Tag Archives: term 1

A Joyful Day – Back to School

4 Feb

How would I describe today? JOYFUL!

Well, the words that I started the day with were NERVOUS EXCITEMENT but 5 minutes into having my beautiful class in our room the word was JOYFUL.

I regret that I didn’t do a first day reflection post last year so I have decided to do a quick brain dump for future posterity.

When you receive your class list, they are students that you learn about and make name tags for but when you call their names in assembly and see their smiling faces ready to go and they become ‘yours’.  There is something magical about students walking through the door of their new classroom with their parents – eyes lighting up when they see their name tags and activities to begin the day.

A school tour (even in the freezing winds) was a wonderful way to have a bit of an adventure, give new students with important information and practice working as a team to move quickly and quietly around the school.

A game that I love to begin the year with is “Find someone who…”.  Not only is this a great get-to-know-you activity but it also provides an opportunity for me to suss out students literacy skills, reading and writing.  There is no pressure on students to get things ‘right’ and they just loved interviewing one another.  It was a beautiful chance for my older students to take the younger kids under their wing – helping with spelling and finding people to interview.

We finished the day by brainstorming what we would like the year to look like – things we would like to learn, things that will help our classroom run smoothly and words that we use to describe what our class should be.  I just adore hearing students’ ideas and feeling their growing sense of one-ness.  This is such an exciting conversation to have; knowing that these expectations, expressed by the students, are what will support them in doing their best and being successful in their learning.  The team vibe grew so quickly today and I just cannot wait to nurture it as we create a supportive classroom community.

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So, I am buzzing after a day of laughter, friendship forming and pleasant surprises.  Future self – please remember this day…in all of the nerves, sleepless nights and restless anticipation – remember that meeting your new class is joyful (and exhausting). I love how my dear teaching friend describes it: “It’s like Christmas for teachers; you are given 20 presents to look after for the year”.

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Term 1 Reflections

28 Apr

Wow – I can’t believe how much I have been struggling to write this post! School holidays are all but over and I have been feeling a serious lack of inspiration.  This has confused me because the last 10 weeks have been incredibly thought provoking – I expected that my brain would have been bursting with things to write about.  After some reflection I put this case of writers block down to my poor brain just needing a break.  I knew teaching would be hard work; I knew I would be physically and emotionally exhausted but I underestimated just how much it would wear me out mentally.

I have never been great at switching my brain off.  If I am focused on something it is usually all I talk about, think about and dream about.  School has been no exception.  So there is Goal #1 for term 2 – find something to take the focus off school work.  Even if only for half an hour.  I love knitting, have just begun sewing and adore baking and reading.  My goal for term 2 is to spend at least 1/2 an hour every day doing something totally UN-school related.

Sewing Project

Goal #2 Believe in myself.  By week 3 of term 1 I exclaimed to my poor husband – “I CAN’T BE A TEACHER!”.  I felt so completely hopeless and as though I had failed to “become” the teacher I wanted to become.  I know you’re all thinking ‘excuse me, you only gave it 3 weeks!?’ and I totally agree (in hindsight).  I placed expectations on myself to be better than everyone expected me to be, and along came a whole heap of unrealistic goals.  My wise and wonderful team leader kept reminding me “give it til Easter, you’ll feel more on top of it by then” and thankfully – she was right.  Good thing I didn’t throw in the towel at week3.

As I look back at term 1 I realise that I actually was very successful in beginning to become the teacher I want to become.  I formed relationships with my students (some came more easily than others), I created a classroom environment in which students who initially shied away from risks are now eager to ‘have-a-go’ and I engaged enthusiastically with my team as we navigated our new composite class structure.

In this first term I have discovered something.  I have discovered that I am a good teacher – not because of years of experience or my nerdy nature.  I am a good teacher because I am surrounded by caring, supportive, proactive colleagues and peers, who push me to believe in myself, challenge myself and remain accountable for the teacher I want to become.  Goal #3 Continue to help other graduates remain accountable for the teachers that they are becoming as we support one another along the way.

Graduate

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