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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.

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

Re: First Impressions - The Prac Edition
Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Well, my ridiculous commute put me through the wringer in a big way the past two days, but things are finally starting to get ironed out now. As of today, I'm proud to say that I didn't return home wanting to collapse in a puddle of exhaustion! Thank heavens for small victories.

I've started leading extended activities, marking presentations and doing one-on-one essay help already, but tomorrow will be my first full official classes as a teacher candidate. I'm teaching a lesson on poetry analysis, specifically looking at e.e. cummings, and I couldn't be more excited about it. e.e. cummings is real, rich poetry, the kind of poetry that makes you cry and makes you appreciate all other poems, and I want the kids to see that. My only goal for this lesson (it's actually two sections of the same class, which is helpful for honing my skills and strategies) is for my ESL students to leave the room feeling that poetry matters, that someone out there took the crazy, confusing, impossible feelings they feel every day and turned them into something beautiful. 

I'm got some good creative activities and I'm working around their reluctance to participate in class discussions by giving them time to write down their thoughts before they have to share them, so we'll see how that works tomorrow. I do find that I'm my own harshest critic when it comes to teaching, but I also think that by identifying my mistakes I can learn from them right away and modify my teaching. When you have the same course two periods in a row, learning from your mistakes becomes very convenient!

I did initially feel like my prac was just a repeat of being in a ConEd placement, but that feeling is fading as I'm getting more responsibility. I also wish I could stay a bit longer in the afternoons and come in earlier in the mornings, but alas, I'm bound by the bus schedules. I definitely could not survive this month without my wonderful boyfriend and his support, coffee-making, dinner-cooking, etc etc.  

It does look like there's a possibility that I might be at another school for my second and third blocks, since History is my main teachable and apparently there may not be anyone willing to take me on at my current school. That's another game of wait and see, I suppose. On the one hand, I would loooove to be somewhere closer to home; on the other hand, I really like my school, my associate teacher, and the ESL program-- and the ESL experience is what will really make or break the job hunt.

Anyway, those are the crazy things that have occurred in the last three days! In the next three weeks I'll be teaching a unit on Fast Food Nation, which should yield some really fun resources and activities.

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