Mrs. Chelsey Croft

Future teacher, life long learner

A Day in the Life of a Pre-Intern…Day 8 — November 30, 2016

A Day in the Life of a Pre-Intern…Day 8

Well today was my last day of my 8 week internship!  As I mentioned last week, it is definitely bittersweet.  I will definitely miss coming into this classroom and seeing those sweet students every Wednesday.  Over the past 8 weeks I have definitely learned a lot regarding teaching.  Not only regarding things like lesson planning and management, but also things like where I want to be as a teacher in the future.  I used to always imagine myself teaching Math and PE, and maybe another class to grade 7 to 9.  However, now I really want to be in my own classroom where I get to teach students all (or most) of their classes.  I also never thought I would want to teach kids as young as grades 5 & 6, but now I could not imagine not doing it.  The students I teach are still so innocent and eager to learn.  They still believe their teacher knows everything and act according (for the most part!).  I think over this past 8 weeks I was truly spoiled by these students.  Other than one or two who would ‘misbehave’ at times, this classroom was a dream to join.  Students hanging on every word you said, and truly giving their full effort in everything they do.  It was definitely a pleasure and privilege to be a part of this classroom, and I am definitely looking forward to rejoining them next semester!

As for my last lesson of teaching, Mrs. Aulie and I decided it would be fun to try out co-teaching.  And, since it was our last day in the classroom, we thought we would keep things ‘light’ and fun, in the form of drama games!  The kids loved these!  The hardest thing by far was getting them to keep silent, but we were able to keep that under control with some clever ‘classroom management techniques’.

For the cherry on the teaching cake, our class went skating this afternoon, so I was finally able to showcase my ‘skills!’  Little did I know that half of my time would actually be spent tying skates!  My poor hands are already in pain!  When I finally did get on the ice it was so much fun!  There was all skill of skaters from those who had never skated before to those who skate on a weekly basis.  It was smiles all around though!  One boy in particular, whom had never skated before, was so scared to get on the ice.  When he did get on the ice, he caught on quickly how to balance and was soon slowly gliding across the ice.  I could see how proud he was and how happy he was.  I know I did not teach him math, or science, or something you learn in school, but I taught him the basics of how to skate.  It was so rewarding seeing how happy he was!  This was just the perfect way to end my 8 week block, because his smile and pride truly justified my decision in starting a new career – a teaching career!

I still have a lot to learn, but I know I am on the right track!  Already looking forward to getting back into the classroom next semester.  Until then….

A Day in the Life of a Pre-Intern…..Day 7 — November 23, 2016

A Day in the Life of a Pre-Intern…..Day 7

#teachefail…..yes I meant to leave out the ‘r’!  During my ELA lesson today I accidentally wrote “road” on the board instead of “rode.”  A very smart student politely pointed out my error.  After fixing it I thought I would be ‘cool’ and ‘hip’ and tell the students that is what is called a ‘#teacherfail’.  Of course, I wrote this on the board, and of course I forgot the ‘r’ in teacher.  Talk about a true teacher fail moment!  This really got everyone laughing, including my co-op teacher, who promptly explained what ‘pregnancy brain’ was to the class!  It was definitely a funny moment, which happened to fit in with my lesson, as I was teaching the students how to create a silly type of poem, a limerick.

Besides my teacher fail, my lesson went really well.  The students had a good time thinking of different rhyming words and then turning them into a silly poem.  I actually felt really good about this lesson after I was finished teaching it, something I have not felt before.  However, there are still some things I would do differently if I were to teach the same lesson again, or one similar to it.  Instead of going over rhyming words as a whole class I would put the students in 4 to 5 groups and give them each a rhyme ‘sound’ and have them come up with words and then present them to the class.  I think this definitely would have been beneficially for some of the students to refer to when working on their own poems, especially the EAL students.  But overall I think the lesson went great, the students were engaged the whole time and I managed to get my lesson done in my time period!

