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Testing out the teaching waters

I have been a substitute teacher for a little over two weeks now. I had my ups and downs, but am getting the hang of the management needed to have a successful day as a guest teacher! I have been in Pre-K, Kindergarten, 4th grade (a number of times with different schools), 5th grade, and 1st grade. The upper grades have been more challenging for me to keep the students from getting disruptive, but I am coming up with systems that work such as points for losing or gaining some recess, etc. I have also found that I like seeing all the varying schools and teaching styles – it is eye-opening to observe the huge differences based on where a school is or the principal’s techniques. I look forward to subbing until the end of the school year, and CAN’T WAIT til it is my turn to be the head teacher!

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The time has come!

Over this past holiday weekend, I realized that I only have 9 more days (8 now!) left on the term before I am heading back home 😮 This term has been immensely more successful in terms of my teaching and the positivity of the teachers around me. I have actually been able to teach full days with my cooperating teacher out of the room, or even not at school at all! There was a day when she had a substitute and I was completely on my own for management and organizing the day. I was nervous, but she gave me her confidence and the students did not turn the classroom upside down – heck, they almost tied with me in the point system I use! There are always certain parts of some days where the students are chattier and we have to stop more often to wait; however, I would not at all consider this term a failure. I have learned that I still love teaching elementary, and have grown confidence in myself as a teacher and with building relationships with my students. The same students that move my cooperating teacher through the roof have pushed my buttons as well, but by taking some of their rewards away, they were aware that I was in charge.

end-of-term-2016

Tomorrow is my last time for teaching all day..this is bittersweet – on one hand, I am exhausted and ready for a break, BUT I love the students and have really gotten into the rhythm of how to teach the third grade class. I have applied to many jobs and submitted my EdTPA for approval – now I am just waiting to hear! I really want to have an actual job in January, and a passing mark for my license is a must 🙂 I plan to give many people Thank You notes and/or flowers for all of their help this term with financial issues, registering issues, and general help along my journey! I know I still have 8 days until I actually leave, but I am already feeling the ache in my heart for the kids and the experience. I will also miss my current roommate and her cat very much – we plan to see each other often though!

 

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Curiosity in children (311 out of 365) #blogaday

https://usergeneratededucation.wordpress.com/2015/11/14/the-future-belongs-to-the-curious-how-are-we-bringing-curiosity-into-school/

This article stuck out to me because curiosity is something that many teachers skip over in the rush of getting through the lessons. During a whole group discussion, it can be difficult to allow students to discover the connections between concepts – I try to encourage it during my small group activities. With fewer children, they can start to feed off each other in a quicker sense rather than one student taking over. I really hope enough children are thinking on their own, and not just being spoon-fed information.

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Talking about trees (196 out of 365) #blogaday

https://wordpress.com/read/post/feed/20036726/761105695

It is important to talk to students about nature, but I feel like most teachers focus on animals or the seasons – trees are a large part of what children see when they go outside. Observations of trees and the different types would help them understand more about their effect on trees, as well as how trees make a difference in their lives. This article goes into a deeper understanding than I would do with my young students, but it reminded me that trees should be discussed in science.

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Magic treehouse tales (191 out of 365) #blogaday

http://www.secondstorywindow.net/home/2015/05/why-i-read-magic-treehouse-to-my-students.html

This blog article struck me because many teachers talk about reading books that are above the students’ reading levels since the teacher can help them comprehend it, and students should read simpler books on their own – HOWEVER, this teacher discovered that her students couldn’t connect to the older books. They loved when she read The Magic Treehouse series. It all depends on your students, and how they react when you read different books. With the Pre-K students, everything I read will be above their reading levels so I’ll pick stories that I find interesting or I think they will enjoy, and go from there!

I also posted twice today because I had the timing off again yesterday. I posted one yesterday that was for the day before and thought I was done (turns out I wasn’t!)

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Navigating the first day with paradoxical play (164 out of 365) #blogaday

I was reminiscing on the post I wrote about not knowing what to write, and it made me think about how it was somewhat of paradox. The fact I am writing something meant that I knew what to write. My boyfriend told me of his favorite paradox and I think it would be a great way to start off the first day of school.

Written on one side of notecard is “The statement on the other side is true” and written on the other side is “the statement on the other side is false.”

It would be really cool to get the students’ minds turning, and trying to understand if this was possible. Just simply having a monitored group discussion about it and letting them figure out that it is a paradox allows the engagement right away.