Thursday, 19 December 2013

My New Job!

Hello everyone! I have yet to receive a call into work this morning, giving me the perfect opportunity to FINALLY make a blog post!

I have some very exciting news to share: as of Januray 6th I will be a year 4 teacher!!! (equivalent to grade 3 in Canada/US). I am also moving. Tomorrow. Across the country. Mind you, the country isn't huge but I will be travelling about 5 hours to the lovely city of Portsmouth.

Then, on Sunday I am boarding a plane for Canada to come home for Christmas - talk about a busy week!

I am very excited and nervous to have my own classroom. I had the opportunity a few weeks ago to observe in my new class for a few days, all my new students seem very sweet and the staff are all very friendly and helpful. Here is a pic of the front of my new room. (Note the One Direction advent calendar on the floor under the chart paper!)

I'm sure I'll be posting more frequently now that I'm going to be putting resources together for my walls and working on getting my guided reading groups ready (any ideas for guided reading activities would be greatly appreciated!).

Here is my funny story for the week:
I was teaching a year 1 class this week that I've had several times before. While making a frame around their picture of themselves with Santa (he visited them at school last week) I had this conversation with one of my students,
Student: "That's not the real Santa, he has a watch!"
Me: "Santa can't have a watch?"
Student: "No!"
Me: "Why not?"
Student: "Because it makes him look silly."
I couldn't help but laugh because he was so serious about it.

I hope you are all having a great last day(s) at school and that you have a (relatively) stress free holiday!

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Sunday, 17 November 2013

What I've Been Up To

Hello blogging friends!

It has been a very long time and I'm sorry. I have been very busy working hard and doing a little travelling.

I have been getting a lot of work lately, I even received two week and a half placements back in October (It was so nice to be able to stay in the same classroom for a while!). I have come to the conclusion over the past two and a half months that I without a doubt love my job! (Although there have been a few days where I've had to ask myself why!)

Here are a couple little gems that students have made for me over the past month or so:

I believe this is dinosaurs...or fireworks

This is a firework

Here in England we have half term breaks instead of little holidays throughout the year, so about two/three weeks ago we had a whole week off of school. I went back to Portsmouth for the week and had an amazing time. I stayed with a Canadian friend of mine and we had a belated Canadian Thanksgiving. Doesn't that look delicious?

Last Friday I supplied at a school having a Wild Wild West Day for the students. here I am in my sparkly purple cowgirl hat.

As a supply teacher trying to control a class of young students during a 'fun day' I had a bit of a hectic day, but the students had fun. 

I hope you are all keeping well. I will try my best to keep you all posted more frequently.

Happy Monday (If there is such a thing!),

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Monday, 30 September 2013

Funny questions and Grilled Cheese

Hello blogging buddies,

I'm sitting here in my bedroom blogging because I wasn't called into school today *sad face*. Now that I actually have time to write a blog post I thought I would share a few humorous stories. Without further ado here are my top 5 favourite questions I've been asked by my students so far:

5. Do you know Justin Bieber?
4. Do students in Canada really go to school on Saturdays? (I'm not sure where they got this idea from?)
3. Do you have to dig your car out of a snow bank every day?
2. Do you have bears in your backyard?
1. Are you from Canadia?

I'll be sure to add more hilarious questions as they happen. The Canadia one still cracks me up...

Now, onto the grilled cheese. I was out at a pub with my housemate ...enjoying the culture of course... when we got onto the topic of what we were going to eat when we got home. My housemate stated that he was going to 'grille' cheese on toast in the broiler (called a grille here). I of course asked why he didn't just make a grilled cheese. The man had absolutely no idea what I was talking about, he said they 'don't have that here'. So, being the wonderful roommate that I am I took him home and made him some - he was very hesitant and told me that he wasn't sure he was going to like it. A few bites later he looks me in the eyes and says 'How did we not know about this?!'. Long story short, he's had 5 grilled cheese sandwiches this week. You're welcome England.

I hope you are all having much more exciting Monday's than I am! Let me know if you enjoy hearing my silly stories and I will try to include some more.

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Sunday, 29 September 2013

I'm Still Alive!

Hello there! I know it's been forever since I've made a post (Sorry!), I have been so busy with my first few weeks of work, and I've been neglecting taking pictures.

Teaching has been going well so far, I am getting a lot of positive feedback! My agency had a workshop and social evening yesterday to allow us an opportunity to meet the other Canadian, Australian, and Irish teachers. As I was talking with my consultant, he told me that one of the schools I've worked for only requests me now when they call!

