Friday, 20 May 2016

Second Year Teaching Placement: Day Fifteen

Ahhhhh, I'm so sad that today was the last day! It ended on a better note than I could've ever imagined. So I started the day with grade 10 French and I just walked around and helped them with anything they didn't understand. Then in second period Jurgan and I had this long break because it was assembly day, so we spent it all talking. Well the first few minutes I was working on my lesson plan and trying to understand pronom relatifs so I could teach it. He told me in depth and showed me pictures of his excursions all over the world. He is such an interesting guy and so genuine. I find it hilarious how I used to think that he was so mean and not understanding of students but now I can see how truly he cares. He cares so much it's just that some of his teaching methods are a little old, plus he's a substitute teacher so he doesn't know the students. He told me the most hilarious stories of how he fell of a camel on a class trip to Egypt and I died it was so funny.

Next period it was a grade 9 class and I mostly worked in the back of the class trying to get my lesson perfect. I mostly stayed in the back and listened to his lesson. Then it was finally my turn to teach a lesson! I taught a grade 11 French class and to be honest I think I spoke a little too much English but it's okay. We're all learning right? So for my lesson I taught pronom relatifs and went over what each of them were used for and I used a simple example to demonstrate. Then I gave them a worksheet to do and told them to do it quickly so we could have time to play a game. We took up the work and I checked it on the board, I guess I should've asked a student to be the marker. Then I played my game which was a 1 truth and 3 lies game. So I had each table take a magazine and choose a page on it, then I had them write 1 truth and 3 lies (basically one sentence each) but each sentence had to use a relatif pronom. When the groups went to present they had a sentence on each white board and the class had to guess then they would reveal the picture. If a table got it right then they would be awarded one point but if the group could fool the class then they get 2 points. The game went well I think, one thing I would change is I'd have each student write their answers on a blank piece of paper in huge writing so that the other groups wouldn't have to wait for so long for the white boards.

The second game that I wanted to play but didn't have time was this "useless product" advertisement where the students had to come up with a stupid product and sell it in 3 sentences using relatifs pronoms. For example, I had the idea of a waterproof towel and I would try to sell it in 3 sentences with at least 1 pronom relatif in each sentence. But we didn't have enough time but it's okay. At the end of the day Jurgan gave me a debrief and said I did a good job with a few pointers about learning/reviewing pronom relatif more but other than that it was well done.

After school, I met with Diane and all the teachers and I gave them their cards that I wrote and you could tell how happy they were to receive them. I almost teared up because it was such a sweet moment. I didn't think that I was doing much for these teachers, just doing my part as a student teacher but I guess they found it really helpful. I'm going to miss everyone and everything so much!

Until next time!

Thursday, 19 May 2016

Second Year Teaching Placement: Day Fourteen

Today was an alright day, it was super exhausting though that's for sure. There was a new supply teacher today, although I didn't get to see who he/she was unfortunately but that's because I thought it was too awkward. But for the whole morning basically the first two periods and lunch, I helped Diane organize her tostada sale which was quite a lot of work. We had to set up a lot of stuff and cook everything and lay out a bunch of stuff. She also had to do a run through and show them how much proportions to put on each tostada too which was cool. I would've never thought to do that if I didn't see this whole process. I was so exhausted because I was on my feet all day and helping run things and made sure that everything went smoothly, and this went through lunch.

Then for the next period I helped Nancy with her college English class and it was fun being able to go around to each student and help them come up with ideas. I just think it's so annoying when you're like okay start on your work and the student mills around and retraces their letters to pretend to do their work until you leave. Like no honey, I know what you're trying to do and it's not working on me, haha. Anyway, so for the last period I just stayed in the office and tried to make a lesson plan but it did not work to be honest. I was so exhausted and distracted so now I have to work hard tomorrow to make a good lesson.

Until next time!

Wednesday, 18 May 2016

Second Year Teaching Placement: Day Thirteen

Today was an awesome day at high school! Amélie was still not here because of the flu and I had to observe Jurgan again. I'm starting to see that he is a really genuine and awesome guy but his teaching style is just so darn old fashioned. He doesn't notice that speaking at the kids for the whole time is not a great way for them to be engaged because everyone loses focus and then he gets mad that they're not participating. So first period we had a Prep so I just worked on my IEP during that time and wrote a summer to-do list for Brandon and I (so professional I know), then after that I went with him to teach a grade 10 French class and it was alright. I don't really remember what happened, just that he gave them a giant speech about how they should participate more. I think that they really should participate more and he is right in that aspect but I also think he should be more accommodating to their needs as students. At lunch, I ate in the office with Diane and Jurgan then we went on a power walk as usual and it was all very pleasant.

