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Disclaimer

I am a teacher with a Bachelor of Education and two Post-baccalaureate Diplomas in Education. I have 16 years of teaching experience and 9 years of parenting experience. The ideas and opinions expressed here are my own and do not necessarily represent the ideas of my employer.

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A Career in Reverse

It has literally been so long since I wrote a blog post that I forgot how to log in here! Oops. I apologize to my 5 readers. The wheels have been spinning, but I have been very busy and very tired. For a while now I have been mulling the idea for this entry: I am currently experiencing a career in reverse.
  As you know, if you have read my other posts, I left my permanent contract of 16-plus years in Manitoba and moved across the country to British Columbia. As a brand new grad in Winnipeg, I did very little substitute teaching. I was very fortunate to be in the right place at the right time six months after I graduated, when a lady at the school where I student-taught had a baby and went on maternity leave. Her leave was for one year, beginning on the last day of school before the winter break. I was hired to teach from December to December.
  It was a Grade 6 class, and the first six months was something of a trial-by-fire. My university courses had not at all prepared me for the…

Ten Things I Learned from my First Two Weeks in Gr 1-2

10) These tiny humans need direct instruction and continuous feedback about self-control. They may need to be reminded every day before every transition that you expect them to respect personal space. They may need you to control the “traffic” flow in the classroom. They may need you to scaffold their routines such as classroom clean-up so that not so many tiny humans are moving chairs, or brooms, or materials at once.
9) Teach them to ask you if they want a hug, otherwise, you will have little hands and clingy bodies in your personal space all the time. They can say, “Excuse me, I need a hug please.”
8) Tiny humans have big feelings. And they often do not know how to cope with them. This manifests in tears, outrage, raucous laughter, and pushing/shoving/grabbing, etcetera – sometimes all at once. What can you do about this? Well, just like your own children, they are entitled to their feelings. Let them have their feelings, but teach them some strategies for coping appropriately. At…

Unit Planning: It’s Not What You Thought It Would Be

During university professors drilled this process into me: read the curriculum, plan the unit, plan the assessment, reflect on your teaching. It was a cycle repeated in every Curriculum and Instruction class. My friends and I could site curriculum outcomes and whip together an impressive series of lessons in a flash. Through 16 years of experience, I have learned that this is certainly NOT all there is to it. Unit planning remains one of my favourite tasks in teaching. It is the dreaming phase. It is that time before instruction, that time before you may have met your students, that time when all is fresh, exciting and possible! But do you know what it also is? It is the time for focus, restraint and actually…leaving things just a little un-planned. Let me explain. What so many of my university professors failed to teach me as an undergrad is that teacher reflection should be about two things: 1) what are the students learning and to what degree are they learning it?, and 2) what have …