Teaching in Ontario; Year 3

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I feel like it was just a few months ago that I started this blog to help me with the transition to teaching in Ontario. (from western Canada).

I took a course through the school I work at to enhance my knowledge and understanding of the culture I am now immersed in every day. (I maintain my Christianity) It was a long, challenging course but I learned and grew as a person and educator. It was a great feeling to graduate!

I finished my second year in the school with fun games of A Minute to Win It, and doing a Mystery Skype with a class in Nigeria!   My third graders were the quietest I have seen them and the looks on their faces were wonder and amazement! We had skyped with other classes before but this was a first to do a mystery skype with a class that we did not know. It was a good experience that I hope they will always remember as something fun, positive and exciting.  I intend to keep doing Mystery Skype at least once per month so the students get to experience globalization on a real basis. “Visiting” other classes is better than me trying to describe different geographical locations and environments to them.

I can hardly believe that I am going into my third year! Where does the time go? It has been the same as anyone would expect, teaching is teaching – once you get a classroom you bring out your superhero teacher self and do the best you know how to teach these children how to be leaders, good citizens, and responsible community members. The hardest part is getting a classroom – I know this as I was a substitute for six years! Being accepted into a private school and having to wear a hijab to do what I love are things I accept in order to teach. I did not even apply to any public schools for the upcoming school year as I am happy with the place where I am at and have come to feel a part of a family there. Wearing a hijab is a bonus that saves me about a half an hour every morning that would have been spent getting my hair to an acceptable style. Wearing a hijab is not as easy as tying on a scarf, it is part of my outfit. I never knew until I had to wear one that it is like having to add a hat to your outfit every day and so you need a lot of different styles and colours to match your outfits. I often watch YouTube videos to get ideas of how to add my some personal pizzazz. I have fun with it!

This year is a bit of the same and a bit new as the new principal has implemented looping to our school. We will move with our classes to the next year!! So now I am teaching fourth grade in September. I was not happy at first, but now am very accepting of the idea that I get my same kiddos, that I have grown to love like my own children. After two years in one grade, I felt like I was getting really good with the curriculum and my lessons are fun and creative. I created totes of all the supplies I need to teach the lessons in creative ways, and to have supplies so that all the kids are engaged. Now I have to start all over getting to know the curriculum and trying to find fun ways to teach it, knowing it will only be for one year, as I have already been told I will probably follow this group again to fifth grade. At this point, the plan is to then go back and start a new three-year cycle with another group.

We never know what our lives will hold, and we can only plan as best as we can, following our dreams and making the best of where we are. Always try to be prepared, create a group of friends that will support your dreams and encourage you to be your best.  I have a wonderful support group on Twitter, and I even was published as an editor to a collaborative book for/by educators last year! That was a huge surprise for me as I had never considered I would be publishing or editing books. You never know what life has in store and if you go beyond your comfort zone in positive directions wonderful growth and experiences may just be waiting !! My best wishes for all of you to achieve happiness, and your dreams.

Yours in Education,

D Mac.