Sunday, 9 October 2011

A new (school) year

30 Sept.

I miss my blog! Though I do know that there are some lovely people out there who enjoyed reading my blog, I think that the blog is really just an outlet for people to feel important. Here I was, a self-proclaimed “small town girl” traipsing around London like I owned the place. Jetting off to countries all over Europe like it was no one's business. And at the end of each week I could sit down and write a blog all about ME. Because I was so important and interesting that of course people would want to read about me!
As grateful that I am for those who took the time to rad my stories, and for having the opportunity to do so many exciting things over the past year, I still think I can write something to feel important. Or even just to share the stories of teaching that so many of us teachers have – we just lack to time to share them! So, while this blog will no longer be about exciting worldly adventures, I hope that it will still bring a smile to some faces and brighten a day. I know that I always love to read something that can lighten my day.
Some examples of how kids say the darndest things:
A boy in my class was swinging between two desks in the aisle of my classroom. I asked him to stop and got that look that says: “You are such an adult. Just let us kids have some fun!” We all know the look, it's the same look we used to give our parents when they told us not to stand up on the swings. Seriously, what's going to happen?
Well, then I explained to him the reason that I asked him to stop. At my last school a young boy in grade 1 was swinging between two desks when one of his hands slipped off and on his way down to the floor his head hit the side of the desk. Might not seem too bad, except that it was his ear the hit the edge and basically tore away from his head requiring several stitches.
Now my students were looking at me with looks of disbelief mixed with slight disgust. At this point one of the girls close by me turned to her friend and said, “ I sure am glad I have ears.”
Oh, couldn't have said it better myself!

A couple days later we are doing learning some vocabulary words for our science unit on habitats and resources. This would seem like a simple task, except when you are teaching in French and this becomes more than an hour long lesson because not all of the words are in the junior french dictionary and this seemingly simple lesson slowly spirals toward disaster. Toward the end students are looking words up English and translating them into French. We are trying to come up with a definition for pollution and decided that it is something bad and unwanted in a habitat that doesn't belong there. To which one of my, let's say “challenging”, students says, “I am pollution.” I just can't help myself so I respond, “Why? You're bad and not wanted in this environment and don't belong here?” Sometimes they just make it too easy...

As long as I don't actually lose my mind reminding kids that we start writing at the pink line on our paper EVERY time, I will try to post more examples of why I love my job. The kids are pretty much the only thing that makes teaching worthwhile. We are currently in job action, and luckily are still directed to do anything that will benefit the kids. They are why we are here. But we do still need to be supported and to be compensated for the work that we do. Please support teachers, read up about what we are asking for and how our province compares with others in Canada, not to mention other countries around the world. After having been in the schools in India, I am not going to say that we are hard done by by any means. However, I do think that in a country full of prosperity, teachers are very undervalued.

That is my spiel, back to my Friday night of 'adult reading' before a weekend full of student writing, planning and class novel reading :)