After lunch I observed a grade 11 French class and it went quite well, there was really good conversation all around and focus. Then for the last period, I went to observe Heather's grade 11 English class and I could tell that she didn't feel well. So I did what I could do best to help, I walked around and made sure all the students were on task and that they started their projects. It was a really chill period once again, I just talked to al the students about life and what not and helped spark their creativity for their project. It was a good day today! Two more days!

Until next time!

Tuesday, 17 May 2016

Second Year Teaching Placement: Day Twelve

Today was an awesome day even though I still had to observe a substitute teacher and find my own classes to follow. So the day started with me going to Melissa's grade 12 university English class and I watched some presentations about Streetcar Named Desire which were well done. Then she gave me so many handouts of this play which is so nice because now I can start my own little collection of English material for if I need it one day. She gave me a lot of super helpful advice and was so kind to let me stay in her classroom for first period. Next period I went to observe the supply teacher in grade 9 French and when I was entering the room, one of the students from the previous class was like "where were you last period?" to which I responded that I was in an English class. I don't know, I thought that was so sweet that she wondered where I was and what not. This class was slightly painful because it was so quiet, but I don't really think that it was a huge deal. The supply teacher on the other hand, did not have it, he was so frustrated and even gave a little spiel at the end of class how the kids need to participate more because it was hard to have an engaging lesson if the students aren't.

Next was lunch, and during lunch there was a food party (pot luck?) in the staff room where the A wing brought food for the whole school. There was a bunch of stuff like samosas, empanadas, oranges, brownies, cookies, all of it. I was able to talk with the ESL teachers so Nancy, Diana, and this other teacher whose name I forget but they were so funny! Nancy was talking about her terrible ESL class that I was going to observe, and how one of the students farted in the small classroom and how she almost died! I nearly passed out from laughing, it was hilarious! Then I talked to one of the gym teachers, and to be honest he was so awkward. He had this intense eye contact and just stared at me when talking and didn't look away. So I had to carry the conversation, I asked so many things and he never really asked me back anything, but it's okay he was still nice. Then I didn't want to sit by myself so I went to join Sandy (the principal), Nancy and Heather on the couches and they just talked a bunch. They were all so nice and inclusive, you can really tell that Sandy was a good principal and tried hard to do her job. However, since she has quite a high role, I think that her daughter really benefits from her connections because of who she is but it's okay.

After lunch I went to an ESL class with Nancy and they were so interesting! It's like teaching French grammar but in English. Honestly some of the grammar I didn't even know like past progressive and past simple but now I do. ESL is so interesting because they need a lot of help since none of them really know English and I tend to know the answer by feeling rather than for whatever grammatical rule. Also, the class was pretty crazy because they were always talking in Chinese and specifically Mandarin because they don't really know English that well. Last period, I followed Nancy to her grade 11 college English class which was pretty fun, we watched some presentations, answered some questions then watched the end of Macbeth. It was a pretty fun day overall. I have 3 more days!!

P.S. I forgot to add an outfit picture, but I was wearing a chambray shirt and black jeans with the same flats, it was great.

Until next time!

Monday, 16 May 2016

Second Year Teaching Placement: Day Eleven

Have you ever felt so awestruck after learning something that you just cannot even? That is me right now. Today was such a great great teaching day for me! It's one for the books for sure! So I started with coming to school and helping the substitute teacher in grade 10 and he let me teach the reading part. So I had the students get their textbooks and I asked a few questions then read the text out loud to the class. Then I had them read in their groups and take turns reading out loud. After that, in second period I went to help Heather do whatever work she didn't want to do and for today that was research videos for pathos, ethos, and logos. She wanted to use them as examples to teach these rhetorical devices of persuasion but I figured that I could help her look for some. Then I asked her if I could teach them because it's kind of redundant to learn about it then teach it to her then have her teach it to the class. I mean it might as well come from the source right? So I found several commercials to prove what ethos, pathos, and logos are.

Then it was lunch, and since I worked in the English office into lunch time, I had to eat by myself in the Moderns office since everyone went for a walk. But I did not mind not one bit. It was nice to have that little calm moment to myself before engaging with all the students. Then it was time for us to have the lesson, and I wrote the definitions of what each were on the chalkboard and explained it. I started off with ethos and gave a brief explanation about it having to do with credibility then used a Sensodyne commercial to prove that we are persuaded to buy this product because we believe in the opinions of professionals. Then I explained pathos which is my favourite, which appeals to the emotions. It evokes a certain emotion in response to whatever was seen. So I showed the Extra gum commercial and the "Daddy is a liar" life insurance video. These videos use soft music and nostalgia to make us empathize the actors and actresses' situation. Finally, I talked about logos as logic and used Inconvenient Truths' documentary clip about rising CO2 levels to demonstrate the use of statistics and graphs to persuade an audience.

