Sunday, October 26, 2008

Continuing Developments

Sometimes I feel like my emotions cause me to bounce back and forth about how I am feeling about myself in teaching. The last week has been a roller coaster and I had intended on addressing some of it sooner so that there was a smaller gap between entries, but somehow I didn't end up making time for (and motivating) myself to do so.

My last entry eluded to me feeling like I had stepped into a much larger hole of confusion and unknown than I had thought I was. I still feel that way - but continuing on with another week definitely led me feeling slightly more optimistic (even if the optimism felt repressed only five minutes later). I will pick a couple of instances and try to focus my writing around them. I apologize if I seem to ramble, as I tend to do =)

On Friday we were able to gain the experiences of attending a Professional Development Day (or PD Day). (Yes, teachers actually do attend school when the students don't!). The day was planned by the PD committee at the school and the theme surrounding the day was transitions - both into and out of high school (One thing I learnt is that PD Days are going to make me feel like I'm at the Faculty of Ed again). We focused on what we, as teachers, should Stop, Start, Continue, and Change about our practises, the school, etc. A group of the TCs at my school hung out afterwards as a chance to blow off some steam and be around people we could talk to (about anything) and it seemed like I wasn't the only one who felt like we were being *evil eyed* by current teachers with "ya, just wait until you're actually a teacher and you can see that you're dreaming" written across their foreheads. Aren't teachers supposed to be life long learners? Aren't they supposed to be here because they want to be and think they can actually make a difference?

We are the new generation of teachers and we are ALLOWED to be excited and enthusiastic about it. I want to be USED as a resource for new things and different insights. I WANT current teachers to look at my attitude and think "maybe she has a point." Is that really too much to ask? Well I sure feel like I'm asking too much of a lot of them anyways - it wouldn't be fair to say that some of them don't embrace us, they ARE out there! (and for you, I am grateful!!)

I did have some personal triumphs amidst the week though. I was able to see that although it is difficult to do now, it really is true that as my experience builds I will be able to figure out where to start with teaching a concept and break it into enough steps that I create minimal confusion. Not that I am there yet, but I feel closer. I do feel like I have already fallen into a rut though. My lessons have consisted largely of "chalk and talk" methods and they are hard to fall away from. My goal has to be to create as interactive an atmosphere as possible in doing this, but sometimes it's hard to pry answers out of students. I have managed to create one handout (and see where it was good and where it fell short) and I have used one investigative class. I am intending to do an interactive quiz with one class this week before their test, so we will see how that goes. I might be able to get some graphing calculator time in before I head back to B.Ed classes but my goal for the second practicum block is to involve some more technology (there is a classroom with a Smart Board).

I cannot wait to get involved with extra-curricular activities!

Now reader, head forth and smile at someone today - you never know how big of a difference you can make!

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