Saturday, June 27, 2009

Past Posts

I installed a new feature on my blogs today. It is the LinkWithin widget (which I saw on someone else's blog) and at the end of every post, it gives a list of about three other posts the reader may be interested in.

I didn't recognize some of the titles (and pictures in some cases) that were being posted, so I checked them out to refresh my memory. Some of them I can't believe I wrote. To me they were really good, thought provoking or inspirational type posts. It's been a long while since I've been able to come up with some really good posts - for any of my blogs.

At any rate, I thought I would share a link to some of those posts I came across today:

1. Being Fed

2. In Other Words

3. Faces - sorry that the pictures that had accompanied this post are no longer there

4. I Will Not Forget You

5. Associating With Sinners and Such

Hope you enjoy reading these previous posts. I've not read them in a long time, so I liked reading them all again - and still can't believe I created half-decent posts! Let me know what you think in the comments here, rather than on the posts themselves.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Seven Quick Takes

Jennifer over at Conversion Diary is doing Seven Quick Takes on Fridays. I've decided to play along!

1. Australia

In just ten more days, I leave for Australia. Yesterday I went to one of the banks to get a little Australian money for the trip. I was surprised that the exchange was just about on par with Canadian money. I'm not taking a whole lot with me because our prof told us it is cheaper to just take the money from an ATM machine when we get down there. Mind you, he said not to use it to take ten or twenty dollars at a time, but take large sums. The reason is that every time we take money out, we'll be charged a fee; so it's better to take larger sums, that way you aren't being charged as many fees. He also said it was cheaper to do this than even exchange money at the airport or a bank down there. I've also got a little American money to have on hand for when we make our 12-hour stop at LAX. This way I'll have a little money on hand to get something to eat or if I see a little trinket to buy to represent my "trip" to Los Angeles.

I haven't started packing yet. That will come next week. I did go shopping the day before yesterday to get a few articles of clothing for the trip. I'll have to make a list with what I'll need to take with me so that I don't forget anything! Although, if I do forget something, I'm not too concerned because I'm sure I will be more apt to find what I'm looking for in Australia than when I was in Korea...

2. Bon Jovi

Tomorrow is the Bon Jovi concert. It's one of the "big" concerts planned for the city this summer (the other is AC DC but I am not a fan of theirs0. I like Bon Jovi's music, but I'm not going to the concert. I don't live overly far from the site, and I'm sure I just have to open the windows of the house and I'll be able to hear it - or some of it.

I plan on staying in tomorrow (or at least just around the house). Traffic is going to be horrible at this end of town. People can only drive so far, and then they have to park their cars and either walk or take a bus (I believe they are going to be charging $7) to the concert site.

I think it would be nice to see Bon Jovi in concert, but I don't want to deal with the crowds. I must be getting old. Also, there are a lot of rules for the concert site - no umbrellas, no lawn chairs, no food, only allowed to take a 1 Litre bottle of water in...there are other rules, but I don't recall them. The reason there is no food allowed, and only 1 Litre of water is because the vendors will be selling items there (with the prices jacked up no doubt).

3. Police Check

I had to go today and get my police check done. This is for our trip to Australia. My prof called me this afternoon to say he'd been going through the files of those who are going on the trip, and he was getting documentation that he'd need for us Down Under. He said there was no police check for me, and I'd need to get one.

We were supposed to have this done before we started the Education program, but I was in Korea at the time, so it was rather difficult for me to get a police check done. The school told me I could wait until I got back from Korea and do it then. When I got back, it was the last thing on my mind since I came back three weeks early because of my dad being diagnosed with terminal cancer. I was able to spend one week with him before he died, and getting a police check was the last thing on my mind. Needless to say, getting this done never entered my mind again...OK, that's a lie. I thought of it once, but it was during class and by the time class was over I had forgotten about it. Since then, it never entered my mind again - until my prof called this afternoon.

The policeman told me it would take about a week for them to get the results and send it to the school. Hopefully they will get it in time - otherwise I don't know what will happen. I'm praying that it works out and won't be delayed for some reason.

4. Michael Jackson

It's so sad about Michael Jackson dying. The world has lost another musical icon; he was a big influence on so many musicians throughout his career.

