Tag Archive | teaching

The First Week – Huge Respect for Substitutes!

September 3rd-6th

So first week… what can I say? It had it’s ups and downs which is to be expected.  I began the semester by teaching Workplace and Apprenticeship 30 class (for those who don’t know, this is a grade 12 math class).

So, the very first day of class I only had my students for 20 minutes since we had an assembly part way through the class.  This was okay but it felt very chaotic.  I had a few things planned but with my mind running everywhere, I came off as very disorganized and did not have a teacher presence/authority.  The next day, however, I feel like my teacher authority came out when discussing the classroom expectations and rules and that I finally had established myself as a teacher (and not as some young person who thinks they can teach but can easily be run over by the students).

Things seemed like they were going well until my teacher had asked me to try “subbing” for one of her classes (don’t worry there was another teacher present!).  I asked what class it was and when she said “Foundations 10,” I figured “Hey, it’s grade 10 math! This should be a piece of cake!”   Was I ever wrong! The material that was being taught that day was converting units in the Imperial system (US metric system).  This was most definitely not on the top of my “most favourite topics in math” list.  In fact, I feel like I have put a block on this high school memory and I actually don’t remember learning it.  Asking my friends, they admit that they learned this material so I have come to the conclusion that I just chose to forget it because it was that horrid! So, if you could guess, this lesson did not go so well! I had trouble explaining the material and we actually ended up moving to the assignment and not finishing the examples (with the promise that my co-op would go over it the next day).  The one thing that I remember clearly in my mind is the fact that I kept trying to hint for the actual substitute teacher to take over (because he knew the material very well!) but he wouldn’t.  However, as sad as I had become about this lesson, this was a huge learning experience for me and I’m glad that he didn’t let me back out.  The next day I apologized to the class and taught the last example to the students. By doing this, I hoped that I could redeem myself as a teacher in those students eyes (which is huge I feel because I will be teaching them in about a month!).

With that said, my actual class went very well and I have already learned a lot! The sub day had me question myself as a teacher but you know what? We all have our bad days! It’s going to be okay and you know what? It’s only my first week! It’s not expected to go great! Internship is where you should be taking risks and making mistakes.  Just know that if you make mistakes, take them as a learning opportunity and don’t let it get you down!

Get Smarter About Money – Personal Finance Resource

What is it?

Get Smarter About Money is an online finance website designed to help individuals with questions regarding their own personal finance.  This is a Canadian website that was created by the Investor Education Fund, which is a Canadian non-profit organization.

There are four different categories that you can research information on which are: investing, planning, life events, and tools and calculators.  Each category is grouped into a number of subcategories which are grouped into even more subcategories which then lead to the information that you are looking for.

Once you have found the section in which you are looking for, there is information provided which is brief but provides enough information to find what you are looking for.

What do I like about it?

– Website is appealing and engaging.  Along with pictures and brief information, this website can be easily appealing to students.

– Website is user friendly.

– Information may not be detailed but it is straight to the point.

– Website is organized and easy to navigate through.

– A search engine is provided for the website so information can be easily accessed.

– Information is categorized into many different sections which is good if you only want to read the information you want to rather than look through useless information or waste time  (this categorization can also be a negative though!).

– Some of the information pages have other links within the text which open up to other outside websites.  These lead to related information that readers may be interested in which have been mentioned in the information pages.

– The website is made by a Canadian organization so the information will be more relevant to me and my students.

What do I dislike about it?

– There is not much about who actually created the website other than the fact that they only have an “About IEF” page (Investor Education Fund).  Because of this, the reader (or maybe it was just me) just assumes the website was created by this organization.

– When looking for information, there are a bunch of sections within sections.  This is nice and organized but it gets tiring to continually click in a bunch of different places to get to one bit of information.  Of course it was easy to find, just tedious.

– Although the information was short and to the point, I wish that there was more detailed information so that I could understand that topic a bit better.

Where does this fit into the curriculum and how would I use this in my classroom?

