4 months!!!! That is how long (exactly to the day) it has been since I have written anything on my poor, neglected blog.
I feel like I am not the same teacher or person I was when I last wrote in November of 2016 (a different year, even!). The past four months have been bursting full of struggles and successes. In some aspects, I feel I have ‘figured things out’ and in others, I still feel lost in the rough. Teaching in a nutshell, my friends.
In order to attempt more frequent posting, I hope to give quick little updates such as this post will be – perhaps I can make it a weekly habit and just give the highlights. I know, I have made this goal before and failed miserably but teaching is an optimistic profession and I am, fittingly, optimistic that I can stick to this if I make it a priority! So here are a few brief highlights of the past FOUR MONTHS (from what I can remember with a fried teacher brain).
- Autograph books in Pre-K (I had heard of Pre-K teachers having a ‘sign in’ sheet for their students to write their names each day, and wanted to try my own spin on this; the autograph book was born!) Students sign their name every day when entering the classroom. This has been a helpful way for me to informally assess students’ knowledge of their own name and the letters in it, as well as fine motor skills.
- Puberty in Grade 5 Health. Yes, part of the curriculum in Grade 5 includes the dreaded topic of Puberty (which my students had been anxiously asking when we’d be covering since the beginning of the school year). I have to say, however, that it has been one of my favourite units to teach this year! Once they get past the initial awkwardness, students are genuinely interested in learning about the upcoming changes they will experience as they go through this ‘rite of passage.’ Knowledge is power!
- Classroom rearranging and creativity in Pre-K. Oh, how I love rearranging my classroom furniture and switching up the invitations in my Pre-K classroom! It is one of my favourite parts of the Pre-K position. I have tried several different configurations this year, and enjoy the freshness of changing things up periodically. I love that my classroom never looks exactly the same! It has definitely got me thinking about using invitations and hands-on, explorative learning in grades past Pre-K and K. I have a new career goal of testing out this style of learning with these students. After all, there is so much research that backs students having free play learning until an older age than our education system grants them.
- Passion for early childhood education reaffirmed. I cannot gush enough about how I love the Pre-K program and its holistic style of addressing student learning! I feel that I have truly found my area of passion, my place, my niche. In the future, I would definitely love to teach early years full time, as that is where I find my true joy and affirmation of teaching.
- Being asked if I’m staying in Hudson Bay. As soon as January hit, I noticed that everyone started to ask me if I planned on staying at HBCS next year. I always answered with a confident, “Yes.” I truly do love the community, the school, the staff and students. I am excited to get the chance to continue learning as a professional education within the walls of HBCS.
- Change in education and what the future holds. It is definitely an interesting time to be starting a career in education with all of the uncertainty and worry that clouds the future of education in our province. At the end of the day, however, I know that the passion in teachers’ hearts will continue to fuel them no matter what the road ahead may look like. I suppose that is the other thing that I have learned in this first year of teaching: there is truly no way that I could have gotten through if I did not love teaching and children as much as I do. You can hear this over and over again in university, but it doesn’t ring as true until you are really in the thick of the profession, good and bad aspects both.
I suppose this post ended up being a bit longer than the “quick little update” that I intended, but I have never been known to be short winded in my blog posts and I did have a lot to catch you up on (this doesn’t begin to scratch the surface, of course).
Hopefully, next week will see me on this little slice of the internet again to share my teaching anecdotes. Until then,