CRANE COUNT: 820!
On Wednesday my University Consultant (UC) came to do one last observation/evaluation during my math class. The words of encouragement and praise made me feel ten feet tall :) He said that I've been able to incorporate my passions for art and my excitement about many things with a quietly respectful way of interacting with students that is triggering lots of positive behaviours. He also noted that my transitions were really effective and almost seamless. He appreciated that I incorporated art into math :) My TA told me the same today during our discussion of my final summative evaluation form. My TA told me that the only thing I could work on more is responding to individual behaviour issues more promptly and firmly to improve the overall learning environment in the class. He told me that's something he still struggles with because some students are quite difficult but you don't want to be labelled "mean." I was really happy when my TA told me that if I can master being firm when necessary, I'll be the best teacher there ever was. It reminded me of one of the things someone said at orientation at the beginning of the year: "Think of the best teacher you ever had and aim to be even better." (Or something along those lines.) Hearing my TA say that made me feel like I'm one step closer to that goal!
The thing that impressed him most with my practicum was the way I incorporated art and music into subject areas such as math, which he wouldn't have thought of. He also said that I have a great way of planning activities that engage students in their learning. :D With all this wonderful feedback I feel like I need to work even harder to become even better! There's always room for improvement but it's good to know that my mentors like the way I do things!
Today was such a crafty, papery wonderland type of day in my classroom! Yesterday I had faced my fears of high places and climbed atop a ladder to hang strands of cranes from the ceiling. This morning, my TA decided we were all going to make giant snowflakes which are also hanging from the ceiling! Then, for math I finished off teaching them how to use paper fortune tellers to practice their multiplication facts (involving more origami.) At the end of the day I got everyone to make giant paper cranes and then spent the rest of the day with more paper folding! I thought that the kids would be extra crazy because they have been stuck inside for all the recesses this week, but they weren't so bad! We are now less than 180 cranes away from success!!!
Yesterday we finished reading Sadako and I almost cried. Luckily I didn't, but it really was sad, and I think the students felt it too. I got each of them to write down a wish on a small square piece of paper so that I could read them and then fold them into cranes after. Here are some of my favourites:
"I wish the atom bomb never happened."
"To make peace in the world."
"I wish my grandma roberts can live till she is one hundred."
"Our hearts to be filled with joy."
"I wish the atom bomb never existed so Sadako could be with her family in peace."
"I wish everyone can have a happy life."
I've gained so much from this short practicum. I wish I didn't have to leave already. There are still two more days before I have to say goodbye, but I feel like I've been trying not to think about it for a long time. I know that I'll probably be one of those teachers who cries at the end of the year when her students leave for the summer or the next grade. Let's keep it together and don't break down in front of the kids now! I think as soon as one of them hugs me the waterworks are going to start. I can already picture it. If only they weren't so far away in Cardston...then I could go visit even after practicum was finished! I still visit my ED2500 practicum teacher once in a while!
As sad as I am that there are only TWO DAYS left, I'm excited to be teaching all day on Monday! My TA said I can do whatever I want so I'm teaching them a full Japanese lesson, and the rest of the day will be art! Then, on Tuesday I won't be teaching but I will set up the room for a mini art show and then have a sort of farewell party at the end of the day. I haven't worked out all the fine details yet, but I have a few days!