I have had the opportunity to oversee a grade eight classroom at Glanford Middle School for the last three Wednesday visits. I want to begin by explaining how nervous and frightened I was to step into a class at that age as my first experience as a teacher’s assistant. After our first day with our partner teacher and students I was thrilled to be fortunate enough to be pushed out of my comfort zone, our partner teacher is demonstrating exactly what we are being taught to do when we have our own classrooms and students. Our partnering teacher has been an amazing role model to learn from, their use of various pedagogical approaches, exploratory speech in class discussions and their encouragement towards students learning shows how practical these skills are. In these short three weeks I have watched these children grow already and without a doubt it is in thanks to their teacher.
Growing up in school district 61 was very different when I was going through my K-12 education. I briefly went to Lakehill Elementary, McKenzie Elementary and finally Strawberry Vale Elementary which I graduated grade seven from. Following, I went to Colquitz Junior High and moved on to Spectrum High School for my final years. Looking back and comparing the grade eight students from Colquitz when I was a student to the grade eight students that I have been working with thus far at Glanford I can see the positive impact that has been made by the restructure of the school system. It has been an honour to work with these children and staff and has made me reconsider my “ideal” grade to work with in future endeavours.
Not only have I had the pleasure to work in an academic setting in the grade eight classroom, I have also had the opportunity to assist with the grade six dance club at lunch. I am looking forward to continuing this and gaining more experience with a school dance club that has a wide variety of levels. I was a competitive dancer and dance teacher at a studio, as well I was a teacher assistant at school dance from grade nine to twelve while in attendance. I hope to bring dance to any school I get to work with and am excited to get the chance to learn from the school dance teachers and see how they help to push and encourage students from all levels from beginners to skilled and competitive.
Welcome to my very first blog post!!
I invite you to follow along with me on my educational journey. I am now three weeks in my second year in the elementary education program at the University of Victoria on Vancouver Island, BC, Canada.
I have already had two visits to Glanford Middle School which have both been great experiences. I have had the opportunity to over see two grade eight classrooms and help with the grade six dance club at lunch. I start my morning in the first grade eight class and we start the day with a live video radio that is put on completely by the students. Each classroom watches on their projector screen and take part in singing happy birthday to students and staff of the school. The students putting this broadcast on include other school announcements and important information, after the school news we start our learning with social studies. Our partnering teacher allows the students to work in groups to encourage learning opportunities for all students. After they brain storm they have a class discussion which helps all students to get lots of ideas written down, the teacher writes all these ideas on the board as they give their ideas so that all children can be sure to not miss anything. After a short break to stretch their legs we move on to language arts where they have been working on an all about me project and some silent reading. We have watched videos on social media and its effects and had more class discussions on other topics.
Nutrition break is time for the kids to get outside for some fresh air, a good leg stretch and a snack. I find myself going outside for the same thing and interact with the children. It was inspiring the first day, I went outside and found the principal of the school outside saying hi and giving out high fives to the children!
We head back in for french class and the students seem to really enjoy this class, their teacher does seven minuet exercises where she starts with a sentence and builds on it so before the time is up they can have a short conversation with her. They all get involved by responding to her questions and statements out loud as a class. As long as they stay on task and fully participate at the end of each seven minuet interval they receive a point to cash in at the end of the year for a donut party!
Lunch time comes and I go to the dance studio to help with the grade six dance class, last week was the first meet and I’m looking forward to going this week! After lunch the class I have been with all day goes to the Mac lab to do their computer class. I go to another grade eight class that is in art that block. Last week they started working on their clay monsters, I’m excited to see how they are coming along when I go back this week! The last class of the day is a flex class so it’s up to the teachers discretion, last week we went on a walk with all the grade eight classes, this week we had them finish up some of their work.
I have been absolutely loving this process so far, I can’t wait for the weeks to come!
Thanks for reading,
see you next week!