The supply situation here is very different than back in Canada. Each school board does not have a specific 'supply list' that they must offer jobs to first and do in a particular manner. Here, each school has their own person in charge of obtaining cover teachers, and they may pull from any agency. If you as a cover teacher do a good job and the school really likes you, they will call your agency and request you personally.

I'm quite proud of the fact that I've been able to attain this status at a school after only being there for two different days.

I was also called in to a secondary school this past week (cue the horror movie music). I'd been told a lot of negative things about secondary schools and students from people I know around my area, so I was really nervous going in to it. Luckily, I emerged unscathed and the school even wanted to hire me full time at the end of the day. My consultant kindly declined on my behalf (cue sigh of relief).

I've been doing some fun non-teaching related activities as well. Last weekend my housemate and I took a trip into Norwich, where I finally tried eating at a Nando's (which is a big chain here, and I believe there are a few in Canada too - and the USA). Of course, I've also been to a few pubs... you know to, um, experience the culture...

I haven't taken any pictures this week, but last week I did manage to finally find the Lowestoft beach, so I will share a few of those pictures with you.

This is the paved area leading to the boardwalk. There are fountains in the ground that shoot straight up in different patterns.

This wind turbine reminds me of home.

Well, there you have it! I hope to be back to blogging more frequently now. I hope you all enjoy the rest of your weekends!

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Tuesday, 17 September 2013

First Day!

I've just returned from my first day of teaching! Yesterday was officially my first day on the roster, but I didn't get a call. I was a bit downhearted, but my flatmate assured me that someone would fall ill or have a heart attack today (his words. not mine!). Luckily (for me, not the sick teacher), I was called in at the last minute this morning. I literally got to the school as they were taking the register (attendance). I had a wonderful class of year 3 (equivalent: grade 2) students, who were quite well behaved.

It took a few minutes to get myself sorted, there are a few things that are done a little differently here. (For instance, each lesson has a learning objective that is written on the board for the students to see. If they are doing an exercise in their notebooks they write the LO at the top o their page). To add to the mayhem of a very first day substituting in a foreign country we had a surprise fire drill. Hooray! It wasn't too bad actually. The nice thing about classrooms in England is that nearly every class has a teaching assistant in addition to educational assistants for exceptional students. Thus, I had two other adults in the classroom to help me out today (as a supply this helps so much for keeping respectful behaviour!).

The day ended up flying by, in a good way. It felt so good to get back into the classroom! The classroom teacher had been away a couple days and the assistant teacher wasn't sure if she'd be back tomorrow. She said that if she wasn't she'd put in a good word for me to come back. By the time I got home my agency consultant had already called the school, then called me to tell me about the rave reviews the school had given me.

The steps to acquiring a substitute teacher here are much different than at home. If you make a good impression on a school, they will most likely call and request you specifically to come back. This makes me so glad that I made a good impression today.

I hope you are all having good weeks!

Here's a snap of me ready for work this morning:

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Saturday, 14 September 2013

My Supply Bag

It's Saturday! I hope you are all enjoying your weekend thus far.

I am quickly coming up on my official start date, September 16th (this Monday!), so I wanted to share the contents of my supply bag with you. I finally put everything into my pretty bag this morning.

 The books I have packed in my bag include: Elementary Teacher's Discipline Problem Solver (A GREAT read, it covers almost every problem you could encounter with a student and how to solve it, in numbered steps), Super Sub (Substitute ideas and tips), 100 Ideas for Primary Supply Teachers, Five- Minute Fairy Tales (I picked this up at a local thrift shop for £1.25. I thought this would be good for days that there are no lessons left, there are many literacy activities that can be quickly thought up around fairy tales), Eenie Meenie Manitoba (A collection of Canadian poetry), Miss Nelson is Missing! (To go along with the My Teacher is Missing worksheets), and finally my map of Suffolk with all the nearby schools circled.

Here are my two sets of activities purchased from TPT. First, is the My Teacher is Missing! Sub Plan Pack created by Christina over at Second Grade Sugar and Spice. Second, is the Mystery Box activity created by Abby over at The Inspired Apple. I'm really excited to give these both a go!

Here is the mystery box I've created (It's small enough to fit in my bag to take to school every day).

My mystery box has a globe inside! I've been trying to think up clue ideas for far I have 'it's round', I have some brainstorming to do tomorrow (unless any of you have ideas).

 A clip board, just in case.

Stickers! Also, sticky notes, scissors, calculator, calendar, and adorable maple leaf stamper.

Pencil case with all of the essentials.

And of course a cute lunch pail.