This online resource fits into LeBlanc’s Personal Finance 30 curriculum.  Looking at each of the objectives, this resource can help to achieve 6/9 objectives from this curriculum.  The first objective that this resource can help to achieve is PF (L) 3 which states: Demonstrate understanding of financial institution services used to access and manage personal finances.  This resource covers topics to help achieve this objective which includes: banking services available, different types of accounts, credit cards, commonly used definitions, service charges, and how to open up a bank account.

The second objective that this resource can help to achieve is PF (L) 4 which states: Demonstrate an understanding of income and personal taxation.  This resource covers topics including deductions that may be relevant to taxation and how payroll functions, gross pay, deductions and personal income tax are related.

The next objective is only partially achieved by this resource.  This objective is PF (L) 5 which states: Demonstrate understanding of personal budgets and their importance for financial planning.  This resource can help to accomplish the indicator about creating and maintaining a personal budget.

The fourth objective that can be achieved is PF (L) 6 which states: Demonstrate an understanding of the importance of investing, the various types of investment vehicles and how interest can be used as an advantage.  Information to achieve the indicators and this objective can be found in two places: under the planning tab and the investing tab.  The basics, including reasons to invest and how to start, can be found under the planning tab; while the retirement plans and different types of bank accounts can be found under the investing tab.

PF (L) 7 is the next objective that can be achieved with this resource.  This objective regards the understanding of services used to access credit options.  This resource does not cover the entire objective or even half of the indicators.  Even the indicators that this resource can help to achieve, it does not do a very thorough job but it can achieve a few indicators that work towards understanding the basics of credit cards, advantages and disadvantages to using a credit card, and tips on how to reduce credit card debt.

The last objective that this resource can help to achieve is PF (L) 9 which states: Demonstrate understanding of purchasing, leasing, and renting options.  Because quite a few of the indicators ask to research information from Saskatchewan, this resource can help to achieve only one indicator within this objective, which is buying versus renting (although nothing about leasing from what I’ve seen, but it does provide a very convenient chart!).

In the classroom, I could use this in a couple ways.  The first, which is mostly likely how I would use it, would be as an extra resource for students to use if interested or they need extra help.  I could post this online to either the classroom blog or website to make this easily accessible for my students.

Also, with one of the objectives that are covered quite well with this resource, I could do an independent study, group work, or even just an assignment or worksheet that I have designed.  This could be completed either in class or outside and with partners or even just individually depending on the length and difficulty level of the assignment.

Overall evaluation of Get Smarter About Money…

Overall, I actually really enjoyed this resource. It had a variety of information that can fit anyone’s interest.  The pages are engaging with short bits of information which can be great especially for those with short attention spans.

The fact that this resource covers a majority of outcomes in the Personal Finance curriculum can say a lot about this resource. It is definitely one to try out in the classroom!

If I were to rare this website I would give it an 8/10.

Canada Revenue Agency – Personal Finance Resource

What is it?

Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) is a Canadian government agency that deals with the tax laws and various social and economic benefit and incentive programs that are delivered through the Canadian tax system.  The website for this agency has been designed to inform Canadians on changes or updates to the areas listed above.  Also, this website provides information for those who are looking to learn about taxes and tax laws.

There is one section on this website that I would like to pay particular attention to; this is the page that lists a variety of information about tax returns.  In this section, the CRA provides a variety of information about tax returns which include:

– Getting a tax package

– Completing a tax return

– Tax payments

– Sending a tax return

– Refunds

– Review of your tax return by CRA

– Complaints and penalties

– And more!

What do I like about it?

– Provides the latest information needed to know about completing a tax return.

– Provides links to other pages and websites for further information.

– User friendly.

– Neat and organized.

– Composed in a language easily understandable for anyone.

– Within each section is more detailed sections.  These sections provide you with enough information needed to complete a tax form.

– Each section is clearly labelled with what information can be found within it.  This makes searching for the information easy and accessible.

– A search box is provided in the top right hand corner of the screen.  This makes information easy and faster to find and access.

What do I dislike about it?

