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Thinking about Thanksgiving

In my multi-cultural classes, I have learned more about the truths behind Thanksgiving and how to bring it up with children. I was searching for a good TedTalk or other video on this subject, but there weren’t any other than documentaries. It is interesting to me that in my program, we are being taught about the importance of teaching the truth and talking about controversies with our students; but I can’t even find a kid-friendly video on the topic of Thanksgiving that doesn’t give the same impression as always (pilgrims coming to America and meeting Indians and deciding to having a feast). I don’t mean to put a damper on this day of spending time with family and making a delicious meal, but it was just something I thought about as I was going to sleep.

Before my Senior year, I had never thought about how History could be isolating to other races since I am a white middle-class female. We delved into the common pictures and language in textbooks, and how it is usually aimed at the Americans being saviors and there aren’t very many paragraphs about other cultures, unless it is the Civil Rights Movement section. There is a curriculum entitled Rethinking Schools, which does a good job of breaking down subjects into their biases and cultural relevance.

rethinking schools for thanksgiving reflection

Not that the message that some schools portray isn’t beneficial, such as having students complete a “Thankful Tree” with what they are thankful for; however, simply not covering Columbus or the Native Americans aspects doesn’t help the children understand the biases. It is difficult to incorporate this type of education into schools with all the curriculum in play. I could see the history topics being relevant because they are still teaching similar ideas, just with a new take on the events. I think I will try my best to include some of this curriculum in my future career, and recommend it to other educators in my school.

Hope this was interesting – Happy Holidays! 🙂

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Drafting lesson plans already?!

Today, I wrote my first lesson plan for my Reading course to teach in my fall placement. It really made me think about how close I am to actually being an elementary school teacher, which is pretty scary BUT exciting! I also started envisioning myself teaching a class, and altering things for my students. We will be teaching a full math lesson in a few weeks, which is a great way to end this term before we start part-time teaching in the Winter – 😮 I can’t believe we will be doing that so soon! For the writing class this term, we reminisced on our drafts and pieces that we wrote throughout the course. There was a part about creating goals for the next few years, and it made me excited to start teaching and implementing my teacher’s curriculum.

(I had requests to share some of my creative pieces on this blog as well – I wrote quite a few with the writing class and plan to continue writing. Below is one of the Self-Portrait poems I wrote)self-portrait poem

At the beginning of my Master’s, I was intimidated to start teaching my own class and overwhelmed with all the things to get done. But, since the setup is a gradual increase to actually teaching, it makes it an easier trip. I have also stepped in and led read-alouds, taught a mini math lesson, and hopefully will observe a science lesson. I am feeling more confident about my passion and experience for teaching youngsters in the future! Thanksgiving Break is right around the corner, and I can’t wait to have time with my family 🙂 This year is going to fly by, so I plan to document as much of it as I can!

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Final projects, classes, AND field experience…WHAT DO I DO?

It is now nearing the end of Week 8 during my second term as a Master’s student. Everyone is looking very droopy-eyed and run down from the late classes, early field placement, and piles of homework. It is important to remember these tips for keeping on track until the end of trip:

1) Always put your self first

It is not worth coming to class if your brain is sickly or a zombie, and cannot focus. You are better off staying at home, instead of forcing yourself to be a “good student” and come to every session. Teachers will understand and appreciate you staying at home when you must and not struggling through their class.

2) Take each day at a time

I know it is always difficult to only look at what you have to get through that day. But with all the homework and other stresses that come up in life, you don’t want to be worrying about the tens of things that need to be done in the week. Just look at your list for that day and be relieved when it’s all crossed out!

3) Think about the little things that happen each day

I sometimes have trouble with this one because there is more downturns and exhaustion in some days than uplifting events. You should always take a break and watch a silly show, laugh with your friends, or remember something cute that students did because this will help keep you going in the end.

4) Count down the days until the break

Even though you should focus your tasks to one day at a time, it is crucial to look ahead to the break (this time, it is Thanksgiving in about a week!) We all need to keep trucking towards that vacation time with family and friends, where you can relax and forget about everything for a while!