Still Trying to Teach In Canada

Missed my midweek rant. I was busy on Wordy Wednesday putting up posters for my tutoring enterprise. I figure if I can’t get a teaching job I can make my own opportunities. I am not a huge fan of tutoring but I would rather do it than not teach at all. So I went out again today and put up more poster/flyers all around the area. I figure if I get one or two phone inquiries it will be worth all the time it took to design, print and post the flyers. In reality I believe for all the effort it took to put up the 15 or so flyers, I may get one or two contacts and possibly one client. One is all it takes – especially if the student is also a hockey player. How ironic that I choose hockey and I am in Canada. It is true though that a lot of students are on hockey teams and what do moms do while the kids are practicing and playing all that hockey – Talk!! So, again I say, if I can get one hockey player that would be great!! I have to do some French studies now so that’s all I have tonight. Have a great weekend and I will keep you posted as to Teaching In Canada. Yours in Education, D Mac.

Writing 101 – What Next?

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There’s no point having Wishes

If you don’t at least Try

to make them come True    – I am trying: 

For those following me – thank you!! – I went into one school today which was not an easy task. Yes, I know how to walk; there is the buzzer on the wall and the perfect timing to opening the door as I got “buzzed in”. I felt like I was in America but I am pleased you can not just walk into an elementary school these days – not in my area anyway. I know I was suppose to go into two but the one I went in told me I should phone ahead and make an appointment to see the principal if I want to speak with them.  I will phone a few schools on Monday and book appointments. I wonder if the principal will phone me? If I were a principal and an experienced teacher came in to my school to offer to help students read I would definitely call and get that teacher in and helping as many students as possible. Any free help should be appreciated!! I also ordered some new business cards with my new phone number on them so I can leave them when I go to places that may be able to use my skills.  I am considering advertising in the local newspapers for tutoring but haven’t decided yet. I think I should try some local advertising first. Have a great weekend everyone!! D Mac

Wordy Wednesday – A Teaching (not) Rant

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I live at the base of the Niagara Escarpment, since I can remember.(about 45 mins west of Niagara Falls,ON, Except for the last 11 years I was in  Alberta.) Now I am back on the same block I grew up on!! Wow! Love it here as leaves are turning red. Beautiful!!

Just finished a great twitter session with fellow educators (can I say that since I am a teacher even though I am not teaching?)  and some fabulous people that I just loved “meeting” and learning with. I am so excited to be able to connect and learn from these people – it is so inspiring. My dilemma is that I am not teaching yet and it is going to be October tomorrow. I have made some advertisements for tutoring in the area where I live and as luck has it rain prevails, with winds and coolness. Not making excuses, just wondering how to get my adverts to stay nice and readable if I put them around the hood with all this nasty water pelting down. I do have the clear plastic page protectors to put them in but how is the tape going to stick on the places I post them? It is not.  I guess I have to be my Sarah inspired super hero teacher ego/id ? and get my butt into some local schools. This is not easy. I feel so intimidated to present myself as an unemployed teacher so I want to volunteer my time helping students read. Why?!!! Exactly – why should I feel intimidated? So what if I don’t have a teaching job yet – that shouldn’t keep me from helping some precious, little sweetie read. I love teaching and seeing the excitement when a child learns to do something. I feel so inspired now that I have had a chance to connect and hear from other educators and I just want a class so bad that I am willing to do volunteer work until some principal recognizes teaching talent when they see me with the students. Ah no!! I had a principal tell me once he likes me on the sub list because I am the best sub he has. Hence he never wanted me to get hired because he wanted me to cover for his absent teachers. I don’t want to be stuck volunteering because a principal doesn’t want to have to pay me if he can get my work for free. Ah I will give it some time and see what happens. Maybe I can get on a substitute teacher list if I do some volunteer work and the principal sees what a great teacher I am. I am and I know I am because I have the reference letters from principals and teachers, and letters from students that love me and say I am the kindest teacher they ever had. I am not bragging here just stating facts and giving myself motivation to get my butt in the door and at least make an effort to start teaching again. Even if it is a volunteer position. I just want to help children to read. Almost all children can read – there may be some that truly can not but I believe most can. Given the right amount of assistance, support, kind words of encouragement and teaching how to sound words out, will help every child to read. Teachers do not have the time in the crowded classrooms of today’s schools (everywhere not just in my area) to provide that kind of attention. If a child is struggling they either get help from a volunteer like I am willing to do or they get left behind struggling and fighting to read on their own. I am sure most teachers want to help all their students succeed but in the reality of the classroom there is a schedule and lessons and if a student can not read the lesson then they are struggling to keep up. I have to get in the schools and start helping the teachers to get the children reading. Please send me some words of encouragement not to be afraid to approach busy principals that may have a secretary or office staff that doesn’t want to let me through. I do not know what I am going to say but I know I want to help the children. Do you realize if a child can not read they can not do most of the work in any subject? All subjects require the student to read to know what to do. Reading opens up the world to a person and allows them to get any information they want. Be happy you can read this now. I hope you can feel my passion for reading. I hope the admin at the school feels it and wants to give me a chance to help. I will go pick my outfit as first impressions count and I want to be impressive. I think my rambling mouth will get me in more than a studious teacher suit and sensible shoes. Or should I go for a heel? I am a shoe lady and love fashion too – but that’s another blog – this is just my teaching space. So there you go – I have made a blog site for teaching so I have to be teaching or I will have to re-do my whole blog site and I do not want to do that. Okay – Thursday October 1st, 2015, I am going to walk in to at least two offices of the two local elementary schools and I will let you know what transpires. Wish me the best! Yours in Education – again- can I say that if I am not teaching? Please -this is my space – hehe.  Here I go!  D Mac.

