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Courtney Langton

Courtney is an aspiring high school teacher. Her teachables are History and English, but she's happy to teach anything that doesn't involve numbers or formulas. Her particular interest is in promoting gender equity and anti-oppression both in and outside the classroom. She writes a detailed To-Do list every morning, and enjoys nothing more than a good book and a plate of bacon on a rainy Saturday.

Jonathan Wong

Jonathan's primary interest is moral education. His teachable subjects are English and Music. He encourages critical thinking and hopes to teach his students to recognize, and strive for, what is truly important to them without forgetting to be compassionate, tolerant, and open-minded along the way. He likes making analogies and his favourite is one that compares life to jumping on a trampoline.

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ARCHIVES: June 2009 July 2009 August 2009 September 2009 October 2009 November 2009 December 2009 January 2010 March 2010

First Impressions - The Prac Edition
Monday, October 5, 2009

I was supposed to leave the house at 7:15 this morning. I woke up at 7:30. A rather dubious start to what amounts to be a rather important segment of my professional career. Fortunately, I still managed to get to school 20 minutes before the bell rang so there's "the first glitch" ticked off my "things that will inevitably happen to the best of us" list.

As with every school I've taught at, the first day has made me extremely tired due to the large intake of new information. We also coincidentally had a staff meeting after school so the day was prolonged even further than one might expect. The good news is that I've pretty much got my English plan laid out: I'm teaching the entire poetry block this round, followed by Lord of the Flies in November/December. I'm probably going to sprinkle in some grade 12 philosophy here and there. Music, apparently, will have to wait until the winter term so this means I won't be doing my third block in a grade 7/8 class. Slightly disappointing but something I can live with.

I also never really know exactly how much we're supposed to do during the times when our host teacher is conducting a lesson. I usually stick to the "just sit on the side and observe" tactic because I worry that I might cramp his/her style if I say anything. This also usually means that when it comes time for me to teach my lessons, my host teachers tend to stay off to the side as well. At the same time, I then worry that I should be doing something useful with myself. I mean, I am doing something useful: I'm following the lesson because I want to ensure that I understand what I can expect from my students as far as prior knowledge when it comes time for me to teach. But that's not really observable. So far, I've not actually had any problems with what I've been doing but you never know.

All in all, it was a fairly typical first day (minus the fact that I didn't arrive notoriously early like I am wont to do on first days). In fact, it went almost exactly like how my other practicums have gone. And it's kinda funny that way. The faculty of education made this year's practicum sound so different from the ones we've had in the past - all that stuff about formative and summative assessment, having a strict progressive schedule, the three-hour team meetings - but now that I'm actually in the school, it feels exactly like every other prac I've ever had. In fact, I daresay it sounds like my workload for this first block will be even lighter than my workload in previous practicums. Second semester, when I'm full-on teaching grade 12 English and Music, 3 periods a day... that might be a different story.

Jonathan posted at 6:14 PM - Comments (3)

3 Comments:

Other than the leaving late thing, it sounds like your first day went very well. Glad to hear. How are your students? Do you like your associate teacher?

By Blogger Ashley, at October 5, 2009 at 7:57 PM  

"I'm teaching the entire poetry block this round."

Cue laughter.

You must be thrilled.

By Blogger Christian H, at October 5, 2009 at 8:46 PM  

P.S. There's a surprise for you on my blog.

By Blogger Ashley, at October 5, 2009 at 9:19 PM  

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