Monday, October 11, 2010
It's the second month of school. It's so nice to be there for a second year. So much easier. All ten of my sixth graders are with me for a second year now in Grade Seven and nine more of the students I taught French last year. And even most of the students I didn't teach I knew. Also now everyone knows me and what I am like. My former students are very good at explaining routines and expectations.
I find it hard to believe that in my first four years of teaching I changed schools each year. After my first year of teaching I quit and went to Europe arriving back in late September and managed to get a job within a week. I think it had something to do with my willingness to teach special education. I didn't seem to really find it difficult and although they were really challenging teaching positions and I really wasn't well prepared for what I was doing, each job taught me a lot and I had some wonderful colleagues. And the last six years I got to live in Montreal. Youth is definitely resilient. After that I had longer stays. My last job in Montreal was four years long and I only left to move to Vancouver thirty years ago where I have taught at five schools with a bit of subbing when I first moved here.
I think this year is probably the last but I honestly am having a really good time. In a strange twist of fate I spent my first 20 years of teaching, teaching special education or doing learning assistance from high school to primary, and then I was integrated. And I honestly fell in love with teaching Grade Six as tiring and challenging as it can be (the class size alone). I became a consultant because I think it was something I thought I should do but though it was a great experience I can't say I loved it. I wanted to go back to the classroom but it really wasn't easy. It was exhausting and I sure wasn't always feeling as if I was doing it as well as I should. It's so much easier telling others what they could do as opposed to doing it yourself.
Now I haven't hit report cards yet this term, but this year is good. I have a great class, not without it's challenges, but that is of course part of the fun. I never seem to have enough time to teach all that needs to get taught for one thing. And I miss Wednesday early dismissal and those lunch hours sure are short, but I am coping much better with having to make lunch every day!
I have a class that honestly loves to learn. They are enthusiastic. They are captivated by learning about rocks and Early Man. They work together well. Right now they are preparing projects on different aspects of life in St. John's, Newfoundland (I figure these West
Coast kids need a little Eastern Canadian knowledge.) They love our novel study of Charlie Wilcox set during the First World War in Newfoundland. They are excited about starting buddy reading where they work with grade one students. Most of them are involved with our Me to We Club. They are fun (even if a bit chatty). And technology though our class moodle actually is enhancing the learning experience. Plus now I am familiar with the Grade Seven curriculum (and I even have reports my former students feel well prepared for Grade Eight math). I don't have to try to teach grade six and seven curriculum though I my old grade sixes enjoyed being in that split.
In teaching like life there are definitely the good days and the bad days but you need to celebrate the good.
By the way I need to apologize to my followers (I still find it hard to believe this blog actually has a few followers) I tend to publish posts and then realize that my editing was imperfect. Then I go back and reedit! Just regard it all as practice in your proofreading skills!