– Information and pages are not exactly the most engaging (but hey, what else do you expect from a government website?).

How does this fit into the curriculum and how would I use this in my classroom?

This online resource fits in LeBlanc’s Personal Finance 30 curriculum.  Specifically, this fits in with objective PF (L) 4 which states: Demonstrate an understanding of income and personal taxation.  Two indicators (h and i) are specific to personal income tax returns and this resource covers them in quite depth.

In my classroom, I could use this online resource in a few different ways.  The first way that I could use this is to use it as an independent study or an in-class assignment.  I would create a worksheet for students to complete, either individually or with a partner, where the find the information needed on this website (and possibly others!).  This could be done either during class or on their own.

Another way that I could use this is just to use the information provided on this website and create a more engaging handout for the students.  This resource provides accurate and first-hand information, although it is not the most interesting.  Reworking this information into a more engaging and activity-based  worksheet could be a great use of this resource.

Also, this could simply just be used as an extra resource that is posted onto the classroom blog or website for more information for students who are struggling or would like to learn more about that topic.

Overall evaluation of Canada Revenue Agency…

Overall, the CRA is a great place to search for accurate and up-to-date information.  However, if you are looking for engaging and fun activities, this is not the place to go!  But with a creative worksheet or activity, this website can be quite useful as an in-class resource.

I would definitely recommend this resource for anyone looking to learn all about Canadian tax returns.

If I had to give this website a rating, I would give it a 7/10.

DWMBeanCounter.com – Accounting Resource

dwmbeancounter.com is a website created by David Marshall, who is a retired individual who has experience in audits, payroll, and teaching college business classes.  This site specifically was created with the intent to help individuals learn the basics of accounting for free.

I will not cover the entire website; rather I would like to look at one page specifically.  On this page, you will find a description of four different accounting games: Fling the Teacher, Walk the Plank, Basketball, and Teacher Invaders.  In addition, this page provides links to these games and as well three different versions of the game which have different questions.

What is it?

1. Fling the Teacher – In this game, you build a trebuchet (or basically a catapult) to “fling the teacher.”  You build this by correctly answering questions related to accounting.  In addition, there are three “help” buttons that can only be used once during the game (sort of like the three life lines on Who Wants To Be A Millionaire).

fling the teach

2. Walk the Plank – As the title suggests, you have to make your victim “walk the plank” off of a pirate ship.  If you answer the given question correctly, you are given the opportunity to roll a dice which determines how many steps your victim takes towards the edge of the plank.  If you answer incorrectly, you must roll a dice and your victim will move that many steps away.

pirate

3. Basketball – The objective in this game is to test your 3-point shot.  You get to shoot a basketball every time you answer a question correctly.  However, this does not mean you score the basket.  This game also works on an individuals reaction time and accuracy; if you can line up the shot correctly by getting the cursor into the middle of a circle, then you will sink the basketball into the net.  The questions in this game test an individual’s basic bookkeeping and accounting knowledge.

basketball

4. Teacher Invaders – This game is very similar to space invaders but instead of shooting at aliens, you are shooting at teachers.  You are given three lives and for every question you answer incorrectly, you lose a life and must answer a different question until either you get the question correct or run out of lives.  If you answer the question correctly, you have earned an extra 10 seconds of game time and may continue the game until you have run out of lives (or complete all of the rounds, which I’m not entirely sure if that is possible as there seems to be many rounds).

teach invader

What do I like about it?

In general, there is a wide variety of games for students to choose from that relate specifically to accounting.  So, if a student has no interest in basketball or becomes bored of the game, they can simply choose a different game that will test on the same knowledge.  Also, each game has a variety of difficulty levels which is great for differentiation and challenges each individual students’ knowledge at appropriate levels.

1. Fling the Teacher – The player (student) gets to create your own “victim” that you will fling.  This, along with the title “Fling the TEACHER,” can be appealing and engaging for the student (although might not send a good message about teachers).

– Has three “help” buttons which can provide help for students who are struggling and can avoid anger or frustration from having to restart the game.

