It’s been 16 days since classes have ended. 10 days since my last final for my degree. And 8 days since I started solo teaching. That’s right you read that correctly, 2 days after I wrote my final exam I started teaching. Thankfully I didn’t jump head first in by myself right away and got to shadow the sub for a couple days. That was a relief.
I adore the school I am working with! It is one of neighbouring towns around where I went to school and I even played basketball with them during my grade 12. They were like my school away from school. My mom went to this school and I still have cousins growing up there. I only teach one of them and it is only a tiny bit awkward (ha!).
I teach predominately grade 5 and 6 with a little grade 7 and 8 ELA and some RTI. I honestly love teaching middle years. I know I specialized in high school mathematics and physical education, but the more I work with the middle years grade the more I think they are a right fit for me.
So here it is a quick update from the adventures of Ms. Nyhus. I wish I could promise that I would blog regularly but we all know that won’t happen because I have way to much work to be doing. I am procrastinating at the moment. This does make me rethink my plans for the future, but I am more than happy to take this challenge head on! I hope you enjoyed my short post and cheers to the weekend!
Hey everyone, here it is my summary of learning for ECMP455. Now if you’re debating about watching it I would recommend at least watching the first 3 minutes for one sole reason. I sing. I created a song and I am unbelievably proud of it because I am the least creative person every so you know click below and enjoy. The last 4 minutes is me just rambling so that is less important. Enjoy!
The other night we had the unbelievable opportunity to listen to Carol Todd. She is an amazing speaker who is extremely passionate about what she talks about. Carol Todd is an educator at Amanda Todd Legacy, where she educates parents and teachers about internet safety, mental health awareness and cyberbullying after the death of her daughter, Amanda Todd. Amanda Todd was a 15-year-old girl who took her own life after years of bullying, harassment and sextortion.
If you’ve never heard of Amanda, I would advise you to check out her video below to fully understand.
Upon hearing about what was happening in class I was very intrigued. I was curious, what would she say? Carol had every right to be angry or upset. Honestly, I expected her to be. I was blown away by how she could turn something so negative into a positive, educational way. If you get a chance to watch her TedTalk on April 16th, you won’t be disappointed.
I would love to be able to summarize her talk but for me, it would be nearly impossible. Kerrie Craske does a fantastic job of that. I would recommend checking out her posts on this talk. For me, I want to focus on to two important pieces of advice Carol gave to the class.
The first one:
When a kid turns 16, you don’t just give them the keys to the car without teaching them how to drive. So why do we hand children an iPad, tablet or cell phone without teaching them how to use it?
*cue explosion noises because my mind is blown* This simple idea is revolutionary and I would have never thought of it. I don’t remember ever getting lessons on it. I mean I wasn’t allowed on any social media site until I was in like grade 10 so maybe that why I didn’t get a lesson. But as you can see More Than Half of Children Use Social Media by the Age of 10. So why are we not educating them? We need to start educating children on the dangers of the internet and how to properly use it. StaySafeOnline.org has interesting activities to teach students ways to use the internet. They have some for k-2, 3-5 and middle & high school. We have to, both parents and educators to start teaching our students, computers are all around us and it will be better when people know how to use online space safely and appropriately.
The second biggest takeaway from the night:
We're all snowflakes in the world. Individually we can melt away but together we form a snowball: strong and forceful – @c_todd
Every single person in this word is unique. Beautiful. Fragile. Alone we can melt and disappear from the world. But together we form a snowball; strong and forceful. We can break just about anything. Carol talks about empathy, and the ability to actually just listen to somebody. Everyone needs someone who they can trust. Parents and teachers are the two most influential people in children’s lives (excluding friends), we must be open to listening to them. Carol deals with trolls in a remarkably classy way.
I know as a future educator the importance of teaching students to bring each other up instead of tearing each other down will be important both in person and online. I hope to educate the youth the importance of having a good digital identity.