Student's Limerick
Student’s Limerick

I feel like when I teach times either moves very quickly or very slowly, never in between.  I bring this up because I cannot believe how fast this pre-internship is going!  There is only one teaching day left!  It is very bittersweet.  I am happy that I have learned a lot in this classroom and I am excited to start the new semester, but it is sad knowing I won’t be seeing my class for awhile.  Luckily, my last week here should be a fun one.  Mrs. Aulie and I are teaching drama together, and as a class we are going skating.  Looking forward to showing the students my skating skills, as I think so of them think I am lying when I say I play hockey!  Hopefully there will be no #teacherfail(s) on the ice!  Until next week…

A Day in the Life of a Pre Intern…Day 6 — November 16, 2016

A Day in the Life of a Pre Intern…Day 6

Today was the big day!  The day I would FINALLY get to teach PE.  My co-op could tell I was eager to teach this subject, and knew I loved sports, so she asked me to teach two ‘mini lessons’ within our PE period.  The first one I got to choose, so I picked ‘Oh Deer!’.  I just loved the ideas behind this game when we played it as a middle years class, so I was excited for my 5/6’s for give it go!  My co-op requested that my second mini lesson be to teach the students how to correctly perform an underhand serve, which was also exciting for me because I was very confident in my ability to do this!

As soon as we stepped foot in the gym I knew this experience would be different!  The students immediately started running and yelling, and just acting like kids.  I knew right away that my management skills would need tobe on point.  With that, I established a hand signal and brought the kids in close so everyone could hear and understand me.  This actually worked pretty well, and I quickly moved to out warm up then explaining the game.

My first fault was choosing a game, Oh Deer!  where the students would have to stand still for a small period of time. These kids wanted to move!  Sensing that, I cut my allotted time for Oh Deer! short and switched gears rto volleyball serving.

If I thought the students were excited and slightly rambunctious when simply entering the gym, they were ten times more so when you put a ball in their hands!  There was bouncing and throwing, and general choas….or so I thought.  In what felt like forever to get everyone settled and go through the proper serving technique, the students were finall ready to practice on their own.  Again, this seemed to be choatic since there was lieterally ball bouncing off of walls in every direction!

When the lesson was finally over I have never felt less confident in my teaching abilities.  It especially hit me hard since PE is the subject I would love to teach in the future, full time.  And I felt like I blew it.  So came time for my post-conference, which my co-op alway starts with asking me how I thought it went.  I expressed my opinion and she baically told me I could not be more worng.  She said that I had control in the room and that the stduents were constantly looking for my hand signal and ‘orders.’  She said I seemed confident in what I was teaching and that I did a good job.  This is not meant to sound like a brag because I truly thought my lesson sucked!  She reminded me that I was in a gym with twenty 9/10 year olds, and that taking30 seconds to ‘calm’ them down is not a long time (even though it felt like an eternity).  She stressed to me that I cannot be this hard on myself because I will, in the future, eventually have bad ‘teaching’ days.  And that those are the times you dwell on what you did or did not do.  But that my lesson today was great and definitely not one of those days.

Although when I teach I may present myself  as confident, I do not feel that way when I am teaching.  I wish there wasa useful target that could work on that aspect of teaching – the self doubt.  It is something that I will continue to work on until I can walk away feeling satisified with how my lesson went!  Until next week…

A Day in the Life of a Pretern Teacher….Day 5 — November 10, 2016

A Day in the Life of a Pretern Teacher….Day 5

Today seemed a bit different than my previous pre-intern days.  It wasn’t because I got up too early or that I wasn’t prepared.  It was that something I thought was not possible happened the night before.  As soon as my co-op teacher walked into the classroom I could see she was thinking the same thing I was.  Regardless, the day had to go on!

Quadrilateral sort.
Quadrilateral sort.

Today I was teaching my first non-socialstudies class and I was excited.  Social Studies has never really caught my interst, but math on the other hand, that is just plain fun!  In fact, I started my lesson with a cheesy math joke…one student laughed so I chalk that up as a win!  Just as my previous weeks, when I was finished my lesson I did not feel confident in the delivery or in the time frame I used.  I was given one hour toteach the lesson and I thought I would go overtime, so I sped up my pace, all the while making sure the students understood what I was teaching.   Long story short, my lesson was over, teh students finished their inclass activity and there was still 15 minutes to spare!

Sensing that I was needing some more ‘last minute’ material, my co-op gave me a math book fulled with ‘math games’ that involves playing cards.  With my co-ops advice and help I grabbed four decks of cards and soon the students were playing math games and loving it!  I guess I learned the hard way that one should always have a couple 10-minute activites or mini-lessons ‘up their sleeve’ for these exact instances!  Luckily I have a great co-op and she is teaching me these ‘little tricks’ along the way.  Next week I get to teach PE and am excited to introduce ‘Oh Deer’ to them as well as show them underhand volleyball serves!  If I don’t feel confident going into a PE lesson I am not sure if I ever will.  So here’s to hoping!