– Not timed.  Students may take time to think about the answer and make sure that it is correct (which also avoids frustration and anger).

– Asks if you are sure about choosing that answer.  This can ensure that the student hasn’t accidentally clicked the wrong button.

– Although questions are the same if you restart the game, the questions and answers are generated into different order which can prevent memorization.

2. Walk the Plank – You can actually change the skin colour and hair colour of your victim (even to blue!!).

– Questions are challenging which could engage the individual playing the game (or could be a turn off too!).

– The “pirate” theme can attract and encourage students to play.

– Has three different versions of the game that have different questions.

3. Basketball – Can be one or two player and/or timed if desired.

– Tests general understanding and basic concepts.

– Has three different versions of the game which ask different questions.

– Works on accuracy and reaction time.

– Can be competitive and challenging for students.

– Appears to test relevant accounting information.

4. Teacher Invaders – It’s ADDICTING!! I found it hard to stop playing, although I was getting frustrated with some of the questions.

– Question section has helpful hints: If the answer is four letters long, it will have four question marks and if there is more than one word it is separated with a space. Ex. profit = ??????

– Questions are not timed which allows students to either look up the answer or thoroughly think about it.

– There are multiple rounds so the game lasts for quite a while.

– Gives three different data results at the end of the game including knowledge (%), total points received in the game, and how many “teachers” were destroyed (the second and third not so relevant to the testing of knowledge).

What do I dislike about it?

As a general note about all the games (except for the basketball game), they all send out a violent and negative image of teachers and that students should hate their teachers.  Students may think it’s funny but this can send out a bad message.

1. Fling the Teacher – If you get a question wrong, you have to restart the entire game and the questions are the same if you restart the same game.  This could lead to memorization if a student repeats it enough.  Also, since they have to restart the entire game, this could cause them to become frustrated and lose interest in the game/subject.

– It felt like a lot of questions.  Maybe they were a bit difficult for me but I felt like I was playing the game forever and was worried every single time I answered a question in case I had gotten it wrong and had to restart.

– I actually wasn’t able to beat the game.  I became very frustrated with it and made silly mistakes that I eventually just gave up.

– There is only one skin colour type that you can select.  This is racist and leads students to think that teachers are only “white” individuals.

2. Walk the Plank – Does not offer any hints or help buttons.

– Character calls you degrading names such as “stupid.”

– One game, I had answered 2 of 10 questions wrong and I still hadn’t gotten my victim off the plank.  This was because I kept rolling a total of 5 when I had a question correct and I had rolled a total of 9 or higher when I had the incorrect answer.  This made me extremely frustrated! This game is based off of luck and this happened a number of times! 😦

– Reuses many of the same questions if you have to restart the game so it doesn’t test a wide variety of your knowledge.

3. Basketball – When aiming to shoot the ball, the dot that moves back and forth moves quite fast the second time you must get it into the center.   This can be quite frustrating and may cause students to not want to play the game.

– By changing difficulty levels, this only affects how fast the cursor moves when trying to aim.  This does not actually change the difficulty of the questions.

– Questions do not change if you need to restart or try playing the game again.  This is sort of made up for by having different versions of the game but can be a hassle and more work than necessary.

– If you miss the basket or answer a question incorrectly, the remarks can be a bit degrading and could discourage a student from playing the game.

4. Teacher Invaders – Wording of some of the questions were difficult and became frustrating when the answer that was revealed was something that I should have known if I had read the question extremely carefully.

– Spelling must be accurate.  This could be both a positive and negative.  A positive in the way that it corrects and ensures that students are having thoughtful questions and the spelling is correct (works on literacy skills).  A negative is that it can be extremely frustrating since you lose a life for the error.

– You only get three lives.  This can be a downfall for a few reasons: One, if you get shot once or twice in the game, you don’t get very many chances to answer questions which won’t challenge the student’s knowledge and ultimately won’t help them learn in the end.  Of all the times that I played this game, the highest score I was able to get was 380 and only 8% knowledge.  This made me frustrated each time and made the game slightly off-putting for me.  Another way that this is a downfall is because with the short amount of lives, you don’t get to play for very long if you aren’t as skilled as the game requires you to be.  When you have to restart the game over and over again, it becomes unappealing and frustrating especially since it asks you many of the same questions.

