I'm Maija and I was born in December!
I hope you enjoy reading my thoughts on many topics!

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Week 2 at Harlin State School

Monday – Arrived at school early to find ideas for my four-week art unit I am to do with the students. Found some great ideas, which I will post about on the day I do it, and hopefully post pictures too with them. I did an English lesson with the Year 2 on Adjectives and how they create feeling in stories.  We had class photos which I got to be in, felt odd being in them and I kept thinking of one of my own school class photos where there was a prac teacher in it and how I could never remember who they were. I don’t think these children will remember me sadly but hopefully they will still learn something from my 6 weeks in their classroom. Even if it is to sit still and stay quiet. Just joking, that’s not just what they will learn. During lunchtime, my mentor teacher went home sick leaving me with the afternoon session to teach. I had already been planning to do the art lesson then so I planned to do that on top of reading a story and organising the show and tell section of the afternoon. It went well in my mind…considering all the possible bad things that could have taken place. The worst problem I did not know what was happening inside the classroom while I was outside with the small group who were painting their colour wheel. Overall the day went according to plan and fairly well. Tomorrow it seems I may be on my own without my mentor teacher and without a substitute teacher. Tomorrow I will learn how important teacher aides are in the classroom!

Tuesday – Arrived at school to hear the good news that a Substitute teacher had been found for the day…phew! She had never been to this school but she turned out to be very good and I did end up running a few lessons anyway. Today I learnt how to team-teach and I loved it. If only there were enough teaching spaces available as well as teachers to have two teachers per classroom! That would be so ideal!

Wednesday – Not much really happened today…the days this week are feeling a bit the same now…I just want the students to hurry up and finish writing out ‘Goldilocks and the three bears’ which we wrote together as a class. We started on Tuesday. I got the year 2’s who had finished writing it to type it up.

Thursday – Still writing and typing….yawn…I couldn’t get any actual teaching instruction in today or yesterday but that’s ok…made it more relaxing for me but I kind of want them to move faster…can I say that? Lol Oh well…patience Maija. The best thing I got to do today was maths activities with the Preps…so my second year subject (EDU341) came in handy with activities that check for maths skills. Such as subitising, counting on and naming the numbers. So I was pleased that I was actually able to use the knowledge that I had learnt at uni!

Friday – My teacher left early today again…but it was just during lunch and the next part was music with the PE/Music teacher so I didn’t have to do much. But before that I was still supervising my lesson on ‘Goldilocks and the three bears’ while the students were still writing and typing. I plan that next week they will be doing something different. 

Friday, October 12, 2012

Week one - Prac at Harlin State School

Sunday – arrived in town while the temperature was like 37 degrees! I was sweltering! Had trouble getting to sleep because of the loud trucks coming up over the hill and passing my room and the stuffy heat. Unfortunately I could not get the air con working.

Monday – woke up fairly refreshed ready for the day ahead of me. Before I left for the school (a minute’s walk across the road) I fortunately and unfortunately found that the air con cord had been unplugged and been hiding behind the door night before. I went to school with the hopes that tonight I would not be sweating in bed now I had air con! My positive attitude was slightly crushed when I arrived in the classroom and my Mentor teacher (also the school’s Principal) looked at me confused and said “I forgot you were coming” WHAT?! I have a six week prac with you and you forgot? I immediately went to blaming the uni for not notifying her enough…when in actual fact it probably was mine for not emailing her the week before…but oh yeah…I had three huge assignments so I had no time! Anyways my teacher said that it was good to see me anyway and immediately put me onto doing a task. The task was to choose books from the library for the English Fairy-tale/Folktale unit for the term. We went through the class timetable/routine. And after that I began to feel like I was in a paid position already as I went around doing odd jobs like a teacher aide. Come afternoon I was already given the opportunity to organise an art activity. I came up with a fantastic idea that each student makes a leaf or two and we make a bean stalk to follow along with the day’s fairy-tale of Jack and the Beanstalk.
 I was also given the task of taking the Year 1’s for a maths lesson on addition. I loved this because as I carried it out I used my teacher-senses and observed that one girl was struggling so I got her to work on the small whiteboard with me while the other students did individual work. That night I went to bed feeling great because I knew I had already grown in leaps and bounds in confidence since last year’s prac. Also cool with the air con and the fan both on J
Tuesday – Today I was set for observing a substitute teacher while my Mentor acted out her Principal duties while the school was being audited (The result was great). I set about organising a lesson for Thursday (the day I am meant to teach next) and assisted where needed. The best part of the day was in the afternoon when nothing specific had been planned but it turned out two huge trucks with Camels had parked themselves across the road from the school. So the sub teacher took the class across the road then spent the rest of the afternoon doing camel activities…including singing “Alice the Camel” as loud as the students could.

