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Wilfrid Laurier University Faculty of Education
April 16, 2014
 
 
Canadian Excellence

A Year in the Life: TEC Blog

January 2010: The End & The Beginning

The end of practicum was "brilliant" - a shining beacon of hope before Christmas. I was in the classroom for three weeks and many of the students got me presents and cards for Christmas. The first one I got I thought, "This is what I'm working towards." Not presents of course, but a relationship of mutual respect and friendship with the students. I use "friendship" with hesitation because of the implications, but I'm really referring to appreciating the students as human beings, not becoming Facebook friends with them. However, I did end the practicum saying to myself, "I cannot wait to have my own classroom one day."

We held a Christmas concert at my school where the teachers performed their own version of the 12 Days of Christmas. I was in a grade 6 classroom so our line was, "Six months 'til summer." My associate joked that I had to be loud because there were only three other female grade 6 teachers. I thought to myself, "I was a camp counselor. No one has ever accused me of being too quiet - I'm gonna rock this line." As I walk to the front of the gymnasium I'm filled with resolve to shout this line, making the other grade 6 teachers proud. As I hear the "5" line being sung, I start to get nervous. There are 850 students and 100 staff at this school, and next thing I know it's our turn to sing.

"Six months till Christmas" I hear myself shout at the top of my lungs. WRONG! My face turns red, the other teachers giggle and look at me. Oh my, I have to sing this line several more times throughout this song; I must compose myself. Okay next time up, I concentrate really hard and - more quietly - I hear myself say the correct words. However, the next time up I hear myself say, "Six months 'til Chris.summer." Argh! What is wrong with me?

Frightened and embarrassed I just avoid saying the next two lines. I think I said it correctly once more, quietly, but I could not get "Christmas" out of my head. Oh well, it made for good staff room chatter for the next day and a half.

I also got to teach the content for, and write two tests during this practicum: Canada and its Trading Partners, and Algebra. Due to the Christmas schedule, the students had both tests on the last Thursday before Christmas, meaning that I had 54 tests to mark in one night. The marking concern, however, was secondary to the fear that the tests were too hard, meaning I'd have to hand out a lot of bad news on the last Friday of school. Thankfully, this story has a happy ending.

Gosh, I miss those kids...

The Beginning: Semester 2

Over Christmas I had planned on completing so much. I was going to build a blog for the program - one where we could share resources, answer each other's questions on particular assignments, and share lesson plans. Also on my list - apply to the Ontario College of Teachers (OCT - the certifying body for all Ontario teachers), Apply to Teach (a centralized employment application site for school boards across Ontario) and the Qualifications Evaluation Council of Ontario (QECO - a centralized body who determines how individual academic qualifications will align future teachers with board specified pay scales). However, since I was still presentless and treeless on December 21, the first week off I was busy Christmasing it up. The second week off I was eating myself silly and cleaning up, which explains the anxiety I felt on the Sunday before the first day of class.

Week one went pretty well, it was great to see everyone again, but there's nothing like getting a list of everything you're going to complete for the next three months. While I have yet to really get back in the groove again, I am stoked...do people still say that? I am stoked that we have this Friday off so I can gather my thoughts, pick up my new text books, and start the semester on the right note.

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