Welcome to the Class – A Phone Call Day

Last fall during my student teaching Kathy called up the parents of every student and invited both parents and students to come before school began and have an individual conference. This year with so much going on I will not have that kinds of time, but I will take the time for a short phone call. I will welcome the student to the class and tell him or her a little of what I am excited about, and I will ask what he or she is looking forward to during the third grade. I will also talk to the parents. I have learned to ask early in the school year what the parents expectations and worries are for the year ahead, is there anything I should know about this student? You never can be sure what you will find out that will be essential to your planning, everything from home-school communications and previously unreported allergies, to gaining an idea of how the parents view school.

This is also a chance to open the door to parents, let them know that I care about what they have to say, and I want to hear it. Let them know that if they have questions about what is going on in school I will make myself available to them and answer questions or provide resources.

I will also find out if parents have internet access for our class web page so I will know who to send printed versions of the newsletter to. All of this is in addition to mailing out my letter of introduction and welcome, where my contact information and the class web page will be made available. I am so excited to begin getting to know my students this year!

A Slight Twist

As I continue searching for a class of my own, I have decided to plan for the new year as though I have found the perfect placement. My imaginary class is a third grade in Massachusetts, with 26 students.

This will help me to stay on my game and to be better prepared if at the last minute I do find a placement anywhere. I have chosen to third grade, because I would like to teach third grade, but also because it is in the middle of the elementary grades, so some of my planning will be useful if I do begin teaching at any elementary level. The most important part of my imaginary classroom, is the fact that it is in Massachusetts, this means I will get some practice with Massachusetts Curriculum Frameworks, and it will help to prepare me for the Massachusetts Test for Educator License (MTEL) or any out-of-state teaching.

I am very excited to begin getting ready for my first year of teaching (almost)!

Status Update

I am spending the summer working as nanny for a beautiful boy/girl twin set. They will be turning one year next month! I love working as a nanny, but this should be my last family since I have now finished my bachelors.
My goal for the 2011-2012 school year has been to find a full-time teaching position in Massachusetts, ideally somewhere near Boston. I will have a hard time getting my MA license in time for the school year, so my search has narrowed to charter schools, private schools, and otherwise non-certified teaching jobs.
Of course there is no guarantee that in two months I will have found any job in Massachusetts, so I have a contingency plan; I have been welcomed by the twin's family to stick around and continue working with them. In that case I will also go back to subbing for another year, I am not looking forward to the stress of subbing again, but it is important that I stay in the classroom to keep my skills sharp for when I do find a long-term teaching position.
It may seem crazy, but I have decided not to search for a full-time job in Michigan, because if I were to find one I would quit next summer for a move to Massachusetts. Which brings me to the point, if I do stay in Michigan for this school year, that will be all, next summer (when my husband is also done with school) I will be moving to Massachusetts.
So wish me luck in the Massachusetts search, but know that everything will be okay even if I don't get to move this summer.

A Living Classroom

I am in the early stages of starting a small veggie garden in my balcony, this has me thinking about the life that I want to bring into my classroom.
Here are some pictures of my seedlings. It is so special to watch things grow and I will bring this same lesson to my students.

Post-Graduation Update

I have finished my undergraduate, and just last week my shiny new diploma came in the mail! I am so excited to be entering this new phase in my life. Right now I am continuing to work as a nanny, which I have been doing for four years, and I am working as a substitute teacher in some of the local schools. Talk about a learning experience!
So far as a substitute I have been reaffirmed in the fact that I have good classroom management, and that my strongest area is little kids. I have been called back repeatedly to a local preschool, and every other lower-grade classroom I have been in has been wonderful. Subbing in middle schools is a crazy world, I will not do it any more, but I could see myself teaching at that level, if I had to. I am glade that I did not choose to pursue secondary education, because high school is no fun for me. I think it would drive me crazy.
I am so very happy that I chose to get my degree in elementary education, it is what I love to do. When I am able to go to grad school (that will be when I have a full-time paid teaching position) I am planning to pursue a masters in early childhood education, over the past four years I have learned time and again that my talents make me perfect to teach early childhood.
Of course I am looking for that full-time fit, and the hiring season begins next month in this field, so if you have a lead please let me know. In the mean time, while I am working as a sub, I am taking advantage of the opportunity practice my skills, and to learn some of the tricks used by other teachers. I can take what I like and leave what I do not.