Well, its happened…

As fast as my adventures as a Teacher on call began, they came to an end…

Last Tuesday I started my first day as a 0.80 French and LST teacher. These past 2 weeks have been a blur, memorizing the names of my 5 french classes & LST students… assessing and coding my kindergarten kidlets… and trying to fit in time to eat, sleep, socialize & exercise.

I have to be honest… I had a moment yesterday at school where I felt extremely overwhelmed, full of self doubt and uncertainty…feeling the heavy weight of responsibility…. but with some good ol’ country tunes, some pretzel m&ms and an afternoon organizing, and an evening of visiting with students & parents… I finally feel able to breathe again… This year has offered me so much already, with every moment of self doubt or uncertainty comes a moment of reflection & learning 🙂

My ‘class’ blog is underway… so stay tuned to see what is happening!

Upcoming events … ILD Release day  – hope to see you there!!

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Employee number and all!

The adventure continues from here… 

I am proud to say I am now officially a member of the Surrey School District 🙂 I have been fortunate enough to meet and converse with many SD36 staff on many occasions … ConnectEd Canada and other PRO ‘D sessions and even the world of twitter. It is because of these positive connections and conversations that I felt SD36 was the place for me – a district of innovation, community and life long learning.

I am product of the Surrey school system…

A graduate of MB Sanford Elementary & Frank Hurt Secondary – I look forward to working alongside teachers who inspired me… challenged me… and mentored me…

Let the learning continue… 

 

Inspiration found within the walls of your own school

Take a moment and reflect…

When was the last time you visited your neighbour? Or a classroom at the opposite end of the school?

When was the last time you asked a coworker what are they were up to with their class?

Inspiration can be found right next door…

A conversation could be had that reaffirms or redirects your way of thinking/doing…

A conversation that motivates you to alter your practice….

An alteration that could benefit the learning of you students.

During the last week of my practicum I had a chance to explore my practicum school,

It was a chance to collaborate with my neighbouring educators…

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ConnectEdCanada

Connect Ed Canada … 

I was surround by passionate educators,  welcoming me with open arms, into their world of learning… 

Connect Ed Canada  …  A weekend full of thought provoking conversation, collaborating, and sharing.

As a student teacher I often struggle being in a stage of transition, and if you know me at all you know how much I am revitalized by professional development and conference opportunities…. Connect Ed Canada could not have come at a better time…

I witnessed an incredible representation of student centred learning at Calgary Science School. Observing students fully engaged in learning how to learn…

I left feeling inspired & motivated after meeting and conversing with so many educators who are working so hard to change and better the education system…

But feeling slightly overwhelmed by the opportunities and potential that lie ahead…

I laughed, I sang, I learned, I networked, I collaborated, I shared… I got all fired up!

To hear more about the workshops I attended, I have blogged about two already “risk taking” And “my ah ha moment”

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Professional Development :)

As many of you may know, I love conferences and professional development….. LOVE.

I hunger for  professional development…. crave case studies and am absolutely reenergized by networking!

Most recently I attended the BCTF-NTC: British Columbia’s Teachers Federations, New Teachers Conference where I was exposed to a whirl wind of new ideas and met some amazing people willing to share their stories of learning and growth!

Below are the sessions I attended with a BRIEF taste of what I learned, as you can see.. IT IS A LOT!!

1. Managing Stress in School Aged Children – Building Resilience!

Ah Resilience, such a meaningful word sweeping through our society! Promoting mental health and social emotional well-being.

What can we do to help build resilience in our students? AND in OURSELVES!

– Focus on inner strengths

– Build your support network! NETWORKING!

– Be AWARE of yourself and of others

– Work to develop social competencies such as effective communication and problem solving skills

2. Strategies for Discussing Controversial Issues

Some food for thought…

Discussion controversial issues in the classroom allows students the opportunity to think critically, increase awareness of self and of global circumstances, develop and communicate their opinions.

Some tips for discussing controversial issues…

“Set the Stage” by developing Ground Rules with your class!

1. Respect all views

2. Listen to others carefully

3. Take turns talking

4. Give opinions in a respectful manner

Give your students a chance to develop their thoughts and develop their ‘background knowledge’ and be sure to debrief with your students as to what strategies they found to be effective in expressing their POV.

3. Project Heart

This session what quite moving.. and quite overwhelming. Two First Nation Elders shared their stories with us, revealing the harsh realities of  a residential school experience and life after. They made one request to use as educators…

“We are asking you to care, and acknowledge where aboriginal students are coming from”

The session facilitators introduced us to Project Heart, a program designed to honor the courage of residential school survivors//intergenerational survivors, as well as acknowledge the lives lost. To educate the public about injustices of the past and work toward building trust and empathy in a movement forward.

4. Socializing Justice: Taking Action on Racism 

How do we discuss racism that has happened in the past?…

Just as discussing ‘controversial issues’, when discussing racism or reflecting on past events keep in mind the following:

“4 agreements of courageous conversation”

1. Stay engaged

2. Experience Discomfort

3. Speak ‘your’ truth

4. Expect and accept non-closure

How do we respond to racist actions that happen now in our own school and classrooms?

Food for thought – Respond to what a student DOES .. not who they are

– Responding to what a student does does not make assumptions about a students character but are statements based on FACTS/EVIDENCE/PROOF

– Reflect on how you can make your response a ‘learning’ moment – ex. Disect the language, where did it originate from..

– How can we make people aware of racism? CELEBRATE diversity through cultural events… PROMOTE EMPATHY and ACCEPTANCE of DIVERSITY!

5. Teaching Models for Sustainability  –  “Be the Change – Earth Alliance” 

Learning Locally… making REAL WORLD connections

Looking at PERSONAL RELATIONSHIP with your local and global…

HOW ARE YOU CHOOSING TO LIVE AND HOW DOES THAT IMPACT THE WORLD AROUND YOU?

Creating AWARENESS – and BECOMING more MINDFUL

What can YOU do in your classroom?…Composting? Looking at where things come from and how they arrive? Gardening? Reconnecting with nature?

6. Professional Development – Giving Purpose to PRO-D-Days 

Professional Development has to be ABOUT YOU.. this your chance to be SELFISH//

What do YOU want to learn about, in what areas do YOU want to grow…

Most Importantly… what are YOU going to do to make it happen…You must be a SEEKER of opportunity…

Professional Development is YOUR RIGHT and YOUR RESPONSIBILITY

6 Purposes of Professional Development (paraphrased from presentation)

1. Building and strengthening self as a professional body

2. Development professional relationships

3. Being exposed to new teaching methods

4. Being exposed to new educational theories

5. Encouraging life long learning/professional development

6. Promoting collegial conversation – Collaboration and