Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Final Placement Begins!

Today is the first day of my last block of my practical teaching placement.  Over the next four weeks, I will be working under the guidance of two different host teachers in their respective classrooms.

I'm really looking forward to heading back out into a high school.  Last semester we had a six week block and, while it was very hard and time consuming, it was a lot of fun and I really enjoyed teaching.

On the eve of practicum last semester, I remember my biggest worry being, "What will I wear?" This may seem like a really trivial and vain thing to think, but I was nervous to go out into a school.  I would only be there for a brief time and I would be using someone else's classroom and supplies.  I wanted to make sure I made a good impression.  The only thing I felt like I had control over at the start was my wardrobe.

Now, as I'm back in the same school again, my wardrobe is not my main concern, though I still had jitters the night before.  What will my classes be like?  What will the students be like?  What material will I get to cover? How will I choose to teach it?

So much excitement!  I am looking forward to the next couple of weeks and am anxious to see what's in store.  No matter what, I'm sure it will be a wondrous learning opportunity!

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Teen Pregnancy, A Digital Story

In one of my classes this semester, we had a unit on Social Injustices.  In specific the unit was meant to explore social injustices that were found in the classroom from racism, homophobia, and prejudices based on religion or gender (and many other things in between).  As you might imagine, the topic in itself is interesting and definitely something important that, as teachers especially, we need to be aware of and consider.

For the final assignment in the unit, we had to pick a social injustice and either read some of the related literature and write a paper, or create a digital story.  I'm a little bored with writing papers so I decided that even though it might be a bit more knit-picky, I would make a digital story.

My social injustice issue is Teenage Pregnancy and I chose this topic because I remember hearing recently about a grade 9 student who found herself pregnant.  Teen mothers are prejudiced against because society often paints them as sluts and whores.  Sometimes they are kicked out of their houses and wind up living on the streets and living in poverty.  This is a social injustice.  People make mistakes everyday for which society forgives them, but becoming a teen mother is something that society can't seem to look past.

For those of you interested, here's the resulting video.


Wednesday, February 04, 2015

It's showtime!

One of my main goals for this school year was to get involved.  This final year of my university career is only eight months long and four of those months I am not actually at the University.  Despite the brevity, I still wanted to really meet people.  I didn't want to write it off simply because our time together would be shorter.  Instead, I wanted to push myself further in becoming integrated into the community and making personable connections.

So, I decided to join the musical.  Logical, yes?

I was a part of a couple of different drama troops in elementary school and loved it, but when I got to high school, I ended up taking music (I played the alto saxophone) and left my dram-anigans at camp each summer.  None of the productions during my brief acting "career" involved musical theatre (unless you count a choir I was apart of grade 3, but I don't), so I, along with many others, were coming in tous frais et sans expĂ©rience.  But the beauty of the Fac of Ed musical is that no experience was necessary.  The show's goal was inclusivity.  If you wanted to be apart of it, all you had to do was show up.  This leads to a cast and crew of around 100 people--the majority novices.

If you are in productions of any sort, this may make you cringe.  As you can imagine, when you are working with a lot of novices, things get messy.  Fast.  Vocal problems?  Check. Choreo problems?  Check.  How about coordination of singing and dancing?  Oh check! 

The past few months have been chaotic, yes, and we have sort of been bumbling along most of the time, trying to figure things out.  However, it has been so worth it.  From the theatrical side, we have come so far from where we started and things are coming together.  It's hard to believe the differences from where we were a couple of weeks ago (not going to lie, there were a few panic twinges then) to now.  I suppose that's showbiz, though.  Chaos until it's not.  From the social side, I have had the pleasure of meeting so many new people--people that I would not have even known were at the Fac of Ed because we're not in the same division.  That alone is enough to make the experience worth it.

Opening night is tomorrow and tonight we have our dress rehearsal.  Here's hoping we don't break our legs before we're through! =P

Things I've learned about France (or at least Normandy)

Well there we go, my second European country. In some ways, very similar to England (a lot of meat and potatoes, fancy churches, pay toilets...