Sunday, November 14, 2010

Someone once told me that you have to choose...

Well, I have survived my first 2 1/2 months of teacher's college. So far, it has been an interesting journey that has required a lot of energy and time that I had no idea I had. Countless assignments, group projects, recorder performances...the list could go on for days. I even made it through 3 weeks of practicum in a grade 3/4 and 4/5 classroom relatively unscathed. Ok, that makes it sound like I had a horrible placement, when in fact it was pretty amazing. Those kids are extremely trusting and open and love nothing more than having your attention while you listen to them pitch their Halloween stories to you.

I would have to say that I had several positive experiences with my students. They would run up to me just to hug me, or they would tell me about their weekend and it was nothing short of fantastic. The best part was when they would saunter into the classroom in the morning or just after lunch, and ask "Hey Miss B., are you teaching us today?" If I responded "Yes", their little fists went flying into the air while an excited "YESSSS!" slipped from their mouths. Nothing could have possibly made me happier.

It is also amazing what kinds of questions these kids will come up with. Case and point: There was another student teacher across the hall, and unbeknownst to me, was called Mr.B by his students. One day while supervising the 3/4s when their teacher had stepped out, one of my grade 3s all of a sudden turned and his face lit up like a Christmas Tree and out came the words: "Miss B., are you and Mr. B. married?"...I had no idea how I should react. Part of me wanted to burst out with laughter, but I'm pretty sure that instead my face went pink and I simply replied "No" thinking it would end there. What came out of this kid's mouth next really made me laugh. He then proceeded to ask if we were going to have babies. I turned to reply when thankfully the classroom phone rang. Saved by the Bell, indeed.

Those kids are like gold. They were respectful and always eager to help or show you their work regardless of whether or not they were on the right track. Nothing can make teaching seem so wonderful...that is until I returned to school and heard other stories from my classmates. It was unfortunate to hear that some of my colleagues had less than stellar placements. It really made me thankful that I had such a positive experience with my Associate and my students. However, it kind of makes me worried to think about what my next placement will be like. Nobody in the Upper Canada board is mean right? That's impossible. I guess I will just have to wait and see...and keep thinking positive thoughts.

Aside from school, life has been moving at a relatively quick pace. It is hard to strike a balance between having a social life and trying to find time to cram in a few extra ZZZs. Generally, I opt for sleep. These next two weeks are going to be over with before I know it. Federation meetings, Council meetings, pay bracket meetings, section rep meetings...if there is a meeting, chances are I will be there. On the more exciting end of things, our section's volleyball team has made it to the semi-finals! We will be playing on Monday...let's hope my nerves don't come back in full force again.

I am still looking for direction in my life and as much as I would like to think I am close to finding it, I know I am still lightyears away at the moment. Friends keep telling me that things will be easier once I am out of school and can reside in one place for more than 8 months at a time...I hope they are right about that too. For now, I suppose I will continue to float along in a hazy world of assignments and caffiene highs. At least there's always Christmas holidays to look forward to...

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

"Feeling Like a Star, You Can't Stop My Shine"

Stop the presses. School is back in session! 

I guess that is not really a "stop-the-presses" revelation, but nonetheless, school is back in full swing and my excitement has turned into something resembling (dare I say it!) nervousness? There has been a lot of information already being thrown out of left field and I'm expected to make the perfect catch... no pressure. While the professors obviously realize that we are new to this, I still feel as though there is so much I'm already expected to just know and be aware of, or as one professor worded it "implicit learning". While she stressed that we should know more implicit things such as walking, reading and writing by our age, I feel other skills are expected of us. But let me take you back a little, I'm kind of getting ahead of myself.

Wander back in time with me to 1 week ago. The time: 9 o'clock in the morning. The venue: the Nipissing University Theatre. The people: hundreds of strangers. My mood: bubbly and excited. 

The mood has been set, so follow me along this grand journey.

