Monday, 20 August 2012

Changing It Up!

Today, I worked on getting
 unpacked and organized!
Can't wait to decorate!
It's been a while since I last blogged!  June flew by and then I spent July taking my first master's course.  It was all about Inquiry Learning, one of my absolute favourite topics!  I learned a lot but, between online discussions and papers, I didn't have energy to blog too.  Since then, I had two "I am not a teacher" weeks (including three weekends, of course!) to decompress before getting started with my new year plans!  I had a bit of a slow start then suddenly became flooded with ideas for my new job!  I'm so glad to have an "always on" PLN through Twitter!  It's great to read your blog posts and articles as I seek inspiration!

I just realized that I haven't blogged about my new job...oops!

After an elementary school practicum, followed by nearly six years working at a secondary school, I'm heading back to elementary school!  As I told my students, there are no scandalous stories associated with the move; I was transferred from my school alongside several other teachers due to my level of seniority and declining positions at the secondary level.  While there is sadness as I think about the staff and students I will miss, I am absolutely ecstatic about this new opportunity!  It feels like many things are falling into place perfectly with this move!

As I continued to learn about about inquiry learning last year, I found myself thinking of ways to include the flexibility of elementary school in secondary school.  I would love to see an inquiry-based secondary model which would include cross-curricular learning opportunities which might include several classes blended together.  I can imagine the benefits of teaching English and Social Studies to the same group of students, for example; so much can be accomplished if a teacher can work on literacy skills through both subjects.  English would work well blended with electives, as well; imagine the dynamic in an English class if students were grouped with others who have like interests and were able to engage in inquiry projects and lit circles with like-minded peers!  Conversations around the BC Education Plan and discussions about inquiry learning had me thinking about changes I would like to see in secondary school.  The more I thought about that, the more I realized that I would love to teach in an elementary school.  As a result, I'm really looking forward to the cross-curricular freedom that comes with the elementary schedule.  We don't have to switch from math to science when a bell goes; if the students are engaged, we can continue.  If we are working on a time-consuming experiment, we can add time to science.  As well, students will be working on literacy skills across the curriculum.  I will be teaching every subject except music so there will be lots of opportunities to engage students in inquiry learning and meet learning outcomes from multiple subject areas through in-depth projects.  I'm really looking forward to engaging students in their areas of interest as we explore the grade 6/7 curriculum together!

As well, I'm excited about spending more time with a small group of students; as I worked on Assessment for Learning practices last year, I couldn't help but feel frustrated by the sheer number of students I needed to speak to as the end of each term neared.  I became overwhelmed at times and, while I made some positive strides regarding assessment, I didn't do everything I would have liked.  I have been reading a lot more about assessment can't wait to get started with this new elementary group!

OK...I can wait!  There's lots to do before the new school year begins in two short weeks!  It's amazing how I feel like I've been simultaneously thinking about and ignoring September all summer!

If any of you in the blogosphere have transitioned from secondary school to elementary, I'd love some tips!  It has been a while so I'd love to hear your thoughts!

1 comment:

  1. Sounds exciting! You're going to love going back. My transition is from Middle school counsellor to K-5 school VP. Change can bring so many opportunities. The kids are going to love you!