Well, that's my supply bag for now. Hopefully I'll survive my first week. Wish me luck, and let me know if you have any other supply teacher suggestions!

Enjoy the rest of your weekend!

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Friday, 13 September 2013

Budding Blog Link Up

Hi there friends! Today I am linking up with I Heart Recess for her Budding Blog linky party. This is a linky party for baby blogs such as mine that still have less than 200 followers.

The idea is to answer some questions about my blogging and teaching in order to give a 'preview' of my blog to other readers out there.

1. Why did you start blogging?
I have been a blog 'stalker' for the past six months (since my buddy Lisa B showed me the light while I was her student teacher). During the summer Lisa shared that she had begun her blog, Grade 4 Buzz. I was intrigued, but was unsure that I had any useful information to share on a blog myself. I finally got the courage to take the plunge myself and start blogging about my experiences as both a new teacher and a 'foreign' teacher. Hopefully, I am providing useful information for those teachers just starting out, as well as gaining a wealth of information from the blogs that I now follow.

2. What is your favourite subject to teach and why?
I have to say that this one is a toss up between social studies and literacy, which I think is okay because they can be combined quite a bit. I love how interested and excited students get over social studies, it is a great subject to incorporate hands on examples into (for example, last year in my grade 4 placement class I implemented a ' black death simulation' activity that the kids loved. There is so much you can do with literacy and social studies (which is probably why my supply teaching bag is full of literacy activities, but not much else...)

3. Describe your teaching style.
I'm not sure I've fully developed a 'teaching style' yet, I would say that it's still in development. I try to keep my cool in the classroom (what's that saying about the duck looking calm on the surface but kicking its legs like mad under the water?), and really understand what is causing certain behaviours. I enjoy having fun with my class and creating interactive lessons, but this only works when you have a class dynamic that allows for it. As a supply teacher (starting in a few days), my biggest hope is to be able to hang onto the control of the classroom and be respected (wish me luck!).

4. Give three interesting facts about you.
     1. I love to paint my nails. In fact I was famous for it in my last placement. (Painting my nails is actually on my agenda for today!)
    2. I have a big of a shoe shopping problem.... I actually brought 11 pairs of shoes with me to England.
    3. I really enjoy cooking. I've been told that I have a knack for throwing the right combinations of foods and spices together.

5. Do you have a TPT store?
I don't currently have a TPT store, it's in the works I just haven't found the time yet (plus I'm not all that confident in my creations). Hopefully within the next year I will have something up.

This blog post was quite text heavy, let's lighten things up with a few pictures. These are ones that I forgot to add to my Norwich post.

Norwich Market

Trying out the latest hair style at the Norwich Castle Museum

Taking a chariot ride at Norwich Castle Museum

I hope you are all having a lovely week, it's Friday!! If you like what you've seen here, please follow me on Bloglovin'. I can't wait to meet some new bloggers!

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Wednesday, 11 September 2013

Worldly Wednesday: Norwich, Norfolk

Last Friday Nan and I travelled to Norwich to meet my agency consultant to meet in person for the first time. Norwich is about a 40 minute trip on the train from where I live (Oulton Broad), and we left at a decent time in the morning.

Here are some pictures from the train.

The night before we left, we had written down Google Maps directions to get from the train station to the agency. Of course, we got lost. Luckily, we've met some very friendly people who were helpful in giving directions. We finally made it to the agency and had a lovely chat with my consultant.

Afterwards, we took a stroll through the market place, which was on a pedestrianized road lined with shops.

My consultant had told us about Norwich Castle and how we should visit it if we had the time.

On our way up to the castle!

The castle has been turned into a museum, so, there is a 'castle' part of the museum as well as displays of art, animals, and history.

This is a very large tea pot.

Here are instructions on how to don a toga. They even had togas to practice with. Of course I had to try it out too! Unfortunately the togas were only made for small people, oh well.

Going into the castle!

This is the entrance to the stairwell (one of those narrow twisty ones)

 Heading down the stairs (I started to feel claustrophobic half way down).

 In the basement of the castle they showed different types of prison set-ups and torture devices.

Here are some pictures from the balcony of the keep.

Look at the brave knight!

Here is a shot from the top of the well that was in the castle.

Inside the castle they had a smaller diorama of what the castle would have looked like back when it was in use.

Here is one of the many arrow slits in the walls.

Beautiful stained glass windows.

I took this photo walking back to the train station as we crossed a bridge, what a view!

That's all for this weeks

I hope you enjoyed my pictures from Norwich! I look forward to reading about what you all have been up to. Please link up below, and have a great week (you're half-way there!).

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