Sunday, April 10, 2011

A Teacher in Drowning

Wow...I have clearly been overwhelmed and under water. For starters, I have not posted an update in two months. But that is really only a symptom of a long list of things that have been going on. I am behind enough in my marking that I currently have two assignments from the same class in my bag (gross, worst feeling). We are working through the Biology unit in the Grade 10 course (and despite this being my second time through it, we are actually making a real effort to develop a good unit so I am learning way too much and spending time creating new things and working with my colleague who is the lead for the course this time around). And it is my first time teaching the 3U Physics course and I have decided to add a research presentation to the Energy and Society unit (but I have never developed this type of assignment before, never mind developing it alone).

The above is the current icing on the cake. The joys of being a second year (read first year, since I am in a different department) teacher. Despite the stress (and the addition of being in a wedding party for a wedding that is fast approaching) I am still happy with my career choice and love the learning and excitement that comes with it.

Speaking of learning, I have had the privilege of getting to attend two great P.D. sessions (3 if you include the sharing session we had with nearby schools). The first was a session for Smarter Science (they are also on twitter, if you would like to follow them). It was a great look at inquiry-based learning for the science classroom, a model that started near London that now has ministry funding and has been spread across more than 3-quarters of Ontario since! The session fascinated me and overwhelmed me. All of these great ideas and new things you want to try...but once a semester has started it is difficult to implement a new model of learning. I have had a chance to use parts of it three times so far in my 1P class, which has been a good start.

More recently I attended a session on Graphic Intelligence (read, making use of graphic organizers in class). Something that is a bit easier to start using right away but still something new to get used to using and a lot of prep work to get it going (new lesson plans to think about, rubrics to write, etc). We got a chance to do some planning inf the afternoon so I walked out with an idea for the Electricity unit for the 1Ps and will look forward to using it when we get there. I have also found myself thinking about other places it could be used and hope to get a chance to do those - but they may have to wait for another semester. Oh, and did I mention that I have finally gotten myself on so that I can use Gizmos with my class (think online demos for science concepts)? I am using it in my 3U Physics tomorrow...wish me luck.

I think the cherry on top of all of this is even feeling overwhelmed about the summer (as it is fast approaching). I will be working an afternoon shift as a secretary for 6 weeks, the same 6 weeks I will be doing my Honours Specialist course in Mathematics online, and will hopefully be spending time looking at condos. These are the three basic things I see myself doing, and those in themselves are not really all that overwhelming - it is actually the thought of all of the things I can't wait to try as an educator and feeling like I am never going to have the time to wrap my head around them and actually prepare to use any of them. All of these ideas to look into, literature to read, assignments and ideas to prepare, assessments to come up with, rubrics to write, checklists to develop....well, I think you get the idea.

Here's to surviving these next couple of weeks. Hopefully the marking works itself out before report cards are due in just over a week. Hopefully.

Happy marking!

No comments:

Post a Comment