Sunday, October 28, 2012

Week 1 Done: Exhausted But Happy

I was absolutely right when I mentioned I'd be getting a lot of teaching experience!  It is really a good thing too since my background was not in teaching, it was in creative writing.  But for several classes Mrs. Smart wanted to read out loud the Ladybug Picture Books (a NH award for best picture books) so that the kids can vote on their favorite later.  She admitted she was just trying to get though the books due to time restraints, and advised me that this is NOT a good way to do lessons, but allowed me to take over those classes and add my own spin to them if I felt I had time.  I've been trying to ask the kids questions about the book that involve literary formula and observation as a way to tie it into literacy since the school has a lot of struggling readers.  Overall there was not a lot of time to do anything substantial though.

I did get to take over one lesson with the 4th graders on how to use the online catalogue.   Though these are lessons Mrs. Smart has planned she encouraged me to take my own spin on it.  It is difficult though to think on the fly.  I end up finding it easier to just copy what she does and the more lessons I do the more of my own spin I find I put into it.  Next week though is a golden opportunity for me.  Friday Mrs. Smart is going to be absent, and though she has arranged for a substitute (one of our regular volunteers, a wonderful retired school librarian named Nancy) she asked me if I would like to take over lessons that day.  I of course agreed, and this week Mrs. Smart has advised that this could be my week where I make my own lessons (for just a couple grades) and do my recording of me teaching.

I've been doing other things, of course.  I have been helping Mrs. Smart with her lesson on research with the second graders (no easy task) and helping set up the system for the school's new iPads.  We want them deployed as fast as possible, and Tuesday is the day all the tech professionals and librarians are going to meet and work with them (which means that my last week we might be doing lessons on the iPads!).  I also helped Mrs. Smart figure out what ebook bundles to buy after the book fair in a couple of weeks.  I have also been learning a bit about budget balancing with all of this and I have been learning more and more about the library's online catalogue which is connected to all Dover schools and the public library.
It has been a very busy, and exhausting week which ended in the students dressing up in their Halloween costumes and parading around the playground at the end of school for their parents.  There were some great unique costumes: a stick of broccoli, "Iron" man (he had an iron as a hat and an ironing board as a cape), the left sock monster, the five fingers (the second grade teachers all did this), a jelly fish, a birthday present, and one kid was dressed entirely in bubble wrap.  Me, I put on my top hat with rabbit ears and tried to dress a little classy and told everyone I was the March Hare, though a lot of kids asked if I was the Easter Bunny.  It was fun, and tomorrow a new week begins!


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