This is Southern Ontario Now – Our Season is Fall or Autumn

20151020_135150    The leaves are certainly nice colours now that they are all changed to beautiful red, yellow, orange, and of course, brown. So a little lesson in the seasons for those that do not have them – this is the season of Autumn, or fall. I believe it is called fall because the leaves fall off the trees and cover the ground in a blanket to keep it warm through the winter months. I believe God and Nature have designed leaves to stay on the ground and keep the earth warm through the long, cold months of winter. The leaves naturally break down through the winter with the snow melting, and spring rains they get dissolved into the ground and nourish it with whatever nutrients are in the leaves.  SO EVERYONE SHOULD LEAVE THE LEAVES ON THE GROUND!!!! Yes a little pet peeve of mine. I raked up about four huge bags of leaves and the next day you would not even know it. The ground was covered again!! The wind just blows all the leaves off the trees and the leaves blow all over the yard, the driveway, the streets, clogging ground sewer drains sometimes, and in this instance, yes they have to be picked up and bagged. However, I have taken a stand against the leaves and nature and wind and am not raking any leaves until they are all off the trees. It just doesn’t make sense to me. Some people might want to rake a huge pile so their kids can jump in them, or to clean up the street, but otherwise, I don’t see the point. It’s a waste of time. I like how nice and clean that lawn looks all mowed and clean, but I can hardly believe it!! That must be a full time job looking after that huge lawn to the right of the picture. It is huge!  On that note – a local school does outdoor classes. They believe the kids learn better or more effectively or something so they have regular, outdoor classes. I am not sure what they do during these outdoor classes as I have not yet been included. Let me back track a bit. I had a meeting to volunteer at a local school, but I have not yet actually gone in and had any time with the class. It was a very relaxed, happy meeting because there was no pressure for me as I was not interviewing for a job. Well I guess I was – a volunteer job – but if it was a teaching job I am a terrible interviewee. I get nervous and say stupid answers – I even practice and have notes and cue cards but so far nothing has helped. I think I just have to get pissed and be confident and go into my next interview with an attitude of experience and confidence that I am the best teacher for the job, and I need to exude that confidence and get hired. First I need to get an interview. I am also looking at starting my masters degree in January since I am not getting any teaching job so far. So I am looking for master degree programs now. I am thinking online and possibly with some class time – but for financial reasons (no job) I think online would be best so I can stay at home and not worry about travelling ($) in the snow and cold of winter.  As usual, I will keep you updated my faithful followers. If you have any comments or questions about Canada or Ontario or the seasons feel free to ask! Yours in Education, D Mac.

Wordy Wednesday – A Teaching (not) Rant

NiagaraEscpmntWorldBiosphereReaserve

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.

Starting Blogging 101

Hello and welcome to the first of my writing/blogging course work. I want an interesting blog so I enrolled in a combined course to help me get going in the right direction. So already I have learned I can add tags. This helps bring people to my blog that may be interested in what I am writing about. The reason I decided to go public is so that people that may be thinking about becoming a teacher can see and journey with me the real-life experience of being a teacher these days. Sure a lot of people tell me that their mom, aunt, relative was a teacher and it was great. Well then this is not going to be your experience – if you have a relative already to help you with the “in” then your ahead of me. I am on my own. Sure I have seven years experience in another province and lots of letters of recommendation, even from principals, but to not know anyone!! is a tough place to be.  There is no teacher contract and that is in the news, plus the teachers in Ontario have the new curriculum for sex education.  I have always been comfortable explaining any sex related information to my children, or their friends, if they ever came to me with questions they may have been too afraid or embarrassed to ask their parents. I use proper terminology, and tell the truth as best I know it. I am so excited to get a class and yet the promise looks bleak. I do hope by some miracle that I get hired, full time by a great school board so I have an opportunity to show how much I love teaching, care about every child, and refuse to believe that there is a child that can not be taught. Every child can learn if I give them the tools, love, support and encouragement they need. It sounds like a lot because it is! That is why teachers want smaller class sizes, and parents should be backing them up with this. It is very difficult to get to each child when there are more than 18 children and one teacher. The figure is more like 25-28 students to one teacher.  Well now I am writing about my passion and rambling on beyond what you probably want to read. I will sign off for now and ask you to please support your child’s teacher. Get involved with the school, find out what you can do at home to help your child succeed at school and work as a team with the teacher, principal, and others to get the best education for your child.  Teachers always appreciate a homemade treat or just knowing you can help by donating those paper towel tubes, or old magazines you are no longer using. Yours in Education, Miss MacTavish.