Thursday, May 30, 2013

"Say no to book reports!"

I just found this amazing list of alternatives to book reports... I will definitely keep this for when I am teaching English again!

Check it out at 

Where are all the Canadian Teacher Blogs?

So I have been searching for a community that I am not sure even exists :( Help me out here if you can but when I search on Teach100 I have only found 3 or 4 different Canadian Teacher's blogs! Imagine that! Although I love hearing what all teachers have to share, in Canada we have some different issues to deal with than in the states. It would especially be nice to find some BC bloggers so that we can share lesson plans that pertain to our provincially set IRPs. So, if you know of any, please help me out here and get a teacher connected!

I'm also trying to find blogs by Secondary school teachers which there also seems to be a lack of, is this true? Or am I just not finding them?

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

A great blog post...

I just wanted to share with you an amazing blog post I found called "25 Things Successful Educators Do Differently". I was happy to be able to check off many of these things but I definitely have stuff to work on! Check it out here!

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

How do you roll?

As a new teacher and counselor I have no office or personal space to leave my stuff; so, how do you roll? During my practicum when I was teaching 3 classes I actually bought one of those little suitcases with wheels. Now, I have a large 'teacher bag' I that I purchased from Aritzia. However, the inside of it is an absolute disaster!  I just went through it to try to clean it out and I found a bunch of spoons (as of course the staff room dishwasher doesn't work), post it notes, lip gloss and candy. I tried to organize it a bit but it still looks terrible. Anyone have any suggestions for me?

Sunday, May 26, 2013

What? You want me to talk to them?

Talk to your students!
I can't tell you how many times in my very short career I have turned a hostile dynamic between a student and myself in to a caring relationship! As a school counsellor I am truly surprised at how often a teacher asks me to speak with a student about their disruptive behaviour and when I ask them what the student has said about it thus far the teacher hasn't even had a conversation with the student! Don't you think it would make sense to, you know, actually start a dialogue with the student and share with them what behaviour is being disruptive and why? What ever happened to 'I' statements:
"Susie I feel disrespected when you get up in the middle of a lecture and go to the washroom and don't return for 15 minutes. What is going on for you?"

It's really quite simple. During both of my practicums I had 1 student who could not deal with the teacher switch and took it out on me. And what did I do? I asked them to step out in the hallway and let the know that I was on their team and wanted them to succeed so if I could help them with that in any way for them to let me know (of course I also used my 'I' statements to convey my feelings surrounding their negative behaviour). And every time it worked! Amazing right? We teach our kids to express themselves but then we don't give them a chance when it isn't convenient for us?

So do it! Talk to your kids! All the best teachers always ask their kids to fill out a survey during the first day of class which asks them about themselves so that the teacher can learn a few key things about that student. That is how you connect. Talk to them, learn about them, but most of all, care about them.

Saturday, May 25, 2013

So here it is...

So here it is, 1 year and 4 months after I graduated from Uvic for the second time and I am a school counsellor and teacher. What happened!? I was told over and over again by almost every prof in the program that it would be next to impossible to get a teaching contract. Well, I showed them!

I remember sitting in an Academic Adviser's office during my first year at UVic, listening to her say "If you want a job you need to teach French or Special Education". Neither of these two things were on my list of 'to dos'. So, I asked what it would take to become a school counsellor. "Well, it would take at least an extra 2 years from your second degree if you are doing the PDP". (Note: The PDP is the Post Degree Program where you get a degree in a widely taught subject, in my case English, then go on to get your Bachelors of Education degree in a 2 year program)

More schooling? No way. I was definitely out. Oh yah, and during that visit she also told me that I couldn't be a drama teacher unless I did a double major in English and Drama because in order to take the classes I needed to qualify as a teacher I needed to be in the fine arts program...

Needless to say it was a pretty terrible visit but I decided to trudge on. And so here I am, many years later, working my dream job! I currently teach Tourism 12 and 1 block of counselling and it is amazing! And the craziest part? I still don't have my Masters of Arts in Counselling Psych degree!! I am going to start it next year though so don't you worry. It was my background in Psych (Thank god for taking so many electives during my first degree) and my current weekend jobs (working at a youth detox and shelter) that helped me obtain the position. Who knew!? So don't believe those who say it is impossible to have your dream job! Be yourself, work your hardest, and fill up every elective with a class that you think might actually be helpful in your future!!