Saturday, May 02, 2009

Week Two as a Teacher Intern

Week two has finished and it went well. To be honest, it was a short week - only three days. This was because of the PD day on Thursday and an all day teacher conference yesterday.

I taught my first full lesson by myself on Wednesday afternoon. It wasn't anything spectacular though, just introducing a Canadian author (Barbara Reid), reading one of her books, The Subway Mouse, and a couple discussion questions and talking about 'beginning', 'middle', and 'end'. Then we did an activity/craft in which the kids had to draw a picture from the beginning, the middle, and the end that would help explain the story if they were to show it to someone who has never heard what the book was about. The kids seemed to love it, and most of them did well. There were three kids (all at one table) who weren't doing it. One girl wasn't feeling well and didn't want to, one boy didn't know what to draw (even if you gave him suggestions he turned them down). He knew what he wanted to do for the middle and end, and even with telling him to start with those, he wanted something for the beginning before he started drawing. The other boy attempted to draw and got frustrated because he couldn't draw a mouse perfectly. He refused to try and kept erasing everything. The teacher told me after it was his way of testing to see if he could get away with not doing it. She stepped in and got firm with him and even though he did the same thing with her, he finally did something when she said that the three of them couldn't leave until they drew at least one picture. Overall, it went well.

The conference on Friday was great (though the third speaker I went to I left early because I wasn't getting anything from it - and I had to use the bathroom, so I thought that was a good excuse to leave, hehehe). There were two speakers that I was thrilled to hear, and wasn't disappointed with them.

The first speaker was Erin Gurwell. She is the teacher portrayed in the movie "Freedom Writers". She was very inspiring and showed clips from her classes (mostly the clips were from broadcasts on TV that were done - possibly from Dateline, but I'm not totally sure). Then she told us about some of her students, what she did and why. Totally inspiring. I want to rent the movie and watch it again.

The other speaker I enjoyed was Harry Wong. He talked about what to do to become an effective teacher. The only thing I didn't like was that I felt he was trying to sell his book (one of them), even though he claimed that wasn't what he was doing. They used to use his book in the Education program at school, but this year they didn't. We did use some ideas and materials of his though, and they do work. He also used a lot of humor in his talk, and that was enjoyable too. He's also the only one to ask the teaching interns and those in their very first year of teaching to raise their hands. He then singled us out and was encouraging and gave us some great advice to help us be effective teachers. I was glad I got to go to this conference!

Next week I have my "base line day", which is the day I teach the class from the beginning until the end - by myself. The teacher will still be in the classroom, but I'm the one who will be in charge. I do know for the math lesson, I will just be doing a review of what they learn Monday and Tuesday. Language arts will be pretty much the same as they have been doing - working on writing. Though this day they might be getting ready for their publishing party, but I won't know for sure what they will be doing until this week when I can sit down with the teacher and plan things out. In the afternoon (which is only about 75 minutes), we will start a lesson for their social studies class, and it is going to be about butterflies. This is a class that is only once a week, so I will need to plan a whole unit on it. We'll start with the life cycle of the butterfly.

I've started the lesson planning already, but I will need to talk to the teacher to find out if she thinks they can do some of the ideas I've come up with (or if the ideas are more geared to an older grade). Anyway, I'm looking forward to doing the unit, and hoping I will do a good job.

So, I will close for now. I've decided that this weekend I'm going to work on some of my crafts - knitting and card making. I haven't done those in awhile and I'm looking forward to it. I'll be posting pictures of any cards I get finished today over on my knitting/craft blog. The knitting will take longer to finish so there probably won't be any pictures of that for awhile...unless I do some "in progress" pictures.

Have a blessed and Christ-filled day!