ECMP 355

summary of learning

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My pre-internship growth as a future teacher

I jumped into my pre-internship with both feet and ready to change the world!  I believed that I would develop ‘thee BEST’ lesson plans my co-operating teacher had ever seen, bring in the latest ‘lingo’, straight from the brilliant minds at the University!  Hey, at least I started out with a positive attitude and the right ideas!  One of my targets for pre-internship was to use different teaching strategies within my lessons that I taught.  The reasoning behind this was to try and touch base with all the students in the classroom and all of the various learning abilities of the students.

I was with a different co-op teacher each week and therefore, my subjects changed as well but the experience was one of a typical rural community.  I know that as I return home to start my teaching career that I may not be teaching in my major and minor that I studied at university.  My first lesson plan in a English B20 class I used a video clip on YouTube, a think-pair-share, group discussion and exit slips.  At least that’s what was on paper to do! I quickly learned  that you can’t use to many teaching strategies  and expect them all to work into a 50 minute lesson.  In the back of my mind I remember thinking, KISS (keep it simple stupid)!  I was expecting to engage all learning abilities in the various activities but didn’t take time to think if they were actually learning anything.  Not only that, I knew better than to try and do that.  I was more worried about teaching the content, than I was about teaching the students.  This was one of those Oprah, AHA moments.  I didn’t know the students and how they learned, why was I trying to force this on them in one class.  My co-operating teacher was great and jokingly told me I could use my ideas for this lesson and spread them out for a week of classes.  So, that’s what I did and it worked great and was less stressful.

By the end of the week and with help from my co-operating teacher and the students I was understanding what type of different teaching strategies I could use for this class of students.  I realized I don’t have to change the strategies every day if they are working for those students.  As a teacher you begin to understand that you need to stick with what works for the students because the next class that you teach may have totally different learning abilities.  Something else that I learned to implement into different teaching strategies is to take events going on around the students and to try and bring them into the classroom.  I did this with a news story that related to what the students were learning about and I was amazed at how all the students in the class not only had something to say about the issue but were totally engaged in the entire lesson.  One of our professors had said, if you can make the learning relevant to the student they will be more involved in their own learning.  I know that I will definitely use this teaching strategy again as I witnessed the benefits of all the students in the class.

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Mentorship with Brandon Wislocki


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Time flies when you are having fun………pre-internship complete!!

Wow, did that go by fast!  I really enjoyed my pre-internship experience.  Not only was I home to enjoy my family, I was lucky enough to have my pre-internship close to where I live.  I know that I will be teaching in a rural school and that is why I felt it was important to have my pre-internship experience in a rural school.  The schools may have lower numbers than the high schools in the city, but you can’t beat the experience of a small community school.

I worked with three great teachers for my pre-internship and I believe this is what made it such a great learning experience for me.  I was in classes that were my major (health) and minor (social studies), but I was also in the high school math, science, drama and visual arts classes.  I know that when I am applying for jobs in the future my chances of teaching in my subject areas in a rural school are extremely low.  I see the need for a well-rounded teacher in the rural communities.  However, in saying this, I do know where my limits are when it comes to feeling comfortable enough with certain subject areas and teaching those to a class of teenagers.  You have to know your stuff, make it interesting and enjoy what you are teaching.

Now that pre-internship is complete I am looking forward to completing the semester, taking spring/summer classes and doing my internship in the fall.  Don’t worry, I got this!!


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Out of my teacher comfort zone….

I embarked on quite a challenge this week as I was with the chemistry, math and science teacher.  Mr. H. has 35+ years of teaching experience.  His teaching, classroom management and knowledge of each grade level subjects, simply amazed me.  The students respect every aspect of his teaching and by the end of the week, I was right there along with them!  I must admit that chemistry and math are not my strong points and this week most definitely proved that to me.  However, I do love biology and that is what I jumped into this week to do my lessons.  I really focused on my target of engaging every student.  Mr. H. told me that I have a positive presence in the classroom with the students.  He liked how I took time to listen to the students and speak with each one of them.  This is extremely important to me as a future high school teacher.

