Health: I’ve been using J.’s chin-up bar for the past week and a half. I jump up and hold onto the bar for as long as I can. Initially, when I started, it was a struggle. I am able to hold myself up for about five seconds now and have been trying to practice at least twice a day. I’d like to be able to do a chin-up in a month or so.
Languages: I finally finished Units 6-10 of Pimsleur Mandarin. I tried out a free unit of Japanese and subsequently downloaded the free sample unit of Italian too. Throughout the year, I might just go through all the samples on Pimsleur. Why not? Multilingual people are better at reasoning, multitaskting and reconciling conflicting ideas. And it’s just fun!
First week of school: Although it was a short week – we started classes on Tuesday – it was fairly successful. I am currently teaching Grade 7-10 Science. Of course, there are a few brats, but no more trouble than to be expected after working up north for the past year and a half. On Friday afternoon, I took the Grade 7 students out to collect rock samples and we practiced measuring mass using the triple balance beam. It helps to use my school whistle* – the one I got from teacher’s college five years ago – to keep them in order. I don’t have too much trouble with class management as I’ve tried to be firm and serious in the beginning. Next week,we’ll measure volume using the displacement method.
Also, I had considered starting a blog about teaching, but decided I don’t want to spare the time. Rather than journalling as I normally would, I’ve been talking to J. about my day as we stroll home from work together**. He’s a good outlet for reflection-on-action***. Even though J. has never worked in the field of education, he acts as my sounding board and gives me constructive criticism, as well as ideas on issues or problems I have at work.
*One whistle means to look at me. Two means ‘come here’ and three whistles mean ‘you’re in trouble’.
**School ends at 3:45 pm but I’m often there until 5 pm.
**One of the keys to being a successful teacher is to reflect on your teaching. I learned this through the Additional Qualification course I took through Queen’s University.