– You do not receive points for getting correct answers.  I’m not sure whether or not this is a bad thing or a good thing but I feel like there should have been points for answering questions correctly.

Where does this fit into the curriculum and how would I use it?

This website fits into the Accounting 10/20/30 curriculum.  The games on this website cannot teach students to fully understand the information from this curriculum although it can help practice this knowledge and be used as a self-assessment tool.  Through playing the games, I am now aware of the areas of accounting from which these questions are derived from.  With that said, I can make an assumption that these games help to achieve Module 1A.  Specifically, these games help to achieve learning objective 1.1 which states: To recognize and use the basic vocabulary of accounting in classroom discussions and assignments.  So really, these games focus on definitions often used in accounting which is what this objective is asking to be achieved.

In my classroom, I could use this resource in a few different ways.  One way that I could use this in my classroom is as an end of unit practice when studying definitions.  Whether this is actually in class or in the students spare time, this could be used as a fun way to  review or self-check.

Another way I could use this resource is to use the idea of the games.  For example, I could tie business into actual physical basketball or something like a relay race.  For the relay race, they must complete an obstacle to get to an item.  But to get that item, they must answer a question about accounting in order to receive that item which they must bring back to their team in which they would then win.  This may seem like a bit of a stretch but it does get the students active while they are testing their knowledge on what they have been learning.

Also, I could just use this resource as supplementary resources for struggling students and those who wish to test their accounting knowledge on their own time.  I could do this by posting this resource on the classroom website/blog for students to access at any time.

Evaluation of DWM Bean Counter Games…

Overall the games on DWM Bean Counter are fairly engaging for students but can be extremely frustrating for those who have a slower reaction time or need questions to be provided in a simpler form of words.  The ideas of these games could be used within a classroom (provided a few modifications, in my opinion) and could work out great! However, as they are, they could prove to be a frustration for some students which is not what I would want for any of my students (although I know I can’t 100% avoid the frustration for all students).

If I were to rate the games found on this website, I would give a 6/10.

Social Justice Unit Plan

Here is a unit plan for incorporating social justice into mathematics:

understanding-by-design-unit-template (1)

In this unit, students will research a social justice issue.  They will create a report (which they will actually send to someone) and a presentation on this issue and possible solutions to this issue.  The requirement is that they must use mathematics somewhere in their report to help support their argument or issue.

My Teaching Philosophy After Pre-Internship

After completing my pre-internship experience, I am now faced with a question: Has my teaching philosophy changed? My answer to this question is yes! There are things that I definitely feel more stronger about, that I am now questioning, that I know have realizations about, and that I would like to add.

One thing that I..

1. Feel stronger about:

I definitely have a stronger belief in the fact that teachers need to help students understand subjects (like mathematics) rather than memorize it.  For some subjects I know that this could be hard but up until I started taking education math classes, I never thought that there was a way that we can actually teach and learn math so that it can be understood and be connected to real life rather then through memorization and being basically spoon fed the information.  Now, I realize that there are always ways to help students understand material and not just memorize it (although sometimes it will require a bit of work!).

2. Am I now questioning:

I question my understanding of putting in 100% of my effort to try to help my students learn and succeed in their schooling.  During my pre-internship, I noticed that there was on average one student in every class where the teacher just didn’t even try to get them to write notes, do the assignment, or get them off of his/her phone.  They basically said that as long as the student wasn’t disrupting others, they could just sit there and do nothing.  This makes me wonder at what point do you just give up (or I apologize maybe this isn’t the correct term to use…) on a student so that way you aren’t slowing down the rest of the class.  It also makes me wonder if this same way of thinking will happen to me?  Will I just allow a student to sit there and do nothing and refuse to learn?  I just don’t see the point in being in school if you are just going to sit there and do nothing.  But now comes a question that I now have: Is it appropriate to ask a student to drop a class if they refuse to learn or do anything in that class?  Or can I ask them why there are there in that class if they are just going to take up space and not do anything?

