurry! Hurry! Dirt was flying and the smoke and steam were thick. “Bing! Bang! Louder! Faster!” Then it was quiet and the cellar was finished. They had dug the cellar in one day!

Then the little boy looked in the hole and asked, “how are they going to get out?” They had dug so fast they had forgotten to leave a way out. Everyone thought hard, and finally the little boy suggested they leave Mary Anne in the cellar as the new furnace and Mike Mulligan could be the janitor for the new town hall. “Why not?” said the people. “Why not?” said Mike Mulligan. So when you go to Popperville, you can see Mike in his rocking chair sitting beside Mary Anne who is heating the new town hall.

Filled with movement, noises, and excitement, Mike Mulligan and his Steam Shovel is a timeless classic that will be loved by all, and one that cause children to plead, “Read it again”.

On The Lighter Side of Teaching (Part 1)

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    “Some smartphone, allowing me to drop it in the toilet!”

On The Lighter Side of Teaching (Part 2)

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“I’m thinking of dropping my acting classes . . .  too much drama!”

Quote of the Week
 Kids can see through to the truth of the matter.  And while the flashy stuff can entertain them for a while, it’s the steady consistency of empathy that keeps them connected to us.  It’s the relationships that we build with them.  It’s the time we invest.  It’s all the little ways we stop and show concern.  It’s the love we share with them:  of learning, of life.  And, most importantly, of people.”  – Lori Gard, huffingtonpost.com

Education Law Corner
Across Canada all provinces have legislation designed to protect children.  This legislation is independent of education or school acts but obviously impacts on how we interact with children in the delivery of educational services. One aspect of all provincial child welfare legislation which has significant implications for educators is the requirement of “mandatory reporting” or the “duty to report”.

Mandatory reporting refers to a legal or statutory duty requiring any individual who has knowledge or a reasonable suspicion that a child is in need of protection to report such a matter to the appropriate authorities such as the Director of Child Welfare or a peace officer.  In practice, these reports are usually made to a social worker or to a police officer.

The literature on reporting child abuse advises teachers and school administrators of the usual legal points they need to be aware of:

  1. You are required by law to report your suspicion of abuse, even if you do not have any concrete evidence to support your belief.
  2. You must make a report to the legally stipulated authority, usually the police, or to the child welfare authorities; reporting only to your principal is not sufficient.
  3. You can be found guilty of a crime if you have knowledge or suspicion of abuse and do not report it to the proper authorities.
  4. Your identity will not be disclosed to the person who is suspected of committing the abuse.
  5. You cannot be punished or prosecuted for making a report that proves to be incorrect, as long as you did so in good faith.

(Retrieved from http://home.cc.umanitoba.ca/~wallind/chapterfour5.html)

On The Lighter Side of Teaching (Part 3)

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“Careful!  Mr. Ellis is dripping with sarcasm today!”

 Concluding Comments From The Editor

That concludes our final issue for 2017.

Hockey-wise locally:  Not a great lot to report this week.  Friday night we had a good crowd – 14 players and the 2 goalies.  Yours truly had a lack-luster night – 1 assist!  However, 1 assist is better than no assists.  We have approximately 5 games remaining in this season – looks like we will go deep into the playoffs!  No problem there as we are a scrimmage team and not in any league!  Our final game involves our 2 teams playing for the inflatable Stanley Cup and the customary team photo!  Oh, our Cup currently has a leaking issue – some duct tape should solve that problem we hope!

NHL-wise, les Habs have been on a roll especially with the Ottawa Senators!  And this Saturday night, they defeated the Sens again 3-1and the Leafs lost to the Buffalo Sabres by a score of 5-2!  A great night for Habs fans! My turn again to call the Stephenville sister-in-law for some more “vindictiveness”!!!!  C’est bon, c’est bon!!!!!!!!

As this is our final issue for 2017, my thanks to all the interns who took the time and made the effort to send in submissions in spite of an extremely hectic teaching schedule; without those submissions, this eMemo could not exist.  To all those readers who have been most complimentary on our eMemo blog efforts, thank you, thank you, thank you.  And as mentioned earlier, a great big thank you to Maurice.

We will return as Volume 12 in 2018 – issue # 1 should come out on Sunday, January 7, 2018

Best wishes to all  –  Jerome

 

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Volume 11, Number 12

Good day everyone.  Hope ye all had an enjoyable St. Paddy’s Day weekend.  This is our 2nd last eMemo for 2017. And of course, the Intermediate/Secondary interns have 2 weeks left and the Primary/Elementary interns have 4 weeks remaining.  Why the difference in the length of the 2 winter internships – the I/S interns did a 2 week internship back in the fall.  Enjoy the issue.

