Cassandra's Education Blog

Wander with me on my journey...

Page 2 of 3


Well, my picks came last week and boy is that a saving grace! My strings arrived today and I will be bringing them to music class on Friday in a couple days, one of my peers has offered to teach me how to string a guitar, so thats really neat, not only will I be learning how to play the instrument, I will also be able to have a deeper understanding of the mechanics, I am still working on tuning and my grandfather has lent me six harmonicas (two of them are in C), they are in chords A, C, D, E and G. I was on the phone with my grandpa telling him about school and how learning the guitar was working for me and he suggested to borrow these so that I could help gain a better ear for the chords and tuning by ear, currently my method has been asking someone with experience for help or using an app that a peer had suggested.


My practice time has still been in short durations due to my strings being so tough and making my fingers sore. It was nice to know that I’m not just being a whiner, I tried using a friends guitar and noticed a huge difference in the feeling of the stings. The guitar I have is my sisters and she has already had it for ten years, and she was the second owner, so I have no idea when they were last changed, if ever. I am really excited to get these strings on and start practicing more, as I said, this is my sisters guitar, she got it as a hobby in high school and took some lessons but never got to the point of playing a song, so the poor thing has pretty much just sat there collecting dust over the years. It spent a period of time with our best friend who also wanted to learn to play, she was trying to self teach and unfortunately did not have as much progress either. I feel like she needs to be played and enjoyed, I am excited to break the trend and let her do what she does best, plus, how cool will it be when I am up at the lake and can actually play something for my friends and family.

Anyways, see you soon!

Class Communication

Teaching is an interactive process involving the teacher and the students. Communication skills are lucrative and play a fundamental role in these relationships and can be communicated both verbally and non-verbally. Children pick up on our body language and facial expressions and interpret them at face value.

The way we position ourselves in front of children exposes our attitude, confidence, competence, interests and concerns and will create an atmosphere within the classroom. As teachers, we need to be in tuned not only mentally but also kinesthetically with our students and we need to feel how they are moving and be actively moving along with them.

Facial expressions are a great way to express emotions and direction to people of all ages and in general people are very responsive to these actions. Children particularly judge a person based on facial expressions, making eye contact and smiling are simple and trainable ways for one to encourage, and help children feel included in activities. Making eye contact in any setting with as many children as possible will help more individuals to feel included and ready to participate in the activity presented.

When in a larger or more spread out setting, it is important to enhance your expressions, one way in amplifying your direction is by using hand and body gestures along with your facial and verbal directions. These may be more exaggerated in particular settings, as well, it may be more beneficial to use no vocals and strictly rely on gestures, signals and a whistle or other attention-grabbing devices.

When and how we speak are very influential and can encourage or discourage children, or most people for that matter. Practicing effective speech with students while working with them will create a habit of having open dialogue with your students to allow growth and stimulation. This will also create an atmosphere where they are more aware of your presence and help enhance a productive environment and conversations.

Here is a reflection of my school visits to Glanford Middle School

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.

Already three weeks of practicing, I’m not very good, YET!

I have ordered picks and new strings!! I cannot wait to get them! I have been trying to practice but at the same time haven’t been very successful. My strings and picks aren’t here yet, so I am trying to practice bare hand and am getting sore fingers so quickly. I have already learnt how hard this skill is on one’s hands, this is something I didn’t even take into consideration. I hope my items arrive soon; they should help! Online, I can see that the picks should be here in the next couple days, which is awesome! Unfortunately, my strings will take a couple weeks to arrive, hopefully the company is overestimating the time expected and they get here quicker than expected. I really need them to get practicing more! My chord fingers are getting bruised and sore, when I practice it hurts and I have finger indents that are very tender. My strumming finger has lost its nail tip and my cuticles are torn up and tender, this shows me that when I am practicing my strumming with a sore finger I am letting it bend and using the top side of my finger rather then the tip. Until next time!