After that I joined a new English teacher and observed her class. Holy cow she was such a good teacher. A good teacher in the sense where she was so smart and knowledgeable about English that she taught it so effectively. It's not like she was incredibly nice or super sympathetic to students (which I'm sure she is) but I was more so blown away by her intelligence and well-rounded knowledge about learning and teaching English. She uses a Pinterest page that she has her students look at for ideas about relevant issues in today's society and she is constantly reading. She told me to take electives in things like Drama, History, and Film because there are these kinds of components in English and taking them in university will make it easier in teaching since you don't need to self-learn. Today was such a great learning and teaching day.

Until next time!

Saturday, 14 May 2016

Second Year Teaching Placement: Day Ten

TGIF! Today Amélie wasn’t here so I had to follow a substitute teacher around all day. He was a really cool guy full of stories from his travels but to be honest that’s all he talked about! All he talked about was his most recent travel to whatever place, and that’s really awesome but it felt a little conceited. As a person, he is so nice and genuine but as a teacher I found him to be quite mean and strict. For the first class, it was a really quiet grade 9 class that never really likes to talk but that was so painful to observe. I think his approach was a little too aggressive with making them talk on the spot and singling them out but personally I wouldn’t do that. It is difficult to make them talk I understand but maybe I would’ve resorted to making them do table work and talk within their own groups. I felt kind of bad for the kids because they looked so scared about being called upon. Next period was better because the class was better but time flew by faster. The students participated and talked so it made everything okay.

For lunch, he ate with Diane and I in the office and he talked about his travels of course, and then I had to pretend to be absolutely interested in his life since he talks so much about himself. I get that these places are really awesome and cool but he kept talking about it so it got annoying to be honest. Then after that we went for a walk with the other teachers around the perimeter of the school yard and the whole time I had to pee so bad but I held it in. The teacher Ms. Soni and the office admin Angela were so nice and I really enjoyed talking to them the whole time. After lunch I asked Ms. Soni if I could observe her class and she had grade 11 college English and they had presentations which I love to watch. The students had to recite 8 lines from Macbeth and it didn’t seem like they cared/put a lot of effort into doing it which kind of sucked. I wish they would try harder to learn because it didn’t look like they cared. Although they were a fun, lively group I wish they would appreciate learning English more. In the last class, I observed Heather’s grade 10 class and I just love going to her classes. First off, she is so nice and makes me feel like a person and second of all she teaches really well. She always tells me the funniest stories and is really open which I like because she was able to confide in me about her divorce and her friend’s wedding problems/affair which was hilarious. The students watched the ending of Romeo and Juliet and then did some table work at the end while I talked to Heather. It was a pretty good day overall and next week is already my last week!

Until next time!

Thursday, 12 May 2016

Second Year Teaching Placement: Day Nine

Today was a pretty chill day and guess what? I taught a grade 10 French class! So apparently Amélie emailed me that she would be coming in late to school because she felt sick but I didn’t see the email because I don’t have Wi-Fi. However, fear not I kept myself busy by preparing for my lesson plan on Friday and I even printed out worksheets and everything in that hour of first period Prep. When she came in later, she told me that she was losing her voice and was going to teach a very subdued version of her lesson plan because she felt sick. But I suggested that I would teach that grade 10 class because I already prepared the lesson anyway and I wanted her to watch me present since she wasn’t going to be there tomorrow. I thought it would help her out a lot since I wanted the students to have a good lesson so I might as well teach something interesting.

For my lesson, I started off with an activity where the students had to walk around interviewing each other in their table groups. Then they would write down their results in tally form on the board for the class to see. For example, one of the groups were in charge of “légumes préférés” so they had to find 10 people’s favourite vegetable and if they overlapped then they would need to make a tally. I think this went well but it was honestly hard to explain in French because I never really rehearsed it but the example that I did with the sports helped them understand. Next, I had them watch the “Le dîner” video with participation then had them read it in their groups out loud and made sure they paid attention to pronunciation. Finally, I had some volunteers read it out loud which was really nice. Then I had them look at this vocabulary page and took up the answers on the board with the computer to encourage oral communication. Next was an écoutez exercise that they had to listen 3 times then we took up the answers. Last activity was a multiple choice whiteboard game which became super competitive but I think that the students liked it and everyone was super engaged. And that was all for my lesson, it was a little rocky at first with the French but then I got more comfortable.

Next was lunch and I just stayed in the office and ate and updated Amélie on what Diane and I did on the field trip. I met the substitute teacher I will be observing for Amélie and it was so awkward because he came in when I had a mouth of spaghetti so I probably looked like a slob, but whatever. Next period was just going to be for reading so I stayed in the office and did some marking for Amélie and those writing things I swear take a lot of time, I also printed some worksheets for her. Next, for last period I went to her grade 9 class and they had presentations. They were so funny, since it was a spontaneous restaurant role play. She set up a pretend table in the middle of the class and the students had to pretend to be a waiter and customers. It was such an interesting way for evaluation and really creative.

It was a fun day indeed, despite having to teach so spontaneously but that’s what the job calls for!

Until next time!