I am so proud to be writing this blog as Madame Lalonde…
I want to start by saying that for the next 9 weeks I will be publishing, either a blog post or a podcast that reveals my reflections towards my placement. I am writing this so that I am held accountable!! This is not an assignment for Teacher's college - it is strictly for my own personal growth and professional development!
I am doing these reflection posts for a couple reasons:
This blog post and the upcoming ones will be divided into 2-3 themes that have emerged during the week in my reflection notes. Every day, I take the time to note my observations, thoughts and critics. At the end of the week, I will be publishing a summary of those thoughts.
De plus, ces réflexions seront parfois en anglais et parfois en français. Puisque je vis une dualité linguistique très extrême (j’étudie en français, je fais partie d’une Faculté francophone, j’enseigne dans une école francophone - mais j’enseigne English et beaucoup de mon RAP est anglophone, je veux que ces billets de blogues puissent être appréciés par tous). C’est la richesse de ma réalité et je crois que ça reflète bien ce que je vis tous les jours.
That being said, on Wednesday February 14th (Valentine’s Day and Ash Wednesday) I started my first day of my second placement at École secondaire catholique La Citadelle in Cornwall, Ontario… my old high school. And, well… aside from the flashbacks and some weird looks from some of my old teachers, it went really well!
I have to admit though: what a change of pace. Teaching 3 classes is not going to be easy.
And, compared to my University routine I was deadbeat by Friday first period. It was impossible to hold back the yawns even with my double shot Americano from Starbucks in hand.
Talking about change of pace. I need to mention the drastic change there is between being in an elementary school vs. a high school. It is a whole new world. I felt a little lost not having students line up in a straight line, proudly sing the O Canada, give stickers, come up and give hugs or ask you to open their water bottle. This is going to be a big leap and a big transition for me. I can already feel it… I am anxious to see how I am going to grow into my roll as a high school teacher.
Let’s get to the first order of business:
THE IMPORTANCE OF BUILDING RELATIONSHIPS
Even three days into my placement I know that one of my biggest challenges and goals is going to be to creating relationships with my students. Before I even started, I knew that these interpersonal relationships were going to be key to my success as a student teacher. I wanted to reach out to my students, as of my first day, in order to let them into my life. That being said, I created a fun Kahoot that allowed students to interact with me, figure out who I am, not only as a teacher but as a human being as well. I also gave them a Google Forms (Learner Profile) where I invited them to answer some questions about themselves. I am teaching a Grade 10, Grade 11 and Grade 12 English class. I have a wide range of students sitting in front of me, going through different things, with different goals and different interests. This Google Forms was such a good idea. I got some really great feedback and responses from them. I believe it was a great ice breaker…
Précédemment, j’ai mentionné l’écart entre l’école élémentaire et l’école secondaire. L’idée de créer des relations, d’après moi, est beaucoup plus facile à l’élémentaire. À mon avis, tu peux plus facilement être leur modèle et idole. Au secondaire, cette relation doit se construire plus lentement et tu dois gagner leur respect à travers de tes paroles et tes actions.
I am proud to say that I am feeling confident. At first, I was scared to feel intimidated by the students. (Considering I am only 5”4) A lot of these students stand much taller than me. Not only that, I was nervous as to how the students would react to having a student teacher in their class. All butterflies aside, these past three days were great and I am looking forward to starting a new week!
Par contre, il y a quelques fois que tu entends les élèves chuchoter entre eux: “C’est la nouvelle enseignante”. I just smile as I walk by, simply looking to make a good impression.
CELL PHONE USAGE
La bataille des cellulaires. Oh la la… C’est n’est pas aussi évident que je pensais que ça allait être. Il y a beaucoup de chemin à faire avec les élèves afin qu’ils puissent bien maîtriser l’utilisation de leur cellulaire et la citoyenneté numérique. Il faut utiliser cet appareil en tant qu’outil et non en tant qu’arme.
A huge piece of this is having them learn to resist their urge to constantly be checking their phone. Living in the present and being attentive in class is key. I am all about being connected, but there is a time and place. I am such a strong believer in embracing these devices, it will simply be an adjustment period to see what works best with my students.
The cell phone situation is going to be tougher than I thought. Je ne veux pas être la police qui circule pour dire de ne pas avoir ton cellulaire. Je veux trouver un moyen pour que les élèves ne sentent pas le vouloir ou la nécessité de le vérifier lorsque j’enseigne OÙ l’utiliser en tant qu’outil pédagogique lorsque j’enseigne!
I want to continue to be confident, believe in myself, ask questions, take risks and build relationships with students.
I cannot be more grateful for my two Associate Teachers who have been more than outstanding. Not only did they meet up with me before my first day to go over everything, but I was also given my own desk in the back of the class…
Words cannot describe how happy this made me. This space to call my own is more than I could have asked for. My AT’s classroom quickly became OUR classroom which ultimately made me feel so much more welcomed and comfortable.
We have already started working together to co-plan lessons, shared resources and suggestions concerning classroom management. They are so open to my suggestions and observation, it is extremely rewarding to have a voice but also learn from such dynamic and innovative English teachers. They ask me what I am comfortable doing and are willing to give me the space and the necessary coaching to succeed.