A very late, power outage, “I’ll takeover from here” post

Hi everyone (whoever you are ;))

I realize this post is almost a week late, I was a little disorganized at the end of the school visit day last week and haven’t managed to pull up my socks again till today. Yikes!

So, as the title of this post suggests, we had ANOTHER power outage this week! On a Wednesday! What the heck are the chances! The kiddies were thrilled, of course, hoping that they’d get another excessively long DPA out of it, but that wasn’t the case. Because we were well into our day (happened after lunch) the mechanical blinds were open and we had more than enough light to continue with silent reading and then proceed to gym. 28 9 and 10 year olds in a dark gym. I know, frightening!! Luckily, the gym teacher had decided to open the doors and voila, enough light. Unfortunately, because it is winter here, that also meant heavy sweaters and/or jackets in gym. Luckily (again) we had the Canadian Curling Association visit us and taught the kids how to curl, so there was no physical contact in less than ideal lighting.

After we came back from gym, I was informed, to my surprise, that my teacher Ms. C had an IEP (Individualized Education Program) meeting and we were going to have a TOC for the remaining 45 minutes of the day. This was mildly exciting to me, as I figured it’d be a great opportunity to take control and spread my wings a bit without the pressure of having my sponsor teacher there! Well, I did, and I’m not sure how successful it was, but we made it through the rest of the day and I learned some important tips that I will carry with me forever:

1. Using the same attention grabbers (clapping patterns or cute sayings {i.e. hands on top, that means stop}) as your sponsor teacher does NOT get the same response from the kids. The ‘good’ students will be there right along with you, but the outliers will eat you up! I definitely had some trouble reigning everybody in once the volume got too loud, but overall they were peaches 🙂

2. NEVER EVER hand out notices before the end of class! Questions will follow as will rifling through said handouts and no work with get done. Just don’t do it.

Anyways, I think I covered everything I set out to cover. All in all it was a very educational day for me 🙂

Chat soon,

~Miss Parfitt

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School supplies and the supply ROOM!

So, yesterday was a half day. The kiddos went home early because of parent teacher interviews, which meant we went right from 8:30-12:30, no breaks except for a 15 minute recess. Ms. C and I looked at the each at the end of the day and both exclaimed how long the day felt! It’s amazing what 4 straight hours with 28 9 and 10 year olds will do to a person! 😉

During recess, however, Ms. C decided to take my through every teachers DREAM and show me the supply rooms available at our school! Wow. Just, wow. Endless supplies of coloured paper, trend pens (fancy thin tip black felts), dry erase markers, erasers, tissue paper, plasticine, you name it, we have it!! If you know anything about people who become teachers, we all love the feeling of brand new school supplies. Pens that haven’t yet been opened, crayons that still have their characteristic flat tip, it’s heaven people!! So, I was outfitted with everything I could ever need (including a full kit that each new student would receive which included fat markers, thin markers, pencil crayons, regular crayons, a glue stick, scissors, pencils, an eraser and a dry erase marker!) and Ms. C fully encouraged me to come back whenever I wanted and pull whatever I needed! It was incredible, to say the least. 

Anyways, that was definitely the highlight of my day yesterday! Thanks for stopping by 🙂

Chat soon,

~Miss Parfitt

How lucky am I?

How lucky am I that I wake up every morning so excited to go to school and learn more on this path to becoming a teacher? I love my classes, classmates, professors and all of the activities that come along with being a ‘pre-service’ teacher. Yesterday, our PE professor e-mailed us asking if we’d like to go to a local indoor rock climbing facility for one of our classes! Awesome! And today, we’ll be heading into the classroom to listen to a read aloud. How cool is that?

I finally feel like those four years of my undergrad are worth it, because as long and arduous as those were, the Bachelor of Education is that enjoyable

I’m so thrilled that I’ve found my way and am enjoying this program as much as I am 🙂

Chat soon,

~Miss Parfitt

An ‘oops!’ and my first official day!

Okay so first of all, I have to explain why this post is a day late and a little shorter than usual. Yesterday, I got home from my sponsor school after having a fantastic day and sat down to write my blog. I got all the way to the end and decided at that point that I needed to check to see what I was closing my blog posts with and BEFORE HITTING PUBLISH clicked on a previous blog hoping it’d leave my new post at the top of the screen (hard to explain, but I thought it’d work!!). Turns out, that took me away from my entire new post and when I clicked the back button, it was gone. Heartbreak hotel. So, that’s my oops for the day!

Needless to say, I had a fantastic day. We started on a bit of an unfortunate note as the power was out when I got to school and the ’emergency’ lights only stay on for about 20 minutes.. go figure!! So, my principals back-up plan was to have an extra long session of Daily Physical Activity (DPA) and so all of the teachers were sent out to the playground where they’d supervise 380 children until we had power again!! It was projected to come back on at 10:30 (2 hour DPA?!) but thankfully returned at 9:45. After that Ms. C was able to get the kids right back into the swing of things and we had another fantastic day!!

