new beginnings

Hello, blogging world! In the past 8 months, I have been grossly absent from this little slice of the internet, but I am happy to announce that, with the new school year (my FIRST as a teacher!) approaching, I am setting a goal to get back into it with gusto! Ideally, I would like to post once a week about my journey, but I also want to be realistic and give my first-year-teacher self a bit of leeway, so I am hoping to post every 2 weeks (or twice a month). Who knows, maybe I will pleasantly surprise myself and use blogging as a welcome break from planning – haha.

Just a little refresher and catch-up on my life…

I moved to Hudson Bay and into my adorable little house this past Sunday (July 31). I am absolutely LOVING it! I feel right at home here; having grown up in a small town, it feels familiar and comforting. I know that small town teaching is definitely my niche.

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Home sweet home 🙂

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I’ve been spending a lot of time in this room – the couch and chairs make a great spot to sit and plan.

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My little slice of home – all my friends and family.

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Of course, as soon as I got keys to the school, I was in my classroom and rearranging furniture (thank goodness most of it is on wheels!). I loved how the previous teacher had the room set up (everything in there is so ECE friendly, calming, and beautiful), but I decided to change it up completely to give the room a fresh feel and to put my own spin on it. That definitely helped to make the room feel like mine, and hopefully it will signal a fresh start to students as well!

I decided to have areas in the room that served a specific purpose. I have a quiet/calming/comfy area for students to curl up in if they need a break from the hustle and bustle of the other things going on (it’s complete with a leather sofa and recliner – both miniature, of course!). Then I have a block/construction area and a house (complete with baby dolls, another child-sized couch, and a kitchen and table) area. I have a numeracy/literacy centre where targeted letter/number/fine motor work will be set up. My story corner/morning meeting area is carpeted and features a “VIP/Leader” leather chair, the SMART board, and a book display/shelf. There are 2 large tables in the open space of the classroom for eating snack/doing activities. At the back of my room, I have an art and exploration theme going on – there is a shelf with art supplies and a two-sided easel, as well as the sand and water tables. Finally, near my desk in the back corner is a natural items/small parts/FNMI area (pictured below).

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See the circular basket divided into four quadrants?  I am going to use that as a Medicine Wheel!

 

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This is the visual schedule that is displayed at the morning meeting area. I made it myself – can you tell I’m pretty proud?

Once I have everything set up and picture perfect, I will post pictures of all of the areas of my classroom. I can’t wait to share it with everyone!

For now, I am spending most of my days planning and prepping. I made an interactive SMART notebook file at the school today, which students will use to check in each morning for ‘attendance.’ Can’t wait to share more of my adventure with everyone!

Stay tuned!

-KKF

P.S. Did I mention I went on a two-week cruise/land tour to ALASKA with my lovely mom?! We were celebrating being finished our respective educational endeavours – me my degree, and my mom the Educational Assistant course through Sask Polytech. Here are just a couple of the 1000 snapshots I took! It was an awesome getaway and bonding experience that we both adored!

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Our first port of call – Ketchikan, AK

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Checking out historic totem poles

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Whale watching in Juneau – highlight of the trip!

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Dog sledding in Skagway

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Hanging out with some sled dogs 🙂

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I just think this photo is about the cutest thing ever. Sled dog puppies ❤

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in-school mentoring

A few weeks ago, the university hosted an Education Career Fair, with presenters from school divisions and other organizations that can help future teachers gain resources and volunteer experience. Because I am only a first year, lots of people just gave me a smile and waved me on to the next station, as their information was mostly for third and fourth year students who will soon be applying for jobs in the field. However, I still found the experience very exciting and useful. It got me thinking about where I would like to intern and eventually work (and I got to talk to the reps from my old school division where I graduated from!). And some of the booths that were geared towards volunteers of any year in the program were of extra interest to me.

One of the first booths I stopped at was Big Brothers of Regina, and the friendly lady there told me about a program they have that Education students are usually interested in: In-School Mentoring. Volunteers 18 and over are matched up with a child between the grades of 1 and 8 and get to go to their school for one hour, once a week to spend time with the child and develop a relationship. You can play with them in the gym, do crafts or assist them with their homework. I was instantly interested in joining this program and within a week, got an application sent in as a possible candidate.

I have now been in contact with the coordinator and we have an interview booked this Friday! I am so excited to get a chance to be back in a school and spend one-on-one time with a child who may need a little extra help or has trouble making social connections with their peers.

If I am accepted into the program as a volunteer, I won’t be starting until September, but I am already very excited about the possibility (especially because there is no guaranteed work in a school or with children in the ECS 200 and 210 courses in the program)! Wish me luck and I will keep you posted on what happens!