Wednesday – Another day of just observing and continuing to build repertoire and relationships with and amongst the students. I also carried out a spelling test of 70 words with the Year 2 students. A lot of Behaviour Management was required here! After that I was helping a Year 1 student count in 5’s from 50 to 145. That was an uplifting time for both me and the student as I found myself naturally asking questions and giving prompts when needed and the students found herself becoming more confident in what she was doing as well as building confidence! I was amazed at my ability and hers! I told her that I wanted her to go through it with me again after lunch and as I walked into the classroom, she came to me willingly asking if she could go through them! And she did! I was cheering! Had the best night’s sleep that night, despite feeling disconnected from my ‘home’ world/life. Also today I had to draw some characters from Cinderella. I don’t consider myself a great artist but when the students saw my work they were asking for drawing lessons! My homework this weekend (given by the students) is to learn how to draw an airplane, jet, bird with crest, cat, dog and a helicopter!

Thursday – Today was my first day with an actual planned lesson on this prac. From the lessons I did I learnt that it is most important to be flexible and to not stress if things are not going according to my plan. Flexibility means to be working with the students and finding where they are at and to go from there and make a path towards the lesson’s objectives. Therefore, I learnt today that the most important part of planning is the objectives…, which I did! Thankfully! I’m starting to feel like my mentor is very different from my past prac teachers…don’t know if it is the culture of the school or the pedagogy (teaching practice) of teacher. I won’t say anything yet until I see her in action more though. She keeps telling me that this week is very hectic because it is first week back in term 4 and there was the audit. So I hope I see improvement in her teaching practice in the coming weeks. One things for sure I have already found myself analysing how I would be as a teacher if this class was my actual classroom….the conclusion is that I would definitely be more organised and not a Principal as well as a teacher! But I applaud my mentor for all the effort she does put into the school!

Friday – Today I got a sore throat because of the *ahem* behaviour management I had been doing…the students were constantly talking! Ahhh. But it was a good test of my ability to manage behaviour and found the best way to do so is the clap strategy…I clap they repeat. No stress on my voice! That was during a diagnostic spelling test which was new to me but I learnt how to do it so yay! From Wednesday’s drawing time I was finally able to give three students who kept asking for them a drawing lesson on how to draw a prince.
And there ends my first week at prac! I hope you enjoy reading my experiences! 

Deja Vu.....Deja Vu?

On Thursday, I had an experience of Déjà vu. Two weeks ago, I had another experience of it. Both times, I know that the first time I experienced them was through dreams several years ago.
The dream I remember I had that collided with today’s experience was this: I was standing in a room, a classroom. I was standing on one side of the teacher’s desk and a female teacher was sitting on the other side. A little girl came up and the three of us talked about something and then the little girl left and a boy came up and we talked about something else. This may not seem legit but when it all happened today, I remembered the exact conversations I had in the dream too but now I come to writing them down I cannot remember what they were about because I have had such a busy day with so many conversations in it. However, today when all of this happened it became clear to me this was déjà vu from a dream I had years ago!
Now I am going to explain my thoughts/ opinions/ theory on déjà vu. I believe in God and how he has plans for each and every one of us but He will not share these plans with us plainly and simply.  I believe He knows everything that is going to happen ages before it even happens. Therefore, my theory is that God has placed our plans into our dreams and locked them away into our brains somewhere where we cannot access them except when we dream and He chooses. Therefore, when we have a dream that seems almost real that is part of God’s plan for us but we don’t know it yet. Then we forget about them. Then one day the exact same event from our dream happens in our real life and we go “I JUST HAD DÉJÀ VU!” And we name it simply as that…déjà vu. Not even considering that God had a part of our life planned out and had shared it with us in our dreams… a place where things never seem true.