A Day in the Life of a Pre-Intern Teacher…..Day 4! — November 3, 2016

A Day in the Life of a Pre-Intern Teacher…..Day 4!

“…palms are sweaty, knees weak, arms are heavy…”  This Eminem lyric comes to mind thinking about how I feel right before I am supposed to teach.  I always feel going into Wednesdays that I am fully prepared and confident to teach. My lesson plan is made with care and detail, my power point is organized, and well, I generally have an idea of what I am going to do when my time to teach comes.  And then my ‘reality’ sets in!  I second guess everything!  Is this the order I should present my lesson?  Will I go over in time?  Will I be under?  Do I know enough about the topic?  Will the students find in interesting/intriguing?  I am still not sure which feeling is the ‘real’ one.  Do I actually feel confident, but just tend to second guess myself?  Or am I just a anxiety-ridden ‘worry-wart’ who experiences a false confident before teaching?

Thanks to my super supportive co-op teacher, I am leaning toward the former.  I truly thought by now I would be super confident in my teaching abilities, but I certainly am not!  Come to think of it, I have only taught students really two times.  Thinking of it now though, that doesn’t  really make sense.  I cannot think of anything I have only done two times and felt confident in.  I think part of the confidence issue is also that both of my lessons have been in Social Studies, a subject I know little about.   With that, I am hoping to gain this confidence every week.  My co-op teaching is great at instilling it in me.  Today she stated that both my partner and I had a, “natural instinct for teaching.”  This was such a relief to hear, especially since I have completely changed careers relatively late in life!

I guess the main thing in all of this is the students are truly engaged in my lessons for far.  The are eager to answer questions and share stories. It sounds cheesy and cliche, but that in itself is a reward!  Next week I get to teach a  geometry lesson in math so I am really excited to try something new! Until then, keep it REAListic my fellow interns!  In case anyone is feeling like me, don’t be so hard on yourself!

A Day in the Life of a Pre-Intern Teacher…..Day 3! — October 27, 2016

A Day in the Life of a Pre-Intern Teacher…..Day 3!

Travois complete!
Travois complete!

Today was not just any ‘typical’ teaching day.  Not like any day teaching a group of grade 5/6’s would be typical anyway.  However, today was extra awesome because it was a ‘field trip’ day!

The field trip was located at ‘Gilmore Farm’ north of Regina, but the field trip itself took place on the Gilmore land, not far from their current farm.  This land has so much history in terms of Saskatchewan’s past.  I got a sense right from the very first stop that the students were excited for the day and eager to learn! After a couple quick stops along the way to discuss glacial morraines and a barn built by original British settlers, we were at our destination!

When I first heard we were going on a field trip to a buffalo jump, I thought it was just that.  A simple buffalo

A student about to eat fly larvae (yuck!).
A student about to eat fly larvae (yuck!).

jump.  But this was so much more.  Our morning started at the top of the ‘cliff’ where we talked about how

past First Nation people would chase buffalo over the cliff, resulting in a very successful hunt.  We slowly and carefully made our way to the bottom of the jump where we spent some time digging up buffalo bones.  The tour guide, Fred, had strategically placed a buffalo skull for a group of girls to find.  They were the envy of the class!  As we continued our hike Fred pointed out native berries still on trees and invited the kids to eat them.  Of course they were more than willing!

However, Fred warned that if you ate the seeds you would get something that translates to ‘itchy bum’ or if you ate too many choke cherries you would get the ‘runs.’  I laughed way too hard at both of these descriptions and decided I would stay away from the edible berries for the day.

Our next stop put the students to work!  They were split into two teams where they had to construct a

Fred sharing his wisdom.
Fred sharing his wisdom.

traditional First Nation travois and then trasnport teams members in a relay type race.   I must first say that

Fred had given them an earlier lesson on how to ‘lace’ the travois, but I was still very impressed by how quickly they were able to do it!  Both teams were very successful and it came right down to the wire to determine the winner.  The next relay race involved ‘strapping’ a beaver hide container to their foreheads and racing back and forth without the use of their hands.  This again involved some technique but the students caught on in no time!