Update!! Here is how learning guitar is going…

Well, I have been so fortunate to connect with a peer in our cohort! He has a strong musical background. We connected and he helped me to tune my sister’s guitar, he showed me how to tune it myself, and then helped me with the second song I have choose as it seems to be more challenging. We worked on the chords I had to learn and although he wasn’t sure of the exact names of these chords, he was able to play the piece and help teach me. I took photos of his hands playing the chords in the same sequence they will be played in the song. I also videoed his hands so I can watch and practice along with the video. We “jammed” for a little while and I learned that, one, I needed picks! My fingernail and cuticula was getting torn up almost instantly, my chord fingers were also extremely sore from pressing down on the strings, we’ll have to see how this goes.

My first music blog, follow along while I learn the guitar

Welcome to my first music blog post! This is where you can follow my journey while I learn to play the guitar. I look forward to learning a new skill, but, at the same time I am nervous at how challenging this will be for me. I have never played an instrument before and would not consider myself musically inclined. With that being said, I was a competitive dancer for many years and also taught dance and choreographed pieces, so I know that I have a feel for music. This will be a completely different experience as I am the one making the music and not just moving along with it. I choose the guitar because my sister had one that I could borrow. Her and our childhood best friend both have tried to learn and have quit before becoming successful with enough skills to play a song. I hope to be able to teach them both one of my songs after I have mastered them myself. I am also a little nervous about how much my professor thinks I am able to do. I had a song with three chords that I chose to master. I thought I would work on the individual chords and strumming patterns without using chords for our midterm assessment, and then work at putting them together to make the song for my final. Our professor thought that I was capable of more, so we added another song to my syllabus. I was thrilled to hear that she thought I was capable of achieving more! I hope to accomplish all the goals I have set but do feel overwhelmed due to the amount of time I expect is needed to achieve these goals. Currently, I am enrolled in six classes at the University of Victoria and on top of that have a day for practicum, in order to stay afloat with my bills, I also have to work, I run my own cleaning company and as we all know business owners are very busy.

The Importance of Physical Education

Physical activity is lucrative to every person’s well-being, personal and physical development. A healthy diet, positive mental health practice(s), and regular exercise create a platform for an all-around better well-being for all individuals. Physical and mental development does not discontinue at or after childhood, both are continuous, developmental exercises that can shape the outcome for our later years. In regard to my personal response of the importance of physical education to childhood development, I believe that students’ personal performance and their weight should not be tracked, I feel that their personal information should not be shared with others and students in no way should feel ashamed or discouraged by this information. However, if the standards students are held to and measured against are fair and obtainable, I believe it could be beneficial by allowing students to improve in areas of need.

Understanding Privacy Online

In class we discussed FIPPA, which is the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act. I have always been aware of being “safe” online, to me that meant to not give personal information to sites that you are not sure about their security and reliability. When I used to think of online safety and privacy I would also think about the traditional “don’t give your information to a stranger online”, as you can see, my safety concerns online only barely scratched the surface. Learning about FIPPA has given me a deeper understanding of the importance of online privacy and the protection of information. In a teaching role, I believe it is fundamental that we provide our students with all the pertinent information and skills so that they can make informed decisions. I feel the way FIPPA incorporates ideas of consent is also very important, in particular, the clarification and promotion of the proper way one asks for consent and what consent looks like in an online sharing situation.

Learning about FIPPA was very interesting to me, I believe it was a very important discussion to have and feel more confident in discussing online privacy with my future students. I am glad that we learnt about FIPPA and will be able to inform others of this information.



Welcome to my first education technology blog post!

This week has been exciting, I got my website up and running!! I learned how to use word press and create this website, how to make pages and load blog posts for public and private viewing.

This is my second blog post and I’ll be adding more for my other classes as time goes on. My tech class is providing me with the tools I needed to have all my information in one place, available for myself and all others to see.

Thanks for stopping by!

See you next time!

Welcome to my blog!

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!

« Older posts Newer posts »