Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Student Support

This semester I have been put into a new role - I am on the student support team. I still consider myself a new teacher (been at this less than 5 years...but my how time flies) which comes with learning in itself, but I would have to say that I have learned more in the past two months than in any other two months in my career (such as it is). Having a role that is not classroom teaching has shed a new perspective on educating teenagers, I have found it more emotional (you have more contact with students with sad stories) and, at the same time, has the potential to be more rewarding.

As a transitions monitor (I track at-risk Grade 9s - and a few 10s) I have the opportunity to have some time to try to engage students in an individual way and create success plans. Some of them have emotional needs (usually due to family circumstances) which leads me to work closely with our counselors and social worker to try to engage them in school and take an interest in controlling their future while others have academic struggles that are rooted in poor work habits. As an ILC (Independent Learning Centre) teacher I work to find ways to help students complete credits in recovery and support students through independent courses. Both of these roles have shown given me a chance to see more of the Learning to 18 initiative first hand.

The most interesting part has been outside of this entirely. My admin has been giving me opportunities to get involved in some broader projects.
- Lead teacher for OSSLT support for non-identified students & moderated marking
- Working on planning process for Boys Night In
- Being asked to consult in planning meetings for our Early Release Day (technology PD)
- Attending various PD sessions (i.e. DI for ELL and Bullying and the Bystander)

I would like to write in more detail about some of my experiences, so if you are reading this and have any questions (about the above or the topics listed below) please comment and let me know. Here are some potential future entries:
1. Monitoring strategies (possibly to become useful as a classroom teacher?)
2. OSSLT prep
3. Technology PD (providing workshops/support for colleagues)

I look forward to writing about the technology piece in the near future. I still think it is ironic that I am seen as a technology "expert" in my school - at least my more technology adept friends think it is funny.

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