3. Now realize and would like to add:

I now realize the importance of allowing students to individually practice examples of the material that we have just covered and having the teacher walk around checking for understanding and clarifying any questions.  

I unfortunately learned this the hard way in my pre-internship.  In one of my grade nine classes, we had spent 3 and a half days on one section of the text book (which I personally feel was quite a bit of time to cover that one section which built off of the previous section so they should have had a really good understanding of the material).  In the first day and a half, we spent the class time taking notes and doing A LOT of examples as a class.  Everything seemed to be going fine; many students were answering questions and shouting out answers so I genuinely thought that they would be ready for a quiz after some practice.  So, the next two days I had spent with them doing an assignment and a worksheet.  On the fourth day, we had a quiz and I was very surprised to see that a lot of students were struggling with it!  I knew that there would be a few students who would struggle with it but it seemed like more students were struggling with this than I had expected. 

After this, I had realized my one flaw that most likely had the biggest impact: I didn’t get to do much one-on-one work with my students and be able to check if ALL students were understanding the material (I couldn’t even get much one-on-one time with the students during the assignment and worksheet time because I was trying to get students who had missed previous classes caught up). 

Also, by being able to walk around and check students work, this would have been a great classroom management strategy to get the students writing down notes and all the examples (which I found out many were only watching the board and answering instead of taking notes as well).

Also, just because students are either quiet or many shout out the answer doesn’t mean that they completely understand the material which is another reason why allowing students to do individual work while the teacher is circulating the room is important.

So clearly, I now would like to add to my teaching philosophy the importance of allowing time for students to do examples and work individually while you walk around and check their work.  Big lesson I learned there.

4. Would like to add:

I actually no believe in tiered assignments.  I tried this out during my pre-internship and it actually turned out to work fairly well!  The students have done tiered assignments in that class before so they had an understanding of the expectations and what to do.   I did struggle with actually creating the assignments because I didn’t really know what assignments would be considered equal amount of work or time so that students didn’t chose which assignment was faster or shorter. 

What I would do now that I didn’t  realize until after but is I would do all the questions first (which I did) and then I would assign a mark to each question.  Then, I would make one assignment and then use the total value of marks to create the next test.  When doing this in my preinternship, I just looked at the questions and just kind of randomly picked the number of questions and made it all roughly the same number of questions rather than the same amount of time or work.

Week One of Teaching

So, I was hoping to blog way more than what I have been, but wow! When I come home after school I am completely wiped out!  I have never been one to be in bed by 11, but since I have been teaching and observing, all I do when I get home is revise/create my lesson plans and then go to bed! Like holy wow! I was not expecting this and I talked to other teachers about it and they said that they went through the same thing and that our bodies just have to adjust (for a bit of assurance!).

Overall, it FEELS like this entire week has been a complete flop and I had a bit of an “Ashley” moment today after teaching one of my lessons. Even though this is something that I could have hid to make everything seem like it was going perfect, I feel the urge to make a confession to everyone explaining a not-so-great moment for me: So, I had a bit of a melt down (nothing serious though) after I taught my lesson today.  After all the stress of this week and the unexpected shortening class (further delaying my lessons and making it seem like more a flop than what it already was), I sat down in my chair and my eyes just welled up with tears.  Only a few tears managed to escape and I was able to recover quickly soon after once I got my mind focused on other things.  Fortunately, this happened during a break but I still feel that I should have handled that situation more professionally and should have been able to control my emotions.  On a good note, the rest of my day went fairly well! In a small way, I feel as though having that bit of a melt down made me feel a lot better (which is odd but I find this is the case quite often!… unfortunately).

