Saturday, April 25, 2009

End of the First Week

The end of my first week of internship has arrived. Everything went well so far, though I haven't done a lot of teaching yet. The first few weeks the host teacher slowly "breaks" you in and you just do little things here and there. I did do some reading to the class two or three days, and I helped in math class, but not the actual teaching for that class.

Mrs. G. told me on Tuesday (my first day) that she was teaching them how to do addition using the front end method. This is a totally new concept to me, though I had briefly heard about it in my Math Education class at school. The idea for this is to add the first two numbers, from the tens column, together (keep in mind this is a grade 2 class and they are using only double digit numbers so far), write the total down below the line. Next, you add the numbers from the ones column and write that beside the answer from the tens coloumn (and put a plus sign between the two). Then you add those together to get the answer. There are a lot of extra steps involved, but apparently it's to help them with that type of math for when the get to grade 3 or 4.

Some of the kids caught on quickly, and of course, some didn't. She used a manipulative for the kids at first, to help them understand. Those who caught on to the math, she encourages them to go ahead and do the work without the manipulative. Those who struggle are allowed to use the manipulative, but she also encourages them to try without using it.

Over the next couple of weeks, I'll be teaching more and more. It culminates in me teaching the entire day for about three weeks total, and then I get weaned off and Mrs. G. will take one more and more again until she is doing all the teaching. I must admit - this kind of scares me, but I think that's natural.

Yesterday there was a supply in for Mrs. G. and there will be one in on Monday as well (hopefully the same one). We got along great and didn't have any problems. Mrs. G. will be back on Tuesday.

In other news, I was contacted by somone from my church's Christian Education Board indicating that the church is having a little "ceremony" for the university graduates. It's nothing fancy (from what I recall from past years and when I got my B.A. in 2006) - the graduates go up on the stage, they are introduced and asked to tell what they are graduating from, what they plan on doing next, etc. and they are presented with a Bible and prayed for. I told them I could attend. That will be at the evening service. I don't know how many university grads there are this year, but I'm sure there are a few.

Well, I've rattled on long enough. I'd better head off and do up some last minute work that I have to submit on Monday (observation journals). I hope you'll have a blessed and Christ-filled day!

Monday, April 20, 2009

School's Out...

I finished my classes on Thursday, and all I have left to do is my teaching internship - which starts tomorrow!

I'm excited but nervous. I was lucky that I am able to be in the same grade 2 class where I have been doing my observations on Fridays since October. This way the kids will be used to me (so will the teacher), and I'll be used to them. I do know I have one student who has Asperger's and there is a TA in the room who works with him. Hopefully she'll still be there. There are also a couple of kids who get pulled out (usually during math) to go see the Resource Teacher to get help with their reading. These are things I need to be aware of in the class - they dynamics and all that stuff.

We are supposed to get eased into things by teaching a class here and there, and then gradually working our way up until we are the ones responsible from the time we set foot into the class, until the time we lock up and leave. Then we get eased back out towards the end. However, where I have been in this class and know how the kids are and what to expect (and how the teacher runs the classroom), my teaching time might come quicker than someone going into a class they've never been in before.

At any rate, I'll find out more tomorrow and I'll sit down with the teacher and find out what she's teaching, what she wants me to teach, where she is in the curriculum, the procedures for fire drills, helping her if she has lunch duty or something, etc. I'm also supposed to get involved with the school (clubs, etc.). I'm not into sports, so I highly doubt I'll be doing anything with that. I'm not musical so I wouldn't be doing anything with that. I might see if my host teacher needs help with the literacy group she has going though. Also, I was thinking about hanging out with the chess club (sounds geeky, I know), though I can't play chess. I'd like to learn, so maybe I can help out there and get the kids to teach me how to play. I'll have to see what else they have going and see where I can help out.

In other news, at Sunday school, we started a new module this week. This is when new classes start up and others end. The one I had been in didn't continue on for this module, so I joined another class. This one is a women's group as well, and it's small (at least so far). We are doing the Women of Faith series and so far it seems like it might be good. This study is all about finding balance in our lives (physical, mental, emotional, spiritual). I'm looking forward to this class.

I was also able to spend the afternoon at my best friend's house - something I haven't been able to do in a long time. One of our other friends, and her two kids, are down for a few days so we all hung out together. It was really great to be able to spend time with them. Since I should be able to hang out after church now that I don't have to worry about doing homework, we are thinking of possibly starting up another Bible study. Not sure what we'll do or anything like that just yet, but I'm sure we'll be talking more about it next week.

Well, I'd better head off now. I need to work on my observation journals and get that caught up so I can hand it in before Friday. We also have to do journals throughout this part of our internship as well, but it focuses more on us rather than observing the operations of the classroom and teacher we observed. Those of us doing the second half of our observation in Australia will have to finish our journals for teaching in those classrooms as well (the ones staying here to do their internships - regardless of when they actually do their internships will have to do them as well, only they'll have one class to worry about).

Any way, I hope you'll have a blessed, Christ-filled day!

Saturday, April 04, 2009

Welcome to April

We are now four days into April. It's been good so far - no snow storms! The snow from our storm on Monday has melted considerable. There is now more grass showing than even before that storm. The back flower bed where the dahlias are planted is totally uncovered now. I wasn't expecting to see that today. The last time I looked out there, a huge amount of snow covered the entire backyard. However, we did get some rain last evening and overnight - and today was quite mild. So, I would think all of that is contributing to the melting snow. Yay!

There are only a couple of weeks left of school. We finish on the 17th, though I don't have any classes that day. I guess then, the 16th is the last day for me. As well, we have this Friday and next Monday off (Easter holidays), so that means there about 7 day of classes. I'm quite happy with this. However, between now and the end of classes, I have a TON of work to do - 3 presentations left, a couple of lesson plans, and a few various assignments. I'm definitely not looking forward to any of this.

I finished my 72 hours of observation in the grade 2 class yesterday. Now, I have to do my journals and write-ups for that and have them in by the 24th (going to aim to have them in by the end of classes though). Within a couple of weeks I will be starting the teaching portion of my internship. I'll be doing half of it here, and the other half I'll be heading to Melbourne, Australia to do it there! Well, that is provided I get my student loan...

By doing part of my internship in Australia, I can finish my course and be ready to start teaching in September. Otherwise, I'll have to wait and do the internship in the fall and finish by Christmas. I am really hoping to go to Australia! I'll let you know when I find out. Hopefully I'll get the student loan...

Well, better head off now and do up some more of my homework. I'm feeling frazzled, overwhelmed, anxious, etc. about the amount of work I have to do. Oh, and as per usual, my motivation is lacking at this time. That's not a good combination. I suppose even if I do little pieces of each it will be a help. What I'd like to do, though, is complete some of the assignments so that I don't have as much to do tomorrow...things that are due on Monday.

Lord, please give me the strength and motivation I need to get my work done. Help me to do my best and to do it for you. In Jesus name, Amen.