The week went by super fast with planning lessons and because I am at home trying to look after my family as well.  I am also trying to keep up with my ECMP 355 online class.  I definitely think the Health majors need to speak up for the future health students that follow us, on not being able to take a 5 class block of classes for pre-internship like all the other subject areas.  I did manage to catch the cold that is going around the school, even though my hands were covered in a hand sanitizer all week!.  One of the teachers said because we are working with kids all day our chances of catching germs and flu bugs is pretty high.  I spent most of the day flat on the couch, coughing and blowing my nose.

I am excited for my last week of pre-internship and working with the ELA, drama and fine arts teacher.  This has been such a great experience and the light at the end of the tunnel is brighter every day!  Have a great week everyone.

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I survived…….my first week of pre-internship!

Wow, did that week ever go by fast!!  In fact, I think I may have missed a couple days this week!  I am totally enjoying my time in the school and getting to know the daily routines and the students.  I do feel a little overwhelmed with the content of all the subjects, but I believe that is maybe because I am jumping in mid-semester and trying to understand where the students are in their learning and what they are working on.  

I met my advisor, Les Robinson, on Wednesday and had a great visit with him.  My co-op teacher has been giving me some great feedback on my lessons as well as my targets I have set.  The students went skiing on Thursday.  The ski trip had been cancelled from one of the cold days we had last month.  I went along with the school and skied with the students.  I did manage to help a few students out with their skiing because I used to be a ski instructor, but I wasn’t to sure how I was going to write that up into a lesson.  I had a blast with the students and the weather was perfect for skiing that day.  Friday was a scheduled teacher PD day.  We spent the day going over treaties in the classroom.  This was a little bit of a refresher for me because of the treaties in the classroom workshop we had at the beginning of January.  It was great to see other teachers and contribute to the conversations about what is being taught at the University level right now. 

I am moving over to a science/math co-op teacher for this week, so I am going to have my work cut out for me.  I have learned quite quickly that as a teacher in a rural area, the more experience you can have in a variety of subjects, the better.  They may have to send me down to the elementary side for a quick refresher of my math skills.  

I do want to mention how much I absolutely love being around the students.  I do know a few of the students because the school is close to home, but I am also trying to connect with the students that I don’t know.  I feel this is very important if I am going to gain their respect in the next couple weeks.  My co-op teacher last week had no prep time and was on supervision every day last week.  The days went by so quickly.  I remembered on one of the days as the students were boarding the busses to go home that I had forgot to eat.  I also had to have a couple quick naps when I got home from the school.  I am looking forward to exceeding the target goals I have set and surviving week #2.  Wish me luck!!  Good luck to all my colleagues as well.

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ECMP Tech Task using PhotoPeach

I am 100% out of my element here, but did manage to make something up with the limited amount of pictures I have on my computer.  I hope this is embedded on here properly.

Family on PhotoPeach

Family on PhotoPeach

Please bare with me as I learn this technology and try catch up on my tech tasks!!

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Pre-internship Goals

I am so excited to start my pre-internship next week.  I am doing my pre-internship close to home, so I don’t have to commute every week to Regina.  My kids are super happy to have me home and I am pretty sure my husband is to as the house needs a little TLC.  The goals I have chosen for my pre-internship are goals that I feel will not only help myself as a teacher but I am hoping will help the students I teach.

Goal #1  Engage all students in the classroom

I have been in a few classrooms in the last year for other classes and have observed teachers not even make an attempt to engage some students.  Witnessing this is hard enough, not having a voice to say anything to the teacher because I am only a ‘university student’ was a game changer for me as a future teacher.  I may not be able to speak with every student in every class of every day, but I will not allow a student to sit there unengaged for an entire 50 minutes of my lesson.  I will not allow it, and I sure won’t pretend that I didn’t notice it.  During my lessons, one of my targets will be to walk around the classroom during the lesson and engage with students.  If I am lecturing or we are having a class discussion I will make an effort to ask questions of all students, not just the students that put their hands up.  I will be giving my co-operating teacher a checklist of the specific targets I am trying to hit for each lesson.

Goal #2  Classroom management

I believe that effective classroom management can help a teacher in running an efficient classroom environment.  Establishing rules with the students, having a routine and a safe classroom environment are very important in the classroom.  This may be hard to establish in only three weeks of pre-internship but I feel that I will need the respect of the students for the time I am there.  During my time in the classroom I will have the students explain the classroom rules and routines that are already established in the class with the teacher.  We will also discuss a safe classroom environment.  I will already have asked the teacher about these issues but I want to hear the rules from the students.  This will be a refresher for them and also a reminder to them that I would like the same rules applied to myself when I am in the classroom teaching.  My target for each lesson I teach will be to recognize and implement the classroom rules, to deal with any situations that arise, and respect those rules of the class in keeping a safe environment for all students.  This is more of a general target for my entire pre-internship, but I will have classroom management on each lesson plan that I do which remind myself of the classroom rules and I will ask the co-operating teacher weekly how I am managing.

