Saturday, October 1, 2011

September: The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly

Now that September is finally over (yes, I said finally as I find it one of the hardest teaching months of the year) here's a look back at September's good, bad, and ugly.


My Class

Late August every year I start to wonder and worry about who will be in my class. It's not that I don't think I can handle any student that walks into my room, it's just that I'm curious about the challenges I'm going to take on for the year.  Last year the kindergarten teachers at my school grumbled a little more than usual as they dealt with several challenging issues.  I don't know if it's just that the children are a year older, or those that caused the grumbling moved away, but I'm really loving my class.

My class does have its issues but I feel I can handle what I'm dealing with.  One issue that is more prevalent this year than in the past is anxiety.  I have a few (far more than usual) students that suffer from anxiety but I am doing my very best to help ease their fears.  We are using a chime several times a day to calm us and help us focus on our breathing.  I have also begun using the Fun Friends social emotional program which I was trained in last year.  In addition I'll be using the Mind Up and Vancouver Canucks Fin's Friends programs.  All three work well together and will hopefully (fingers crossed) give all my students more tools to deal with life.

I am going to have a great year with my class this year.

My Class Blog

I'm really happy to report that I have my first ever class blog up and running.  I've sent my parents some information about the blog, and most  have signed permission slips to allow me to post their children's work on the blog.  We are starting to get comments on our blog and my class is super excited to respond to the comments.  We are even starting to check out other class blogs and I think my class thinks it's pretty cool that other classes are doing what we are doing.

Just this past week I introduced my class to their individual blogs.  While we have spent some time writing on our individual blogs,  nothing has been submitted to be published yet, although I know that it's coming.  I've sent home the children's individual passwords too and I'm encouraging them to blog from home.

I'm really happy to be blogging with my class.

My Personal Learning Network (PLN)

I am so thankful for the people I've "met" on Twitter.  If there is something I'm curious to know about I just ask and the answers come to me. I'm still working hard at reading professional blogs written by others, and commenting too.  One of my favourite blogs is written by a fellow primary teacher Aviva Dunsiger. She teaches a few provinces over from me but what she says resonates with me.  What I like about what she's doing, is that she's pushing the boundaries of what primary students should be able to do with technology.  I love it.  I totally thought of her when I was at a Digital Literacy dinner session with other educators.  The table I was sitting at was surprised that I was attempting blogging with my grade one class, and that my students had their own individual blogs.   I explained what I was doing,  and why always keeping what Aviva does in my mind.

I'm also thankful for #1stchat - the grade one chat on Twitter.  Every Sunday afternoon (5 pm Vancouver time) I read and learn from fellow grade one educators.  I really appreciate what the "regulars" have to say.  We all come from different school systems so we are  able to share what works well, and not so well for us.  The chat also allows me to really think about what I do and why.  It always surprises me when something I say is retweeted by others.  I really look forward to this chat each week.

I am a different, hopefully better, teacher because of my PLN.


Job Action

All the public school teachers in my province are in phase one of job action.  I don't like job action. I don't like that our contract talks have gotten us here either.  Without having a political debate on my blog I hope that all parties involved could figure out what is truly right for the people involved in educating students, and what is truly right for students.  It makes me so angry that politics gets in the way of true progress.


Postcard Project

Okay, I love the postcard project.  We've only been back at work for one month and already we have received three post cards.  So why have I posted this in the ugly?  Well.... (as she drops her head down in shame) we haven't written anyone yet!  I'm hoping I can blame it on the fact that we have only been together for one month, and really we've only been a class for two weeks.  I'm still trying to figure out where my students are at, and I'm still training my students.  I'm also on the hunt for postcards from Surrey because if I can't find any everyone will be getting postcards from Vancouver, the closest major city. Surrey is a city in Greater Vancouver, but it isn't Vancouver.  I'm quite certain my students will want their postcards to come from Surrey, not Vancouver.

So, those are the good, the bad, and the ugly from the my month of September.  What are yours?


  1. What's phase one of job action?

  2. If you do a google search on "BC Teachers Strike" you'll find the information you're looking for.

  3. Thanks for mentioning me in this fantastic post of yours! I love how you're continuing to push the boundaries of what you do with your students. I hope that things settle quickly on the political side of things, so that you can continue to enjoy your time in the classroom with your students!