Tuesday, 1 January 2013

The Best of 2012

I have to say the input I have gotten for my first blog post was fabulous! I honestly thought I might get about 10 people to read it! The biggest piece of feedback I got was from my own loved ones who said they loved it. . .and in the next breath said they had no idea what I was talking about. Lesson learned: yes my blog is for teachers and those interested in education  but I don't want my ideas to be so technical that a regular person couldn't read it and understand the teacher babble. Anyways I decided since school isn't back in for another 5 days that I would review my year in education, my top ten that is! My next project will be figuring out how to post something because I have a choice board I'd like to share. Here we go :)

Number 10- Student Vote

If you are reading this and work at my school you are quickly realizing that Student Vote happened LAST November (I think) but I was so happy with the results I'm going lump it in to 2012. It was a mock election that a non profit group helps with. They sent me everything I needed and my class ran it for the school, super authentic learning experience that I highly recommend to any class that is studying government, elections, Canada etc.

Number 9 -Last Year's Class

They get to be number 9 on this list for being the longest maternity leave I have covered. They were lovely and thoughtful and a moment I will never forget is my last day as I stood at the door to say goodbye and every single one of them hugged me, not that hug we give just anyone but REALLY hugged me. Halfway through the line, a student had tears in her eyes and I was done but it was the coolest thing. . . .I had no idea they would all hug me. Simply amazing and memorable.

Number 8-Funny Class Moments

About a week after the touching moment that was mentioned above, I was back at the school supplying and a student who had been in my class saw me in the hall, this was his response after seeing me "Ms. Bond it's so nice to have you back in the school bossing everyone around, it's like old times!" I love that student, not only for his priceless comment but for the fact he used every polydron I have and made a sphere out of them in one day. . . .that's NOT what they're for :) (Sidenote: a polydron are a math tool that when put together can make different prisms)

Other moments like the day a couple students this year asked how two people each on their own horse could kiss and my response, in my haze of the morning, "Why are two horses kissing?" This was followed by howls of laughter that literally went on for weeks.

There was also the time I was teaching Ancient Civilizations and came across the word Hathshepshut. . . .as you can imagine it didn't go well and was the ongoing joke that has followed me in to this year. . . .that Egyptian Queen puts my class in stitches once every few weeks.

Number 7-My Class This Year

I decided to include my class this year because we had a very successful fall, in a span of three days we won the largest chocolate bar I have ever eaten since our class did so much fundraising and then won for most class spirit for Black and Orange Day. We now have a class down the hall vowing to take us down since we win too much :) They got the trophy for red, green and white day but I know it's coming back for red, pink and white day :) They are also endearing for the fact that even though my library in the classroom is quite large. . .there is still an argument a week about who is taking what book and just when are the "new" books coming in. My students are very aware of my Scholastic Book Order addiction and use it to their advantage whenever possible :)

Number 6-Coaching

In 2012 I coach Girls Basketball, Co-coached Boys Basketball, Track and Field and helped with Badminton. Coaching is a joy I didn't think was in me, the lows are terrible. . . .losing sucks but the Highs. . .even if it is just one win are incredible and makes my heart swell :)

Number 5- District Review

I have the luxury of working at the school I attended as a child and my pride in my school sometimes does cloud my judgment (What do you mean we don't have room on the wall for the 1988 plaques???) but in January of 2012 our school took part in something called District Review, a group of principals and the superintendent walk through the school for a day after seeing a half day presentation about everything that makes our school unique, they do this at schools all over our board. They give feedback on what the school is doing well and what can be improved. Last year as a mat leave teacher I took a gamble and asked if I could be on the committee expecting a laugh from my principal and a "Sorry but No." Then she said yes and now looking back I wonder what I was thinking. . . .it was a fantastic experience and something I'm glad I took part in.

Number 4-My Blog

There isn't much to say, it's too new for that. . .it could be a huge fail. . . .or it may stick with me .. . I'm not sure yet, but it's happening so that's a good thing, I don't leap before I look very often.

Number 3- Low Points

There are always dark days as a teacher, sometimes they aren't the ones we talk about, they aren't the ones we like to remember but sometimes they are the ones that shape who we are for the next day, the next month and the rest of our career. I have had days in my class where I literally wonder what I can try to reach my students, make a connection or engage. I have had days cleaning up ridiculous messes; discovered disappointing actions; and enough unfinished work to keep students in for weeks at a time but then I have those amazing moments where a student draws a desk name tag for me covered in stickers, a parent writes a thoughtful note in a gift or a colleague wants to work together on a cool idea and I remember why I do what I do!

Number 2-Reading Specialist

In our province a teacher may take extra courses which add qualifications. I finished one of these qualifications this summer, a three part course I have taken over the last couple summers completely on reading. They cover what it is, how to teach it, how to understand the student, how to guide my practice and how to lead others. It was fantastic, it has put me on a fantastic literacy kick that was well overdue after two years of a math kick due to some amazing colleagues. I'm proud that I finished it and contemplating what to do next.

Number 1-Permanent Employment

As is the case in much of Canada right now, teaching is a difficult just to acquire, just to get on a supply list can take years. . . .after the supply list is the difficult job of acquiring that first LTO, a temporary position while someone is off having a baby, or for other reasons. Then there is the task getting another one, and beginning to gather enough experience and knowledge that someone will think of you and recommend you for a permanent position. My dream came true this summer when my principal called after an interview days earlier to say I had secured a position. Of course she didn't say it like that, she started the conversation saying I wouldn't be able to do an LTO at another school I was lined up . . . .at which point I started panicking and then she told me. She still teases me for the way she told me :) I am living my dream every day, it's not perfect and some days are bumpy but I wouldn't change a thing.

So I think that's it, this blog post was a little mushy but oh well. . . if you know me you know I'm a little mushy :) Happy 2013!!!

Kathleen :)

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