I was a huge fan of his in the '80s and had his posters plastered to my walls, played his records all the time, and I even had a white "sequined" glove. In recent years - probably since the '90s, I hadn't listened to his music as much. I was quite surprised when I heard about his death - thought maybe it was a rumour because when the story first broke, there wasn't really anything online. Only after an hour after I first heard, did the reports start coming in that he was in a coma, and then he had died.

5. Romans

I have begun reading the book of Romans. I had read some of the Psalms, some of the prophets, a little in Ephesians, and 1 Peter. I've decided that maybe I need to read Romans for the reminders it holds, like "For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord" (Rom. 6:23, NASB).

I have been realizing lately that I've gotten quite off the beaten track in my relationship with the Lord. My Bible reading and prayer life is certainly not the best - in fact, it lacks a great deal. I need to do something before I backslide too much. Mind you, I haven't lost my faith or my beliefs, but my relationship with Jesus lacks. I know He is there, waiting for me, but I need to take the proper steps to get back into the relationship. I'm so glad that at these times, He doesn't wander off ahead of me or forget about me.

Thank you Jesus for being with me even when I tend to ignore you. Please forgive me!

6. What now?

Wow, I must have no life - I'm finding it difficult to come up with seven things to talk about. Any suggestions?

7. Changes

After reading Jennifer's post over at Rachelle's the other day, I am going to attempt to revamp my three blogs (this one, Kitten Knits yarn, and Ink Scrawls) and make them more user friendly so I can get more comments and traffic to them. She has a lot of great ideas! So, bear with me as I make the changes, and please keep coming back and commenting. If you are lurking, please leave a comment - I'd like to know you're out there!

OK, I guess that's it for my Seven Quick Takes. I hope to take part again next week! Have a blessed and Christ-filled day!

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Week 9 - Teaching Internship

The last week of my internship, at least for the Canadian portion, was also the last week of school. Monday was used as a "regular" school day in which my host teacher, Mrs. G., did most of the teaching. I still did the morning message and the last of the poetry lessons (limericks). The rest of the week was filled with activities for the kids.

On Tuesday, the grades one to three went to a local park for about three hours. The teachers went (of course), and some of the parents showed up part way through to help keep an eye on the kids. The kids were great, and while there were no great emergencies, three kids in our class all banged their heads on playground equipment. One boy ended up with a large bump on his head as a result; the rest were fine. Another little boy jumped over a little ditch that had some water in it. There was also mud around it. I didn't see it, but apparently his foot lost hold and he sprawled out in the mud and his pants were soaked and muddy (not sure about his t-shirt though). Mrs. G. called his mom and she and the boy's step-father came with a change of clothes for him. This little fellow, even though his step-father had told him he'd bring the clothes, worried the entire time he had to wait.

"What if his work calls him in and he doesn't bring my clothes?" he asked.

"I'm sure your step-father will tell his boss that he has to drop your clothes off and he'll be in after." I assured him.

"Well, what if his boss tells him he has to come in right now or else he's fired?" The little fellow frowned.

"I'm sure his boss will let him bring you your clothes first. I don't think they'll fire him for that."

The poor little guy worried and worried until his family showed up about fifteen or twenty minutes later. He was so glad. He even got his mom to buy him a bottle of Coke from a pop machine that was by the park, and he wanted me to take a picture of him holding the bottle up. I did, and he was thrilled when I told him that would probably end up on the slide show the teacher was going to have for the kids.

Wednesday morning there was a field day for the kindergarten to grade four classes. They really enjoyed this. We were unsure if it was even going to take place until that morning, because there were no messages or emails about it until then. The first portion took place in the gym because it had been rainy out. By recess, the sun had come out and it had gotten incredibly warm - hot by the end of the afternoon.

That afternoon, we set our butterflies free. We invited the grades one and threes to come and watch as we did this. I had the class recite a few things they had learned for the others, and then we opened the top of the tank. One flew out immediately, and the rest we had to get on a stick and bring out of the tank and find a way to get them to fly off (most went on their own). We didn't touch the butterflies in any way so as not to hurt or damage their wings. It was a great afternoon and we all enjoyed setting the butterflies free! We were lucky that they were all out of their cocoons, because we weren't sure if they would be out by the end of the week when school was over. The last one emerged that morning!