At the end of the day, Ms. C told me that if I felt so inclined as to take over the class at any point during the day to just let her know.. wow! I’m not sure if I’m quite ready for that, but what an experience that would be! Perhaps with a couple more visits under my belt I’ll feel more confident 😉

Chat soon,

~Miss Parfitt

My ‘first’ day!

So today, they ACTUALLY CALLED ME MISS PARFITT!

My colleague picked me up at 9:05 and we were off, nervous as can be. We arrived at the school and the first person we met was the secretary! Unfortunately, on a long list of names I learned today, hers was forgotten 😦 Next, we found out that our principal was away for the day for an emergency so we had a ‘stand-in’ take us on a tour. Luckily for me, I knew her as she was my grade 5 & 6 teacher! I immediately felt some relief. After a quick run down of the school and student background, we were lead on a tour where we were lucky enough to meet our sponsor teachers!!!!! We were both so terribly excited. After meeting my sponsor teacher, I asked if I could stay the day and she responded with a quick ‘absolutely!’ and I was in. 

The students had just come back from reading with their buddies (my kiddos are grade 5) and were all ready to move onto math. After my introduction, my sponsor teacher (I’ll call her Ms. C) explained to me that in her classroom, the children each have a hand coloured picture of a ‘bucket’ on the wall and everyday, they are given 3 strips of paper. With these pieces of paper, they are encouraged to write compliments to each other and go and put them in each others buckets! What a neat idea. After learning about this and answering a few questions the kids had for me, they dove right into their work. Ms. C worked with small groups of children at the smart board (still very foreign to me) while others had the task of finishing a worksheet, and once that was done were encouraged to play math games. I moved around the room introducing myself and getting their names and had a blast learning their math games and watching them play. After math we moved onto reading. Ms. C had the children take out Ziploc bags full of pieces of paper with words on them and while she worked with a small group at the smart board, I was given the task of going around and listening to the children read their words aloud. What fantastic readers we have! I was very impressed. From there, we moved onto reading a novel and then it was lunch time!

After lunch was silent reading followed by a social studies project: they are beginning to make their own timelines! Another fantastic activity. You better believe that when I wasn’t wandering around the class, I was taking notes every step of the way! Following the socials project, the children wrote in their journals and then headed out for recess. After recess was agendas and the computer lab, and then it was all over!!

I had the most fantastic day with Ms. C, I cannot wait to go back next week. I’m also planning on getting involved in boys volleyball on Wednesday’s at lunch, I can’t wait to start that next Wednesday!

So many exciting things coming up in the future, I couldn’t be happier with my placement 🙂

Chat soon,

~Miss Parfitt

Movies, Morals and a Meeting time!

First of all, it’s October?! How did that happen! I can’t believe I’m a month into my new degree, happy fall!

So today in our Social Issues class we discussed morality and my professor began the lesson with a pop quiz! He introduced the quiz by saying “We are now going to have a pop quiz, and I’ve decided that you must pass this quiz to pass the course.” Well, people were a little shocked (although I don’t think he got quite the reaction he was anticipating). He then went on to ask us how we’d feel about this, and by our faces concluded we’d be upset. The point of this exercise was to show that doing something like that would be immoral. We have a set syllabus that was given to us at the beginning of the year, and to stray away from that would simply be immoral, and not something that is within his ‘power’ to do. Anyways, we did end up having a pop quiz and it was about famous movies. We were given 15 quotes and asked to name the movie they came from (including “You can’t handle the truth,” and “Houston, we have a problem!”) and the point of this was to show the great morals that are imbedded within some of the greatest movies of all time. Unfortunately, the majority of what I took out of it was how many timeless movies I need to watch! One that came highly recommended by our professor was “In the Heat of the Night” – has anyone watched this movie?  

After discussing morals in movies, we moved on to discussing the readings we had for the day (regarding morals) and a very thought provoking question arose. We were asked if, as a teacher, we had a designated area in our room for the children to place their lunches, and right before lunch one day a child proclaimed that their lunch had in fact been stolen from this area, how would we handle it? Well, being the structure-loving person that I am, my initial response was “I’d never have this problem, because I would never have my children place their lunches in a communal spot!” but that wasn’t the point. How do you deal with these kinds of issues? To add a little context, previous to this we had been discussing how to manage a situation where you have a child who prolifically doesn’t have a lunch with them. So another common reaction from my colleagues was perhaps the child didn’t bring a lunch in the first place and saw an opportunity to take the attention off themselves and place it on someone else. Personally, I’m still not sure where I stand on this topic. The point of the matter is, someone is going to go without food for the day if you don’t do something. Do you just ignore the surface issue and deal with the root of the problem, thereby supplying the child with food? I don’t know. 

A bit of exciting news for today, we were emailed our meeting times! I’ll be meeting the principal of my host school at 9:15am on Wednesday morning! I’m so excited, I can’t wait to become involved in the school community 🙂

Tomorrow we’ll at be at an elementary school in Kelowna (where we go every Tuesday) and hopefully will have the chance to go into the classroom again and participate in some activities with the kiddos. I look forward to Tuesday’s for this very reason! 

Chat soon,

~Miss Parfitt