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Wilfrid Laurier University Faculty of Education
May 30, 2016

Canadian Excellence

A Year in the Life: TEC Blog

December 2009: It's a Holly, Jolly Christmas!

Well, I finished term 1. I don't really remember how, but I did! I'm so excited to be starting practicum 2. I was in a grade 7 class last time and I'm now in a grade 6 class. It doesn't sound like a big move, but it's actually quite shocking the difference between the two grades.

The benefit to teaching grade 7 is that you teach fewer subjects, which means less planning. The benefit to grade 6 is that the day is so much more flexible. You can move subjects around if you need to. And it is fun to teach a couple of art lessons. The only drawback, at least at this stage, is the extensive amount of planning required.

To my shock and disbelief, the internet isn't a great place to find lesson plans, especially in certain subjects, say "Social Studies: Canada and it's trading partners." I spent a whole weekend scouring the web for appropriate lessons and came up short, so I asked the teacher if she had anything I can borrow, and tada! I was so relieved to find binders upon binders of information on her shelf. I think I need a whole course on teaching supplies and resources. There are so many great resources out there, and as a new student, I don't know where to look yet. Several teachers have quoted, "beg, borrow and steal" when I asked them how they survived their firstyearof teaching. I'd like to build a web site that does a good job of helping Waterloo Region teachers with curriculum-based lesson plans and resources. It doesn't hurt to dream, right?

My class is also working on Junior Achievement right now. Coming from the business world, this was very fun to be a part of. It was hard not to overwhelm the students in the marketing department. I wanted to give so much advice but in the end, the kids showed me. They reached their goal in one day and raised enough money for classroom supplies, a donation to the Cancer society and a pizza party. What an amazing experience for them.

It's also really great to be at school during holiday season. Our school celebrates Christmas. While I'd be happy to celebrate other cultures, from a planning stand point, this is easier. However, it's been a great lesson on being flexible. The snow storm meant that school busses didn't run one day, meaning that we were missing over 1/3 of the students. So, most of the day was a write-off. Classes have also been shuffled around for choir practice, and the gym has been closed for the concert. I think I actually prefer the craziness of it all. It keeps me on my toes. For some reason, I like winging it a little - as long as I know the subject matter. I can't, for example, wing "Canada and it's trading partners".

I am also happy report that TECs at my school were invited to the school Christmas party. Our school has done a really great job of making us feel part of the school. The Principal has gone out of her way to make sure we're doing okay, and I have yet to run into a teacher that has made me feel unwelcome.

The only downside right now is that I have yet to buy a single Christmas present or hang a single decoration. I have been so busy planning and finishing off assignments that Christmas has yet to cometo my house. Fortunately my daughter is too young to notice.

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