Next it was game time!  We played ‘Owl and Mouse’ and ‘Wild Turkey Hunt’.  One student, in my eyes, beat the whole game by hiding in plain sight underneath his jacket, having many students walk right past him and having no clue he was there!  He was definitely thinking ‘outside of the box!’

Mrs. Aulie showing off her archery skills!
Mrs. Aulie showing off her archery skills!

We ended the day by shooting bows and arrows as well as spears with atlatls.  Fred made both appear much easier than they were.  I thought I was strong until I pulled back the string of a bow!

This field trip was a great experience for the kids.  They had smiles all day long and were willing to do anything, including eating live fly larva (which two students did)!  Plus, they learned a lot!  This field trip incorporated things from phys ed, treaty ed, social studies and science!  It was an amazing experience, and I recommend any teachers in the Regina area to definitely bring their students there!

 

A Day in the Life of a Pre-Intern……Day 2 — October 20, 2016

A Day in the Life of a Pre-Intern……Day 2

To say that the past few days (more like five) have been filled with a nervousness anxiety is putting it lightly.  To put it in perspective, in my previous job I would have to make million dollar decisions in the the blink of an eye with a room full of men questioning my every move.  This felt like a breeze compared to the thought of standing up in front of room full of grade 5/6’s and teaching them a lesson!

I felt prepared though!  I planned my lesson, then re-planned it, and then revised my re-plan about three times before finally being happy with what I had.  Although I did not feel confident yet in my ability to teach the lesson, I felt prepared! In the first five minutes of talking with my co-op I lost all sense of ‘preparedness.’  After glancing she said, “Can I be blunt?”  Of course I said yes because that is how I am and that is what I respond.  She went on “You have enough material for three lessons.”  Oh crap! My heart sank and the panic set in, although I am sure I looked cool as a cucumber.  I realized right there that all my meticulous planning did not really matter.  My co-op stated that I should just engage the students in discussion and just focus on the first part of my lesson.  What!?  Engage students!?  How do I do that?  I strategically planned out my power point, readings and worksheet, having very little time for ‘open discussion’ in my plan.  Well it looked like my plan was changing!

On the first day of meeting my co-op she mentioned that often times you may end up ‘throwing’ your lesson plan out and just ‘winging it!’ Well I guess on my very first lesson I would somewhat be winging it. Luckily I was pleasantly surprised by how the students reacted to my general lesson plan, Buffalo, and the topics for my discussion.  The 60 minutes I had for my lesson flew by and my co-op actually had to prompt me that I was running out of time (still have to work on time management I guess).  The highlight of my day occurred right after I told the students I had to wrap things up.  One boy said “Ahhh do we have to, this is so much fun!”  I immediately felt a natural high come over me and I felt pretty good!  I still have a long ways to go before I find my ‘groove’, but I feel like I made a small step in the direction of gaining my confidence in teaching.  I hope it continue to go up from here!

A Day in the Life of a Pre-Intern…Day 1 — October 13, 2016

A Day in the Life of a Pre-Intern…Day 1

Although it is glaringly obvious by simply watching, this is my first ever video post, or well, video anything! I was very nervous to do a Vlog (is that what video logs are called?) at first, but thought,  “Hey, I may as well continue to branch out and not be afraid to step outside of my comfort zone.”  After all, that pretty much summed up my first day as a pre-intern.

My day started right and early, at 5:35 am to be exact.  I am not sure whether it was nerves or excitement that had me awake so early, but either way I was ready! For the first time I would be entering a school not as a student, but as a pre-intern!

I did not think I would learn so much on day one – both from my co-op teacher and from participating in lessons myself!  I now have very basic skills in playing the ukulele (look out Paul McCartney) and, according to  https://www.duolingo.com/, I am now 2% fluent in French!

Although I have only known her for about a week, my co-op teacher has already proven to be a great help in this journey.  She has been willing, and evening inviting, in answering all of my question, and trust me, I ask a lot of questions!  She has also been very open about sharing her own teaching experiences and what has worked for her over the years, all the while stressing that we each need to find our own way, and that is is very important to be ourselves, even when we are in the role of ‘teacher’.  This seems like simple, almost obvious advice, but it really put my mind at ease and immediately made me feel more comfortable in my new ‘gig!’

Definitely looking forward to, and by this I mean very scared, to teach my first ‘real’ lesson next week!

I can imagine the anticipation is building, so I will quit writing and let you enjoy the main event.  Myself and Mrs. Aulie’s  first vlog together! Laughter welcomed!