Feedback From This Year’s Interns

And now I see it from another perspective
As the internship comes closer to its end I find myself looking at teaching from a different perspective. When I was a student myself, I don’t think I fully realized or appreciated the amount of work and dedication that went into what my teachers did on a day to day basis. Sure they taught classes every day, but what I and I’m sure a lot of students didn’t really think about was that each of those lessons were planned by our teachers. Whenever we had labs, projects, assignments or tests, they didn’t just appear out of the blue. At some point a teacher had to come up with it, write it all up and make sure it all made sense, and then printed it all out and delivered it to us.

Now I’m in the teacher’s chair, and as the internship has rolled on, I have taken on more courses and really gotten into the swing of things at the school and now I see it from another perspective. Being in front of the class and teaching the students is only the surface layer of what goes on in the daily life of a teacher. Making assignments and the like for students can be a time consuming task, as can correcting said assignments when they are returned. Of course there are also the extracurricular activities that teachers supervise, preparing for the upcoming classes and any number of other things that may come up.

All this culminates in the realization that teaching can be quite a lot more time consuming than it appears to students. That’s not to say it isn’t rewarding, but it can keep you quite busy nonetheless. You have to wonder what the students think you do and whether or not they appreciate the work you put into teaching them. I had a particularly keen student in my class turn to me the other day and without any warning simply said “You should go on strike.” It was kind of funny to hear this from a student, but he went on to explain that the teachers hadn’t had a break for a while and that we should have one. Perhaps he just wanted a break himself, but I like to think that he understood that his teachers were working hard and appreciated that enough to suggest that they needed some time to relax.

I’ve really enjoyed my internship thus far, and I’m sure I’ll continue to enjoy it up until its end, but I’ll also appreciate having a break when the time comes. I think it’s important for teachers to sit back and unplug from the teacher life when they can and try and strike that work-life balance we’ve all heard so much about. (Secondary Intern)

 I feel I have learned so much
Being so close to the finish line, not only of the internship but also of this degree, I have experienced an emotional roller coaster! This internship has had some amazing highs, resulting from the relationships I have built with my students, to some pretty bad lows, with exhaustion and “problem students”.

I feel I have learned so much from my co-operating teachers, other teachers at my school, the administration, support staff, and least of all, my students! Every day is a new and exciting experience. This internship has reassured me that of all the reasons I have chosen to teach, seeing those “light bulb” moments, and having students open up to you and share their personal struggles and triumphs with you is what makes it all worthwhile.

I am so excited to soon be finished this internship so this degree can finally be completed, and I can start my own classroom, and gain more positive experience. However I am also sad to leave my students.

Hope everyone is taking the time to enjoy what is left of this internship. Can’t wait to hear all about everyone else’s experiences in detail. (Intermediate-Secondary Intern)

 The act of teaching is like filing your taxes, making a souffle
The act of teaching is like filing your taxes, making a souffle, committing a murder; messy and laborious if you don’t know what you’re doing and you often only have one chance to get it right without incurring undesirable consequences for the rest of your life.

Now that my internship is almost over, I can safely say that my experience has been messy and laborious and I have no idea if I did good by these poor unfortunate children who have had to endure my inexperience. My biggest fear was that my inexperience would severely and negatively affect my students’ academic success and psychologically scar them for life. Sure, over time my teaching style and choice in resources may improve, and later classes will benefit from my refinements, but those future kids are not these kids that I am teaching right now, who deserve better than the very best I have to offer (which is not much). Initially I had expected my first semester in Education to prepare me for success in the classroom, but this was not the case. I fumbled and failed in all kinds of ways.

Thankfully, that first semester prepared me for something else, something much more useful than plain old boring success – the art of the contingency plan. Like Batman, who has contingency plans for his contingency plans, my internship experience has helped me come to terms with imperfection, to be prepared for the unexpected path the classroom experience may take me. As long as the goal is met and learning is happening, it doesn’t matter how closely I follow the lesson plan I spent hours preparing. My internship taught me to recognize when learning was happening, and my first semester gave me the tools I needed to adapt to the form and direction learning is taking.

While I will probably never know the extent of the damage I have inflicted on these poor unfortunate students, I can only hope that I will do better with the next batch. After all, the act of teaching is like filing your taxes, making a soufflé, or committing a murder – even when you incur undesirable consequences if you fail the first time, there’s usually another opportunity to try again.  (Intermediate Intern)

Recommended Book Resource for Primary and Elementary Interns

The Beatitudes: From Slavery to Civil Rights (2010)
Author: Carole Boston Weatherford
Illustrator: Tim Ladwig

As you open the book, the words of the Beatitudes greet you, sprinkled across the end page—“Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God”. Since the earliest days of slavery, African Americans have relied on their faith in their struggles against oppression. The Beatitudes (The beginning of the Sermon on the Mount) are the backdrop for this book of poetic prose that portrays the journey from slavery to civil rights.