So some of the stresses happened through this whole week mainly had to do with small things that went wrong in my lesson plans/teaching.  Sure some of these mistakes have been small and some were not in my control at all, but looking at all of these little mistakes it makes me think that I need a whole lot of improvement and even sometimes questions whether or not I can or should be a teacher.  A few of the mistakes or negatives about my teaching this week include:

– I need to learn to slow down when talking and take numerous short pauses to allow students to write notes and understand the material.

– I definitely need to work on my time management.

– Two of three of my math classes unexpectedly ended early (by about 5-10 minutes each).  I was unaware of this and I had planned for a 60 minute lesson (which is also wrong because I learned today classes are only 55 minutes… which I feel is strange!).  So, all of this combined has resulted in planning not going right and I feel my students are not understanding the material as well as I intended for them.

A few things that went fairly well this week include:

– Everyone seems to enjoy the activity that I created for the proof of the sine law for obtuse angles (cutting up the proof and having students put the proof into the correct order).  My partner has already used this idea (tried it out today) and my cooperating teacher has said that he would like to “steal” my idea.  This makes me think that my ideas are actually good, but I just need to work on putting them into practice (which gives me hope!).

– My questioning is starting to really improve.  Before I was asking very basic questions that were more of a nuisance to students and didn’t really get their thinking going or anything like that; and now, I am asking a variety of questions that are challenging the students thinking (which is what I was hoping for!).  I haven’t completely mastered this yet, but I feel that I have grown enough in this area that I can now move on to focus on other teacher aims and goals.

– One last positive is that I can remember most of my students names that I am teaching in period 1.  I have only had them for three days now (because of parent-teacher conferences) and I have been able to memorize all but a few students names (those who haven’t shown up at all yet!).  This has helped me tremendously because it shows my students that I am trying to make an effort to get to know them and teach them, and it also helps me with questioning.  When completing discussion-based lessons, if students are not taking part in this conversation, it is much easier to call out certain students when you know their names.

– My days go by SO fast! It’s amazing how an hour can go by when your teaching.  What feels like 15 minutes has actually been a whole hour!  I love how these days are going by so fast and I hope they continue to. 🙂

– I went to my school’s basketball game.  It was the junior girls playing at another school.  It felt great to be there and I found myself cheering for my team and getting angry every time the other team scored.  Unfortunately they lost but I felt a real part of the school by going!  Also, it’s fun and a great way to take your mind of things for a while.

For all of those pre-service teachers out there, I have a few pieces of advice:

1. Not all of your lessons are going to be awesome lesson plans.  In fact, maybe I should revise this to say “there is no such thing as a perfect lesson plan.”  Not everything is going to go as you have planned and there is always a better way of teaching a certain lesson so don’t feel bad if you don’t have a “perfect” lesson plan.

2. Make sure you talk to someone outside of your pre-internship about what is going on, such as family!  I haven’t talked to any of my family this week and I feel like I need to go on a rant to someone who doesn’t know my exact situation and knows how to comfort me.  I have tried talking to my partner and others who are closer to the situation and I feel that I am not getting my frustrations out (which may have led to my breakdown today).  They try to reassure me but they can’t quite calm me down and reassure me like my mom can.  So, those who can comfort you and talk you through things are good people to keep around because there will always be some sort of frustration that needs to be resolved.

3. Plan your lessons in as much advance as you can.  When you come home after teaching (especially in the first week), you will find that you are drained and don’t have the energy to look at lesson planning.  For me, I completed rough drafts of my lesson plans the weekend before and I still found it very hard to go back and try to think about completely finishing and fixing the final product.

4. Get lots of sleep and allow time for you to relax.  If you don’t do either of these, you will drain yourself and you won’t last the full three weeks (or internship or actually teaching!).  I plan on going swimming this weekend to help me relax so I am hoping this will help me clear my head and allow my body to relax and not feel over stressed/worked.

Overall, it was an okay week.  I am very excited to teach next week and hope that it goes much better than this week did.  I will be teaching Foundations Math 20 and Grade 9 Math!

But, that’s all for now, it is almost midnight on a Friday night and I am going to bed… who would have thought! But I’m wiped and struggling to keep my eyes open so I will hopefully blog early next week. 🙂