What Do You Do in A Day – still part of the blogging 101 series

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Hearing the waves crashing and watching my dog play in the water are such great parts of my day today!

I don’t have to go on vacation to enjoy an expanse of water ( that is Lake Ontario). Sure I may not be going swimming today but just sitting on the shore, in the grasses and watching my dog enjoy the water is so relaxing and soothing I just love it. I remember so many days when I lived in Alberta just wishing I could go to the water because it relaxes me and takes all the tensions away with every swoosh of a wave. A few minutes and life is good again. No drugs, no alcohol, nothing but waves crashing. I feel lucky.

We started the day today the same as always with a visit to the big back yard that is full of mature trees, with busy squirrels gathering nuts. I sip coffee and wake up as poochy tries to get the little fuzzy critters. Two cups of coffee and then he waits patiently for me as I go in and get dressed. It is nice to be so secluded that I can go out in my pj’s and enjoy my morning coffee in the back garden. I feel lucky.

We walk down the quiet street, by now all the school buses and kids are gone to school. We cross the street into a field and we both run and play along a path. He chases something – I am guessing grasshoppers – and I enjoy the sound of the train clicking along the tracks not far off. Life is good. I feel lucky!

Out of the field and not far along the street we come to a fabulous park with a grand forest of old, very big, tall trees. Poochy gets to chase those fuzzy critters some more! He is so happy. And look how fast he runs after them. I gather some acorns, still with their little hats on too. I find some other nuts and add them to my collection. These will go into my science tub for the classroom I am still hoping to get. I like to have real things for my students to see, feel, smell and hold as we learn about them.  Friends show up, it is so nice to see them. The dogs play a bit together. We walk the dogs around the park, and then continue along, talking and chatting. We get to my place and I share my back garden retreat. My friends are surprised. You can’t see it at all from the road and the dog runs all around the big back yard. My dog is glad to be home and lays down in his usual spot, ignoring the spirited pup in his space. My friends go home. I am in my back garden. I feel lucky!

We relax for a bit. I go in the house and have a chat with my beautiful mom. I love being here and being able to see her daily. I missed her when I was in Alberta. It is good to be home. I feel  lucky!

My son enters the room and says good morning. I like being able to see him every day too. He left Alberta before me and I thought I would go crazy. Of course I didn’t. It is good to be close again. I feel lucky!

(It was at this point the dog and I went to the beach.)

How do I finish this feeling so lucky theme? If only I got a full time teaching job I would feel even more lucky? Or if I won so much money in a legal lottery that I didn’t have to work I would feel lucky? Most people would like that!

Life is good now. I have all of Maslow’s basics covered. Loving family, a home, food,clothes, and even a companion dog.

I am lucky. I hope you are lucky too! D Mac.

A Community Event – part of Blogging 101

Today was a challenge to join a community event. Apparently there is a community for bloggers (of course there is). It was difficult to pick one as there are so many events that appeal to me. The different colour scheme of this one (see here) made me pick it.

The challenge is to write about where beep beep boop came from, and how it inspired the staff at WorPress. You know that message we get while we are waiting to write the post. I admit when I first saw it I thought, “Oh that’s so cute!” Because it is cute. So I found a picture and will create a little post about what I think it means.

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The picture is the staff at WordPress, wandering by one  another saying Beep, beep, boop, than laughing hysterically. It is definitely an inside joke. Someone started it, and without real intention, it just became a thing. Or was it intentional? No, wasn’t – it made everyone laugh for reasons even they don’t know. That’s when it got plopped into the site as  a waiting signal for greatness. Meaning all the great bloggers here! Maybe it means, “Blog with us” or ” Just write something” I don’t want to know because it is more fun to make up my own meaning. I am sure somewhere in the cubicles of WP there is a Star Wars junkie that knows the truth……

To me, it means, “Hold that very exciting thought you are dying to share because there are people that want to read it. We are trying to get your site ready for all that craziness to come from your brain, to your fingers, to the page.”