Thursday Mrs. G. had showed the slide show she had her husband prepare. This was pictures from throughout the year of the grades one to three classes, and it was set to music. The kids really enjoyed it - as did the teachers and parents who had been allowed to come and watch as well. That afternoon, we let the kids play outside since there wasn't any work for them to do.

Friday was only half a day, and the kids were all gone by noon. I was really touched when Mrs. G. presented me with a gift on behalf of the class. She had a class picture taken when we were out at the park on Wednesday, and had me and the TA in one of them (she took that picture). She had purchased one of those frames you can write on, and had the kids all sign it. I was almost in tears when she gave it to me, but I held them back. I also got a gift from a couple of the students, a potted Gerber Daisy plant from another, and one little boy had planted seeds in a can, wound yarn around the can and the seeds grew into little yellow flowers. My mom calls them "Johnny Jump Ups" but I don't know if that is the correct name for them or not. I also got a couple of thank you cards, one from Mrs. G. as well. I wasn't expecting any gifts since I was only the intern.

The staff went to lunch together, and then when we got back, Mrs. G. gave me my evaluation and went over it with me. She said I did an awesome job, and that any class that has me as a teacher will be very lucky. She said that she can tell that I have a passion for teaching and will make a wonderful teacher.

I enjoyed the first part of my internship a great deal. I was lucky to have a wonderful class with wonderful students, and an awesome host teacher. I certainly "lucked out"! I will miss them all a great deal, and hopefully when I get on the supply teacher list I will get to teach/see them again! I'll definitely be popping in to see Mrs. G. in the fall because she said she'd write me a reference letter for my portfolio.

Now, there are only 15 more days until I head off to Australia for the second half of my internship. I'm getting more and more excited and hope to get to see many sights while I am there! We had a BBQ last night at our prof's home; it was for the interns bound for Australia. While there he talked a little more about the trip and gave us our tickets, visas (I had mine already since I went in to do that part myself), and insurance. It now seems that much more real that I am heading off to Australia for two months! How exciting!

Friday, June 12, 2009

Week 8 - Teaching Internship

This past week went well. It's the last week where I am in charge of the class and teach everything. I taught a little multiplication and division, as well as a little on estimation. All of these things aren't required outcomes for grade two, but they have to just be introduced to them so that they'll be a little familiar with them next year.

We also did poetry this week, and the kids seemed to love it. Most of them (some of the boys included) really enjoyed doing acrostic poems and writing couplets. This is also something they aren't required to learn/know for grade two; it's another "get them acquainted with it" lesson. We did up acrostic poems for the principal and vice principal, the mother who taught gym class for two or three months, and the mother who came in every Friday afternoon this year to help the teacher do administrative type jobs around the classroom. We are also going to be doing one for the boy in grade six (I think that's the grade he's in) who comes down once a week to read to the kids and help them a little. We came up with the descriptive words as a group and voted on which ones to use (most votes won). I typed them up and printed them on nice paper and we glued them to some construction paper and the kids all signed them. We'll present them next week, and the kids are super excited to give them to their recipients!

Also, the caterpillars we got from the kindergarten class were all in their cocoons this week (by Monday or Tuesday), and today at lunch we got a surprise! One of the butterflies emerged! We should have the rest out by Monday or Tuesday at the latest (that is if we didn't lose any). The kids were extatic to see this. I don't know if they actually witnessed the butterfly coming out, or if they only noticed that it was out and flapping its wings to get them dried and build up strength. I think I was (and am) just as excited about this as the kids! I've never seen this happen, and it is definitely amazing!

God does some awesome work! To think, he created a creature that spins a cocoon (amazing) where it changes into a different creature (butterfly), becoming more beautiful than it had been going in! It just amazes me at what God has created!

Next week is my last week (it's the last week of school as well). I won't be teaching everything, but I'll finish up doing another lesson of poetry on Monday. Mrs. G. will do math, and we have several of the kids who want to read books to the class, so they'll do that this week as well. Starting Tuesday, there isn't much school work to be done. Tuesday is an all day field trip to a local park and we'll have a pic nic there as well. There are assemblies and presentations of certificates and whatnot the rest of the week. Friday is only a half day; I'm not sure if I'll have to stay until 2:00 or 3:00 or whenever, but even though the teachers have to come back the following Monday and Tuesday, I don't have to. My prof said we're done when the kids are done. So, maybe I'll get to leave when the kids do as well!