What are ways we can incorporate digital identity in the classroom? What kinds of conversations must we have in order for there to be a change in the world? What were the biggest things you took away from the class?
code.org featuring the Hour of Code is an online website where students anyone can learn to code. I know in high school one of our assignments for our computer class was to create a website that had to have pictures in certain places and words with certain fonts, sizes, etc. Now it had some coding but honestly, I can’t remember it. I do remember being really frustrated when something didn’t work and I couldn’t find that mistake. But the Hour of Code is something else. It is a fun and engaging way for anyone to learn to code. I think it is generally geared to younger students but that doesn’t mean I didn’t enjoy doing one.
This first video is on level 2 of the artist level. One thing I really like was how the levels progressed from one to the other. I didn’t get discouraged right away it something didn’t go right and there was a lot of trial and error as you can see below.
After a couple levels, it got tedious having to repeat the same steps over and over again. Thankfully they introduced a repeat button. I also like how they gave hints if you got stuck at points.
On the last level of my Hour of Code, you got to basically do whatever you wanted. I decided to make a heart. It definitely took a lot of trial and error to make but it turned out awesome (or so I think)
Computer science skills … are increasinly critical as technology is where all future job growth lies. There is already a war for talent in technology that has companies like ours searching the world for the best engineers … It’s very possible that computer coding and other technology skills may become as critical as reading and writing.
But Australia, Britain and Nova Scotia have already beat B.C. to the punch to include coding in the curriculum. There are many resources to efficiently teach coding in schools with very valid reasons to do so. Coding in the Classroom is a great resource that brings anything coding related together.
Of course, it wouldn’t be complete without hearing the other side of this. Please Don’t Learn to Code is another interesting blog post. One thing that really caught my eye was at the end of the post;
Please don’t advocate learning to code just for the sake of learning how to code. Or worse, because of the fat paychecks. Instead, I humbly suggest that we spend our time learning how to …
Research voraciously, and understand how the things around us work at a basic level.
Communicate effectively with other human beings.
Another article Should We Really Try to Teach Everyone to Code is similar to the one before. These articles are not saying “we shouldn’t code because 1, 2, and 3” but are saying that we shouldn’t teach code for the sake of teaching code. We should teach these students how to express logic visually, working with other, letting go of the fear of failing and much, much more. Teach the students the benefits of coding and not just coding themselves.
What are your thoughts on coding? Is it some fade that will be considered useless like cursive writing? Or is it something more? Should be force students to learn to code? Or should we allow them to explore it on their own? Should it be mandatory? Or an elective?
Honestly, today I am lost for words. Not in the sense that something shocked or surprised and I don’t know how to respond, but in the sense that I don’t know what to write about. Usually, I have an opinion on everything and anything but today/this past weekend I’ve just been unsure of what to write. Monday is my blogging day and I try to have something posted on this day.
So I tried, really hard for my huge fan base who have been dying all day to read my post (Just kidding I have like three followers) I’ve searched my Feedly and nothing has sparked my interest. I’ve scoured twitter, #edchat seeing if anything caught my eye. Nothing. But then I was on my Tumblr and now my Tumblr hasn’t always been used as a professional account but I’ve recently switched it over from personal use. I was scrolling through my feed not really looking for anything in particular. When BAM! “A School Without Principal? Yes, really.” Shows up on my feed.
I’m instantly curious about this article. Basically to sum it up if you don’t feel the need to read it yourself (I think you should go check it out) is that there are several schools in the United States that are solely run by the teachers in the school. These schools aren’t run like public schools, they are for parents and/or students who struggle to find connections in public school. They are also an extremely project based school where the teacher teaches students indirectly.
I think that it is interesting having a school with no “top dog” for lack of a better word. How do they make sure that all teachers are consistent and similar across the board? They do mention having a vote on school policies which may work, I would love to get more information on this. But is this creating more work for teachers? It seems even if it is, it is not putting too much of a strain on teachers. One school (Avalon) has a retention rate of around 95% a year.
