Silly student doing #4
When I was helping some of the fifth grade students with writing, we got off track and started talking about texting terms. One of the boys asked me about abbreviations and whether or not I knew what they stood for – most of them I used or had heard of before through instant messaging. However, there were some I didn’t recognize like NRN meaning “not right now.” It was interesting to hear that many of the same abbreviations are appearing and some new ones.I don’t remember any other ones he was telling me, but it got me thinking about why children feel the need to shorten the words in text messages so much. I use very few abbreviations in my texting because it really isn’t that much faster. I think people start abbreviating at the beginning of texting since they aren’t quick with the buttons just yet, but it usually goes away. I wonder if conversations will become mostly abbreviations with the younger generations soon.
Over the break, we have had some fun trips out – one of them was with my mom to IKEA. It is a very cool place! They have tons of things for your house (bedrooms, offices, kitchen, living room; basically all rooms and nooks) Since my parents were still filling their new house, they went to IKEA a few times and wanted to show me all that it offers. We were simply browsing around, so I could get ideas for my future apartment once I get a teaching job. Wherever I end up will require a small space to call my own, so it is beneficial to start looking and seeing ideas. It was very relaxing to take pictures of the styles and equipment that I liked the look of 🙂 Thinking ahead in small steps can be calming because it helps you focus on one thing in the future, and organizing my new place is exciting!Since there are quite a few things to setup after next term (hoping that a job will happen!), I thought I would make a list of what I want in my apartment to get a little head start. I already have quite a big list for my classroom, so my apartment is the next logical step. It is helpful to slowly plan because I don’t want to be stressed by it later. With all that goes into graduate school, I like to take advantage of breaks for relaxing of course, but also strategizing for the future.
SOL day 18Observations are a huge help for allowing teachers to grow. In our program, we had supervisors come in every few weeks and watch us teach. The advice afterwards was the best part! It was very nerve-wracking for the first one, but eventually, I barely noticed him at the back of the room. This post stood out to me because experienced teachers can still be improved, and having someone else watch you helps with the small things you might not pay attention to when you teach.
For my love of going into other people’s classrooms, I always feel a sense of dread when it comes time to do the formal observations. There’s always a tendency to ‘put on a show’ rather than just ‘do your thing.’
I’m wondering why that is.
Fear of stuffing up – those lesson plans I’ve made almost always end up being stuffed up by an expected curve ball. Technology that always works sometimes doesn’t. A kid is having a moment. You get tongue-tied.
Fear of negative judgement – Teaching is a deeply personal activity and one that requires huge amounts of emotional investment if you are doing the job right. Putting yourself out there opens yourself up to the risk that someone might not like what you are doing requires strength.
I’ve been in schools where observations just happened, a senior leader would plonk themselves in the room unannounced…
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As you know, Easter is the first weekend of April. It is also the Sunday before the second week of my full-time teaching! I was thinking I would do a fun Easter-related activity with the children. I found an art project that goes with a story called “Rabbityness.” It is about a rabbit who does things differently than other rabbits. He is into the arts, like painting and music, and the rest of the rabbits admire him, which causes things to change when he leaves one day.I think this story would be great with Kindergarteners because it is about how everyone’s uniqueness matters in the world, and they impact people around them without even realizing it. I understand that Easter is a religious holiday that not all children celebrate, but since the book doesn’t directly relate to the holiday, I thought it would be beneficial. It teaches a good moral lesson and for children who do celebrate Easter, it will give them a bunny that they can connect to if they would like. It also involves art which is a great way to engage the students and allow them to be creative 🙂 I hope my spring CT likes this activity and lets me include it in the instruction!
On one of the blogs I follow called “User Generated Education”, they brought up a theory about “Creativity Mindset.” I had learned about Carol Dweck’s mindset theory of growth and fixed mindsets, but it is interesting to read about another one. It seems viable that creativity would have its own mindset. I liked the various characteristics and want to understand by reading more about this. I may send an email to some teachers in the graduate program to see if they have more information.
SOL day 14Today, I had songs in my head that I haven’t heard in a while. It made me think of how/why tunes appear in people’s heads. Some days, I wake up with a song or just start humming, and am shocked by what tune or song it is. Often, it is a song that I heard on the radio earlier in the week or that day, but when a song from months or years ago comes in, it makes me wonder… There must be some trigger in the back of your mind that is so subconscious you don’t even notice it.With children, it is important for them to have appropriate songs in their subconscious because they might learn words that shouldn’t be spoken at their age. I want to have a classroom that incorporates music with transitions, as background music, and with books to help students become aware of music around them (even if it is not current).
SOL day 14I turned in my final paper for this term today! It can be tough, after completing everything, to let it sink in. It was surreal this morning when I woke up because I am not going home for a few days, so my brain still thought I must have things to do. I occupied my time by cleaning the house, organizing things, etc. I felt antsy when I just sitting there watching shows. After my last meeting, it was easier for me to relax. It is important to not overload yourself when you are finally on break because your body and mind really need to re-energize. I let myself go to bed early last night and am planning to be in bed around a similar time tonight. Especially with my family, it can be easy to get swept up with going out and watching movies or shows til all hours of the night – I want to spend as much time as I can with them because I know the two weeks will be flying by. I look forward to starting my break and not overdoing it until I get used to staying up late again (probably a few nights off and then I can handle it!) My parents, pets, and possibly sister await in one more day 🙂
As I said yesterday, I had my last day of field placement today. At the end of the day, I was surprised by a gift from my CT! She had the students write acrostic poems about me – they were so sneaky during the day to write them while I was in the room :o! I thought I would share what some of them said because they really warmed my heart and made me laugh. It was very sweet of the class and my CT to do this for me, and I will keep this memory forever!
Tomorrow is my last day in the fifth grade field placement 😦 I thought it would be nice to have a goodbye activity with the students that would create memories for them and myself. I searched for hours yesterday trying to find something that wasn’t a gift for a leaving teacher – I finally found these “goodbye books” on pinterest. They include a page with the students’ name, school, and year and then some favorite moments from the year or term. with what you are going to miss at the back. I sent them to my CT and decided that I would write the last page for every child and have them fill out the book for me so I remember them 🙂 When I first mentioned that I was leaving tomorrow before the activity, many of the students became emotional. I assumed I had made an impact of the class, but wasn’t aware of how much I affected their lives. It really warmed my heart that in the short ten week term I became so close to the students that they were deeply upset about me not coming back. These are the moments that make me want to be a teacher – it is all about the students and changing their lives in some way, big or small. Knowing how much I feel for these children as well reassured me that this will be a very rewarding career, and I look forward to connecting with different children every year! I hope to visit the fifth grade class next term (if there is time) because the school I am at in the spring isn’t very far away.