I found out this afternoon that I'll be teaching a kindergarten (or primary as they call it) class when I'm in Australia. I'm going to try to talk to the kindergarten teacher here to get some idea of what the kids learn at that level so I'll have a little idea. Also, I'd like to see if there are any books on Canada for that age level so I can read them to the kids in Australia, to help them learn about Canada.

I'm getting a little more excited about going Down Under, but truthfully, I haven't really been thinking about it too much. I think as the day we leave (July 6) draws closer, I'll get more excited - and nervous.

Well, I'd better end here for now. I'm getting tired and for some reason my body feels restless tonight. I was wondering if it might be because I'm least tomorrow is Saturday, and I can sleep in!

Have a blessed and Christ-filled day!

Saturday, June 06, 2009

An Encouraging Link

Internet Cafe Devotions has a great post here. Why not head over and read it. I find it to be very encouraging.

Friday, June 05, 2009

Teaching Intership - Week 6 & 7

Weeks six and seven have gone well. The children are looking at me as more of a teacher now than just a "helper" in the classroom. One thing though, is that several of them consistantly push the envelope to see what they can or can't get away with (which is normal). There is one of these children who seems to try to joke around with me a little too much and tries to treat me more as a friend than a teacher. Now, don't get me wrong. It's fine to joke around and be friendly with the kids, but they need to know when to stop and listen and treat the teacher as a teacher/authority figure. However, this whole situation is helping to build relationships with the children and help them to learn that they can come to me to ask questions or tell me something.

Last month my host teacher (after we had discussed and agreed that the idea was a good one), contacted a company to get some butterfly eggs/baby caterpillars for the classroom. We've been studying the butterfly life cycle, and we thought it would be a good idea if the kids had some to observe. The kindergarten class is also doing this (and I believe one of the grade four classes as well...but the kindergarten teacher may just have given them some of theirs), and they got their order last week. Our class should have gotten ours by Monday or Tuesday.

By Wednesday after school, we still hadn't received anything and it's too late for them to send us anything because school finishes on June 19, and there wouldn't be enough time for the process to take place before the kids are finished school. My host teacher called the company with regard to our not getting our package, and they said that the order had been processed, but for some unknown reason it hadn't been shipped!

Yesterday we talked to the kindergarten teacher (we had told her on Monday we still hadn't received our caterpillars yet, and she said if we wanted some of theirs we could have some) and told her about our situation. She gave us eight of their caterpillars for the class to keep! That was so nice of them to do. I mentioned to my host teacher that maybe we could do up a thank you note or card to the class and have the kids sign it. The kindergarten teacher also would like for us to come and share some of the questions and answers the kids had with regard to the butterfly life cycle with her class (to bring her students' learning up a level...I think they kept everything very basic). I thought when the kids do that, they could give the card then. Also, since there weren't very many different questions (seven or eight in total), maybe some of them could read a couple of butterfly or caterpillar poems to the kids as well. My host teacher thought it was a great idea, so we have to check with the kindergarten teacher to find out when would be a good time to do this for her.

Today, another of my profs (not the same one as last time) came to observe me teaching a class. It went well, and he wasn't there for quite the entire class - maybe about 40 minutes. He pulled me out of the class (my host teacher continued teaching while I was out) to discuss how things went. He had a lot of great things to say, had some questions as to how or why I did something a certain way (just out of curiosity and not because it was right or wrong), and I came away feeling successful and encouraged. The next time I get observed will be when we are down in Australia doing the second half of the internship (there are 10 of us going).

Next week is my final week of me doing all the teaching, and my host teacher will then start up again, though she won't have much to do since there isn't a great deal done during the last week of school. I do know the kindergarten to grade threes classes are all planning a "field trip" and picnic at a local park near the beginning of that week (a week and a little bit from now), but I'm not sure what else will be done. It shouldn't be a too difficult week though.

Well, I've rattled on long enough I think. Hope you all have a blessed and Christ-filled day/evening!