These kinds of school would definitely be interesting to actually take a look at. I like how retention rate is well above public schools. We always hear about teachers quitting the professional within 5 years of working but Avalon seems to be doing something right. One statistic from “Why Do Teachers Quit” says anywhere from 40-50% of teachers quit within the first five years of teaching. Which is unbelievable! I can’t imagine in 5 years hating my job that I quit.One thing I didn’t really agree with is how they say there aren’t enough principals who are supportive of teachers. Now I can’t speak for everyone but I have never had a problem with my principal being unsupportive.
One thing I didn’t really agree with is how they say there aren’t enough principals who are supportive of teachers. Now I can’t speak for everyone but I have never had a problem with my principal being unsupportive. I liked this blog post about supportive principals.
What do you think of teacher-led schools? How do you think it would be like without a principal?Do you think principals are valuable in the school? Or can they be replaced with teacher committees? Is this what we should expect in the next couple years to rise? I would love to hear other peoples thoughts!
Last week we had the opportunity to attend the Woodrow Lloyd lecture delivered by the Honourable Justice Murray Sinclair on Wednesday night instead of having our usual ECMP class. Now I couldn’t attend this lecture in person because of a wicked cold I have been battling but thankfully it was being broadcasted live and I could listen in.
Justice Sinclair explained to us how he and many other aboriginal children/people were ashamed of their heritage. When he pried from his Grandmother, “why don’t we speak Cree or Ojibwe in our home? Why must we only speak English?” and her reply was “I wanted to save your life” is the most heartbreaking thing to hear. I couldn’t imagine growing up feeling like I need to hide my heritage.
Many people don’t see how even generations later it is still affecting families. They can’t just “get over it” as I hear many people say. We need to change the way we educate ourselves. We need to change the way we educate our students. We need to better understand each other.
I find myself to be very uncomfortable with this topic because of my lack of knowledge. How can I teach if I don’t understand it myself? I am not saying the University didn’t do a good job at educating us but I feel like I don’t have enough to make a valid opinion. I was definitely ashamed seeing all my other colleagues incorporate Treaty Education into their lessons and classroom and see the amazing things they are doing. Why can’t I do what they do? Why can’t I be as confident as they are? Thankfully Justice Sinclair reassured me so I don’t feel ashamed for my lack of knowledge. I do know that to better myself and better my teaching skills I need to start becoming more knowledgeable. I need to make the first steps and start learning things I don’t know. Thankfully there are so many people willing to help and listen to my concerns and help me become the best I can be.
Lately, I’ve been thinking about dreams. Not like my last post about what goes on in your head when you sleep. But, something that you’ve wanted for so long to do or experience.
To tell you about one of my dreams, we have to go back a couple of years. 2011 to be exact when I was 16 years old. During Easter break that year I got to go to London, Paris and Rome with my Mom, my Sister and a bunch of other people.
It was a school trip that was held by a neighbouring school that anyone could sign up for. But the biggest thing, when I went over there I fell in love with London. I said on that day I would eventually come back. Honestly, if I wouldn’t have been accepted in the Education Program here in Regina, my backup plan was to au pair (nanny in another country) in London. Wouldn’t that be strange! I wonder what my life would be like.
But back to reality, I got accepted, enjoyed most moments here, and now I am on a job hunt. So how does this fit into my dream? Well, I have been looking into going and teaching in London starting in September. I’ve had several phone/skype interviews with agencies and have finally found one I like. I’m looking into schools and getting ready to meet headmasters. Somebody pinch me, please!
I am beyond excited for this experience but terrified at the same time. I have never lived on my own and now I am planning to move overseas. I’m going to miss my family, boyfriend, and fur babies more than anything, but I know I’ll regret it if I don’t do it. This has been something I dreamed about since I was 16 and now 5 years later my dream might become a reality.
Have you ever had a dream so close you could reach out and grab it? Did you ever regret not doing something? I would love to have any someone tell me about their international teaching experience.