Told in the first person, the story begins—“I am the Lord your God. I was with the Americans who were torn from the Motherland and cramped in holds of ships on the Middle Passage from Africa to the Americas. I heard them chant: Kum ba ya, kum ba ya”. The vibrant illustrations of the progress of the African Americans illuminate each double page spread, with the words of the Beatitudes running as a footnote across each page.

Goosebumps will ride your arms as you read—“I was with the U.S. Colored troops who fought to end slavery during the Civil War. I beat the drum for freedom”. As you turn each page, you are invited in to the emotions, strength, and pride of African Americans—“I was with six-year-old Ruby Bridges when angry whites heckled her as she entered an all-white elementary school to become its first black student. I held her hand”. And then to present day, “I was with Barack Obama when he took his oath as President of the United States. I was the Bible where he placed his hand”.

This wondrous book ends with a short description of each African American who is portrayed in this story of progress. It is a book for readers of all ages, a tale of sorrow that becomes a tale of celebration.

On The Lighter Side of Teaching (Part 1)

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    “I forgot my gloves so I had to use my school’s handbook!”

 Quote of the Week

 “Good teachers make a lasting impact on their students’ lives.  When a young person learns from an exceptional teacher, they are more likely to graduate, attend college, and succeed later in life.  Teachers lift up the next generation and enrich our nation, and they deserve our gratitude and thanks.” – Barack Obama

On The Lighter Side of Teaching (Part 2)

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“When will I learn everything there is to know?”

Education Law Corner 

Several years ago university professors, Joseph and Jo Blasé did a study in the United States which examined the problem of principal mistreatment of teachers.  Their study resulted in a book titled Breaking the Silence published by Corwin Press in 2003.  They stated that “when principal mistreatment occurred through face-to-face interaction, principals frequently escalated and became explosive and engaged in particularly nasty behaviors” (p. 78).  A couple of examples of that explosive and nasty behavior are listed here:

From the beginning he singled me out for criticism.  He criticized me publicly and loudly. . . . He would mock me in front of other teachers. . . . He called me into his office and berated me for over an hour on the proper way to show respect to a principal.  He called me a troublemaker. . . . He ridiculed me in a faculty meeting. . . He said he would always take the word of a parent or student against me anytime.

If the principal did not like what you were doing, he would call you into his office and yell at you, let you know he had the ultimate authority.  He would say he made the decisions and if you didn’t like it, you could leave.

He was scary. . . out of control. . . screaming. . . about to explode.

She was loud. . . had a crabby voice. . . negative. . . If she did smile, it was kind of a nasty smile.  (pp. 78-79)

To the best of my knowledge, no such study of this kind has ever been conducted in Canada.   Does this kind of principal behavior exist in Canada?  In Newfoundland and Labrador?

On The Lighter Side of Teaching (Part 3)

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“I have trouble with punctuation.  I just don’t have any comma sense!”

 Concluding Comments From The Editor

That concludes issue # 12.  Thank you to those interns who sent in submissions this week.

Hockey-wise locally:  Not much to report this week.  We had 2 new goalies filling in for us Friday night at St. Bon’s – Chris Cardiff (who is a regular goalie playing in various games here in the city) and Scottie Parsons who ordinarily plays as a forward with us on Friday nights.  Scottie stepped in “between the pipes” because he didn’t want us to play with only 1 goalie – a brave fellow indeed!  Anyways, both goalies were spectacular, Chris more understandably so, but Scottie – we were all shocked to see him perform so well!  No sure how he felt the next day – oh those contortions!!!

Yours truly did score 1 goal – far cry from last week’s hat trick! Actually it was a “garbage goal”!  One of our players took a shot at Scottie – he stopped it – it was in the open between his pads – I banged at it and it went in, amid protests from Scottie and his team-mates.  My defense:  the referee hadn’t blown the whistle and the goalie didn’t have his glove over it. Oh, forgot to mention we don’t have any referees!!!!!!! C’est le but!

NHL-wise, les Habs defeated the Sens last night in the shoot-out and “les Leafs” lost to Chicago in OT – a great night indeed;  it was my turn to call the Stephenville sister-in-law for  a little “vindictiveness”!!!!  Habs play the Sens again tonight – this time in Montreal.

Have a wonderful week everyone – Jerome.

 

 

 

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