Goal #3  Different teaching strategies in lessons

Today’s students are no different than students from 20 years ago.  They all learn in different ways and have different interests.  As a future teacher I recognize this and feel that I need to teach in different ways to accommodate the various learning styles I may have in my classroom.  During my pre-internship I will try a variety of teaching strategies and techniques.  For example, I will use videos, partner work (think-pair-share), group work/discussions, class discussions, KWL charts, research activities using computers, lectures and small skits in class.  I will reach this goal through the lessons that I make for the variety of classes I will teach.

The indicators I will use will be on the target sheets I give to my co-operating teacher for every lesson.

Looking forward to the next 3 weeks!

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Treaty Education – You bet!

The treaty education lesson our group planned incorporated Wellness 10 as we are all Health majors.  We did have to adjust the lesson a little to incorporate the Treaty outcomes and indicators so they would match the health outcomes.  In fact, the only outcome we could match our Wellness 10 outcome with was a grade 12 Treaty outcome and indicator.  I find this extremely problematic as a future teacher.

Why has the Ministry of Education not looked at this and incorporated it so that it can at least combined into the same grade?  As our discussion in class posed the question as to why the Ministry hasn’t added the Treaty outcomes and indicators and the treaty essential learnings into the curriculum.  Having a separate document on the issue makes no sense.  (At least to me it doesn’t).  If we are mandated to teach treaty education, which I 100% agree with, then it needs to be combined into one document in the Saskatchewan curriculum.  In my opinion having two separate documents only continues to promote separate issues.

The feedback we received for our lesson was to provide questions that would guide the students in their learning about the medicine wheel.  I think it would be important to incorporate these questions for every area in the medicine wheel.  This would enhance their learning of each area of the medicine wheel and hopefully allow them to look back and view that learning as a whole picture.

I believe that treaty education needs to be in the schools.  I sympathize with fellow classmates that are specializing in music, biology, and other subject areas that make it near impossible to incorporate this mandated teaching.  Some of the English majors wonder how to incorporate treaty education into Macbeth.  I have been out of school quite a bit longer than most in the class and I had no idea they were still teaching Shakespeare in English!!!  How in the world do you incorporate treaty education in a lesson/unit on Shakespeare?  I am open to all and any ideas.  I just wonder how much extra work teachers are expected to accomplish when the directions they are given has no clear guidance.

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Moving around or standing still? Classroom Management Strategies.

The blog I read about is actually on a Smart Classroom Management blog I happened to find.  The blog discusses reasons why it is important for teachers to stand in one place when giving directions to the students, instead of moving around the classroom.  The blog states that students will be more attentive if you stand still while giving directions, it’s easier to focus for the students, removes obstacles, and keeps you in contact with the students.  Interesting…..

I actually read this blog before class today but was unable to finish my post.  i am actually glad this happened.  During class today Katia walked around the room constantly while we were having a class discussion.  At no time when she was walking around the class did I become disengaged from the discussion, feel less focus or felt that there were obstacles in the way.  I actually felt like she was trying to engage all the students by making a point of walking around the room.

The post I read in the blog doesn’t fit my sense of classroom management.  I want to interact with my students as much as possible.  I also believe that walking around the room will make them pay more attention to what I am saying because they may feel that I am checking up on them (which I may be doing in ‘stealth mode’)!!!  If students are possibly doing something that they maybe shouldn’t be, the close proximity of a teacher will soon change that.  After all isn’t that the point of lectures is to have students listening and engaged?

I feel the blogs remarks totally fit into the anti-oppresive ideals of the education program we are now learning about.  As future teachers we are being taught to engage our learners, connect with them, interact with them.  In my personal opinion, I don’t believe that standing in front of a class and giving directions is beneficial to any students.  Part of my working classroom will have me interacting with students, engaging them in what I am saying and making sure they are listening to what I am saying.

Click here for blog link.

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