My roommate/best friend and I headed into the school at around 8:30 because I wanted to get prime seats for our big welcome to the Bachelor of Education. She wasn't feeling as eager as I was (then again, I hadn't yet met anyone as excited as myself, not to mention the time of day we had to wake up at to get into the school). We get our name tags and head in to find there were already quite a few people in there already. After taking our seats at the far side of the room, we start looking around to see if we know anyone else in the Junior/Intermediate Program--no such luck. After formal introductions were made by the President of the University, the Deans and the Student Union, it was time to be called out by our sections: a.k.a. "let's- see- who- I- will- be- making- friends- with- all- year". Surprisingly a number of my section mates were in the seats surrounding me (secretly I think we all had the sense to sit together, just sayin)'. After a rather "blah" morning of going about housekeeping issues such as finance and parking, we finally all got the chance to meet each other in our very first section meeting. Off the bat, I had made some really awesome friends. THEN, and this is some pretty awesome news, it was time to elect a section representative to be the liaison between the Education office and the rest of the section. After waiting a few seconds and seeing that nobody wanted to be rep, I raised my hand. Not even 2 seconds later, another guy raised his hand. In my mind I was thinking "Oh lovely, now I'm going to have to think up a speech on the spot to try to win votes!" However, he merely said that he was all for me being rep and that he was "sold". I won. I am section rep. More on what that entails later. 

We made it through Orientation and have officially started our classes this week (yesterday to be exact). It has been a lot to take in and I feel a little overwhelmed, but in all fairness, I had been warned by several other B.Ed graduates. I know it is going to be a lot of work, and might even entail a few tears of frustration, but overall it is going to be completely worth my while to stand up in front of a classroom of minds that I have the responsibility to mold.  That's worth a few tears in my books.

Back to the section rep duties though: I was given the honour of being able to plan events for the section and have already created a group on Facebook for my section mates to discuss whatever pressing issues they have with courses and whatnot. Within 2 days, I had an event planned and currently have about 15 of 40 members saying they will attend. What is my event you ask? A Haunted Walk in the Downtown core of North Bay. There are other things I have planned but I can't give away all of my events on here...

This year is definitely going to be one that will likely make me feel bi-polar. I know it'll be a rollercoaster ride of ups and downs, and most certainly there will be a few fits of screaming along the way too. But right now, in this moment, I am growing up. Roy Orbison says it perfectly: "The wheel of fortune takes a spin/Sometimes you lose, sometimes you win/ But you must play the game again/ Drink another cup, you're growing up". 

I just might pour another drink.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

"Am I Living It Right?"

I am not even 22 yet but I'm already going on 45. No, I don't look like a 45 year old, and I certainly do not have the life experience of someone that age; however, I do feel like I am having some kind of life crisis waiting for life to pick up and the adventure to quote John Mayer, this "must be a quarter life crisis". (I know what you're thinking, and I realize that a quarter might be 25, but let's face it, not many people make it to 100 these days.)

Everyone keeps telling me to "travel and see the world...there's nothing tying you down"...which is very true and something I just might do...once I am finished school of course. It seems life is taking a spot on the back burner once again because of an education that will be my meal ticket in the future. Four long years of university completed with one more to had better be worth it in the end.

This isn't to say I haven't had some good times over the past four years or that the next year won't be amazing. In fact, I kind of look at this year as an adventure in itself. I liken it to having Christmas all year long actually. You see, teaching is something I have wanted to do since I was old enough to be in school. (Ah, the glory days of nap time and finger painting...) Each year going back to school was something I looked forward to; it gave me butterflies in my stomach and chills up my arms. I haven't felt that way about going back to school in years, but this year is different.

This year, I get to go "back to school" shopping for professional attire and a new plaid book bag. I've bought my pens,pencils and every kind of utensil made for colouring, and of course oodles of glue for all of those crafty art projects. I'm ready to be the person who has an extra eraser to borrow or a sharpener ready to sharpen the pencil that will record history. All that's missing now is a pair of indoor and outdoor shoes, and I'm right back into the thrill of a new school year.

As excited as I am for all of the new people I'm going to meet and the fun we're going to have and memories that will be made, I was also thinking of all of the thrills I will be able to experience once I am done teacher's college. To be honest it kind of sends my head spinning. I think about going abroad to teach and make new friends in the UK, or heading to Canada's true Great White North (which I've been told is the equivalent to leaving the country without requiring a passport). I've thought about staying in school another year or two and getting my Master of Education, or just working at the local call center until a teaching job in this area opens up just for me. The options are endless and I don't know where to start. Maybe I should just put them all in a hat and pull out a winner...oh to be so daring.

I realize that nobody will read this blog, and if you you know what goes through my mind: a bunch of jumbled, ill shaped thoughts with no clear decisive outcome. But that's what lyrics are like, right? Welcome to the Lyrics of my Life.