Saturday, 17 September 2011

Week 2 - A Crash Course on Teaching

So this week was my first "full" week of teaching.  The crash-course part of my experience may be due to the fact that teacher's college in Ontario does not really give you everything you need to be a teacher in Quebec, much less the North.  There are several odd differences that I noticed.

1. The teachers here have the students on facebook.  Strange, I know. In teacher's college they kept telling us that the kids are going to want out contact information and want to add us to facebook, but not to do it! Well, here they do! Although the teachers use it as a tool for monitoring their behavior and sometimes to remind them to go to sleep, do their homework and to come to class.

2. If I was going to consider taking my class outside I would need to have a file folders worth of paper work to do so in Ontario.  Here, if you want to take your class outside you pretty much just tell the Secretary and then off you go.

So it's been a little odd for me being here, especially since this is my first week of teaching...ever! well...on my own at least, but I think given some time things will in fact get better.  Talking with the other teachers has been very useful though since I get to learn from their experiences.  They often have a lot of good ideas that have worked well in the past for them that I would not have even thought of on my own.

Friday was a Pedagogy day this week and myself and 5 other teachers took some time to set up the science lab.  The lab here actually has an impressive array of equipment, most of which is not being used.  I saw microscopes, dissecting microscopes, a centrifuge, a static electricity generator and a large assortment of models and kits.  Given the large amount of free time that exists at the end of the year, I think I may try and take advantage of some of these things.

After school Gillian decided to have a few of us over for a weekly dinner night.  This week they wanted to do pizza so I actually started my dough on our lunch break and finished it off when I got home.  We had dinner and talked about random stuff and played this weird Inuit game that I've never heard of, but the kids are apparently pretty addicted to it.

So this game is called ruk-shuk and it's basically about making little stone towers.  You pick out different coloured stones and they are worth a certain amount of points.  The ones that are worth more points are actually oddly shaped and much harder to stack on top of each other which is why they're worth more points.  On the left is Joetta and on the right is Heather.  Joetta teaches special ed. and Heather is my Math/Science counter part.  Its a fun game, but its also pretty frustrating since the towers tend to fall down quite easily.

Now that its the weekend I'm going to start making some more lesson plans for the next couple weeks and spend some time just relaxing and watching t.v. and playing some xbox.

I've had some requests to see what the apartment looks like here.  I actually made a video using my computer, but when I tried to upload it to youtube the stupid server rejected the file.  I managed to send it to Ashley through skype though so she'll post it on my account whenever she gets the chance.

** Update - Ashley uploaded my video onto my youtube account.  You can watch it here **

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