I sit with a small smile as I watch the little blue balls dance under the words and think about what my post will start with. I feel a bit like I am at a starting gate, waiting for the gun to go off so I can start! Thanks WP – I like it!

What do you think it means? Please leave me a comment.  Happy Weekend! Always learning, D Mac.

Happy Fall People!

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Already! But it was so warm I had no idea until someone told me. I had to show both the water and the forest because I just love them both so much. I took my dog to the beach today and had a great walk with him. He chased squirrels and I tried to find some acorns that were not squished. I was not successful.( I will look tomorrow as I want to give them to a friend coming to visit later from a place that does not have acorns.)The air was warm but no humidity, and the sun shining so bright and hot it still felt like summer today. I am glad to be back in Ontario – I am pretty sure Alberta is very cold already and I would not have been able to walk by the beach in Alberta. I packed my summer clothes away and got out the fall/winter wardrobe – it is bittersweet as I love my little summer outfits but then I opened a box of my boots and fall shoes and got excited for them. Except for the real winter boots – you know the ones that have fur lining – and if you don’t know I envy you. I am not a fan of winter and snow. I have had it long enough. Fall walks as the leaves crunch and whats the word I am thinking – rustle. The only time I use this word – The leaves rustled as we walked on them. If you don’t have fall in your area it really is that colourful and amazing. Ducks are flying south -Canada Geese – and lots of other birds go south for winter. Fall has such a great smell to it as well. Fall smells like earthy, dirt, damp, and wonderful smell. Pumpkins are ready and I bought some carving sets today so we can carve Jack O’ lanterns for Halloween. Post me what you do for halloween please. We also have Canadian Thanksgiving in another three weeks – October 12th. We will have a traditional family gathering with a roast turkey and my mom already made two apple pies to go in the freezer until Thanksgiving. Smells so good. Relating back to teaching -as that is what my site is about –  I should be in a classroom now, but if you read my posts you know I am working the tutoring angle and still trying for a teaching position.Oh yes, they are still being advertised even though school has started. I don’t even know if Ontario does a fall break?? Some school boards in Alberta did and others did not have a fall break. Since I am not teaching it doesn’t really matter. May this new season of dormancy and quiet be a useful time for all of you to get your stuff together and be ready for new beginnings when the spring comes. Fall, like the falling leaves is a time to clean out the old to get ready for the new that is coming!! I am starting to design my tutoring flyers with an updated fall photo, and get a website. Websites are a long process if you try to do most of it yourself. (hire some help it’s worth it) Set one up over winter when you have time to focus on it because it is too cold to be outside all day like in the summer. Go clean up your yards, balconies, gardens and even your automobile. Plan stuff to do over winter and prepare it all now while the weather is still fairly warm. Share with me in the comments of your fall activities and possible winter project. Thanks again my dear readers. Yours in Education, D Mac.

Being a New Teacher

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Knowing that you are going to have a struggle getting a job and living through the struggle are two different mind-sets. To begin I felt so confident that it didn’t matter that there are no jobs – I am a lucky person, I will somehow be chosen to be the new teacher. Time fast forward almost three months of applications and not even an interview and the confidence is starting to decrease. Not bad for three months of having nothing but time to ponder, and create scenarios of success and wonderful smiling faces of students that are yet to present. Even earlier today I sent out applications to a couple of schools, with that glimmer of hope that never escaped the jar!! Hope – a tiny word but it is so powerful. It drives me forward and has me here again, inspired to never give up!! Now the creativity is flowing and I am trying to come up with new ideas that I can do to stay in the teaching field but not necessarily be in a classroom. The obvious one is presenter on one of the collaborative unhangouts I meet at every Saturday morning, although it is unpaid, it is so wonderful to share knowledge, get feedback from other teachers and enhance my skill set by expanding to presenter. (similar to teaching but to adults with intelligence) Then there is tutoring, which is a great place, I just have to get one or two clients to get started and then I am generally too busy to take all the families that want me!! I just need those few students to start! (there’s hope again) I think I’m going to create a little animation for “Hope” Truly a feminine trait to add life to formally inanimate objects. Then the other idea is to offer to present at public events such as the next teacher’s convention. Most of the presenters were once teachers or they are teachers. I have some great ideas I just need to organize so they can be presented in an organized, informative fifty minute session to a room full of fellow educators. Literacy, numeracy, “How to Treat your Substitute and Prepare your Class for their Arrival.” This is my key plan right now. I can also do a presentation on “What to expect from the Tutor”. Having been a tutor and substitute teacher for several years now I sure have a lot to say about both. Hey – two seminars!! See, all it takes is a little creativity and I can generate some income!! Wish me luck – of course you’ll all hear about it right here. Yours in Education, D Mac.