Click here to see this tutorial. This link will take you to my class blog post about this tutorial, then just click on the link at the bottom of the post.
For those of you that do not read my class blog I wanted to share a successful story with you from my experience here:
Students with perfect attendance and less than five lates for the month of September were invited to the first AMP (attendance motivation program) night. This night was organized by the middle years homeroom teachers and was held at the Dene High School from 7-9 pm. There were 36 students from grade 7-9 that were invited to AMP night. When the students arrived they had popcorn, drinks, played in the open gym, watched movies and even played some games of sardine and hide-and-so-seek. Fun was had by all that attended!
Congratulations to those students that were invited to attend this event.
Attendance resets each month so there is still a chance to get yourself at the next AMP night!
What music can teach us… September 30, 2009
I am teaching a Physical Education 9 class with one of my colleagues. On paper the class has 41 students…today, because of math remediation, there were only 6 students. Sometimes it can be difficult to teach 6 students, other times you can make the most progress with that size of a class. Relationships can be built just that much faster!
Today, we had one of the students playing appropriate songs on his iPod on the iPod dock. One song was Ace of Base and the next was a song very similar to Mary Poppins. It was interesting to hear the polar opposite tastes that this student held in music…interesting. The next student put his iPod on the dock and my colleague chose a song to play. It was The Climb by Miley Cyrus. Very nice song, with a strong message. However, it was not at all what I expected this student to be listening to. I asked him about it…he said that his sister liked it so he put it on his iPod for her. What a sweet brother.
Many of you may have heard some of the negative experiences that I have had in the school that I am now teaching in. Moments like this remind me that these are just kids. In many cases, these are kids that have many issues, that have siblings they are responsible for…these are kids that have to grow up so much faster than children in many other parts of the country. Listening to their music reminded me of these things and reminded me that no matter how hopeless I feel somdays…there is hope for them, for me and for our relationship to learning.
The bell rang at the end of the day on Wednesday and that meant that the day was anything but over. I rushed home to get my bag and my puppy…then over to a friend’s who agreed to watch Abbott for me while I was gone, then back to my house because I forgot his bed, then back to her house to drop it off, then to Sarah’s to pick her up…then a six hour drive to Saskatoon.
The STF Beginning Teacher’s Conference in Saskatoon was an excellent professional development opportunity. Not only was I able to get back to the city for a couple of days but the sessions were worthwhile and meaningful. One of the biggest highlights for me was the Middle Years A-Z session that I went to. The presenter was in her fourth year of teaching and she had prepared a great wikispace resource for people teaching middle years. There were a few tools that were touched on that I use in my classroom such as blogs, wikispaces, etc. There are others that I was introduced to that I am excited to start using.
Shelfari is a social bookshelf that allows me to display the books that I have read, am reading, and plan on reading. for some reason I cannot include the widget on my wordpress blog. It says that they are working on the problem so we will just have to see. I am going to try and load it on my class blog and I will place a link here to my bookshelf. I think that this would be an excellent tool for the classroom, especially ELA. Students can put books on their bookshelves, if they are including books that they have already read they would need to include a review and summary of the book. The tough thing that I am encountering is getting the students to read…that is another issue!
Glogster is an online tool that you can use to create posters. I have created one about my favorite things…my puppies. Okay when you see the pictures they are clearly not puppies but I love them and they were what I thought of first when I wanted to try out this tool. You can see my first glog here.
The rest of my trip was a whirlwind. I drove an extra two hours to make the trip home to Wynyard and spent two nights there. This also meant that I had an 8 hour drive back to La Loche on Sunday and started school again on Monday!
Here is the poster that I created to try to use Glogster…it is pretty basic but I think that I have the idea. I can see my students using this in the classroom to make posters rather than paper and pencil. For example, if my students were going to redesign the cover of a novel or create a culture poster like we did earlier…this would be the perfect tool. It is easy to use and the students would love it!
Officially Miss Jordan September 20, 2009
WOW…teaching is hard! Not just that was a tough day I’ll relax for the evening tough, but I don’t even want to move except to reach for the Kleenex box hard. Okay I am being a bit dramatic…but even after four years of university classes telling us how hard it would be and four months of internship to test our ability to handle the difficulty, I have realized that there is another level of hard! And I am living it…
Don’t get me wrong, I love to teach. There is not a doubt in my mind that I want to be a teacher, in some capacity, for the rest of my working life. But this career will test even the most mentally and physically strong person. It has only been three weeks of being an actual, employed teacher but I have learned a few things…
- Nothing replaces a great staff and support network. I have already made some great friends that operate as my second family here in La Loche and I am so grateful for them. From potlucks, game nights, to offering their expertise and resources they are truely wonderful people that I am blessed to have met!
- Some days it will never be enough. I had a student ask me how much I make in a day…the dialogue went something like this:
Me – “I am not sure what it breaks down to on a daily basis.”
Student – “$50”
Me – a little chuckle “No it is more than that, not many people will teach for $50 a day”
Student – “Why?”
Me – “Because teaching is hard and some days no matter what I was being paid it would not be enough!”
It is so true…on those days that a student tells you that if they ever became affluent (one of our words of the day) they would buy a new teacher so that I wouldn’t teach them anymore, or that they would give me a million dollars to quit teaching, or the whole day feels like it was a complete flop because you only got through a third of the lessons and even then you have no idea how much the students even learned…yeah money is just not enough.
3. All it takes to make teaching worth all of the difficult situations is to have one student smile, have one student get the question right, or have one student look at you like you are no longer the enemy and maybe just maybe see the flicker of respect in their eyes.
Teaching can be a volatile profession, one that I am very happy to be part of. There have been a few bad days, okay more than a few. But there have also been those days that I don’t want the class to end because the students are engaged and because things are going so well. There are those students that make my job extremely difficult and then there are a few students that I would do whatever I could to get them to their graduation and to see them succeed.
It is hard to believe that it has already been three weeks…at the same time I feel as though it is hard to believe that it has only been three weeks.
Until next time…I will be updating my blog much more regularly so keep checking!
I have to apologize for the tardyness of this post. I have been trying for three weeks to get this post done. I have been having a hard time of knowing what I should be putting on this blog and what I shouldn’t be…as a result I have not put anything. Today my writers block has been brocken and I am a blogger again.
Lets take a few moments and catch up…For those of you that don’t know I am teaching in the Northern Lights School Division in Northern, Saskatchewan at the K-12 La Loche Community School in the Dene Building (7-12). Grade 8 is now my specialty, specifically English Language Arts and Social Studies. I also have a grade 9 Physical Education class and next semester (fingers crossed) I will have Entrepreneurship 30. Okay you are caught up!
The move up here was really good, and although I was freaking out for days before I left as soon as I got here I felt so much better. I knew what I was getting myself into, working at Ranch Ehrlo definitely prepared me for many of the “issues” that I will be facing up here. My place is small, but very nice and clean…except for Abbott’s toys that are strewn everywhere! I met most of the first year staff at the new teacher induction program in Prince Albert in the middle of August. What a phenomonal idea that was, cudous to whomever planned that event.
It was really nice to get up here and not be alone because I already knew so many people! My mom stayed with me for two nights and then she made the trip home. It was so nice having her here, gave me a bit of time to get settled in before being actually alone!
All in all it was a good move and nothing too eventful happened…then school started! But that is for another post…