Friday Two Cents: Good Things Come To Those Who Wait


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Patience: the capacity to accept or tolerate delay, trouble, or suffering without getting angry or upset.
“Patience and time do more than strength or passion.” Jean de La Fontaine

 

This has been a week where I have seen a culmination of many different adventures in my life.

Firstly, I just finished my two-week block of practicum and man am I tired. It was the peak of a journey started in August and now, with the block done, my first steps to getting my teaching license are behind me. I still have 3 more weeks of going in two days a week but the biggest hurdle is behind me.

After two years I finally got my Degree

After two years I finally got my Degree

The other great news I received today came in an envelope. I received my undergrad degree, BAS of Early Childhood Education from Guelph University. After two long years of blood, sweat and sleepless nights I have my degree in my hand.

Then to top it all off, I went to my workplace and put together my Christmas town / train set for the school. It is a collection of plaster and porcelain buildings, some I made others I bought; yet I hand painted every one of the 53 pieces in the display. I also have a HO scale train with a steam engine and passenger rail cars circa 1900 – 1920.   For me this is usually one of the first decorations I put out for the Christmas holidays. I love Christmas and this wonderful sign means Christmas is just around the corner.

All of this happened today and it has just made my heart take fight and I am truly happy. I wish everyone in the world could be this happy. All of my patience and sacrifice has paid off. I guess it is true about what they say; Good Things Come To Those Who Wait.

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Friday Two Cents: Teachers Should Get Babysitting Rates


twoCentsOldNew

I am late posting my Friday Two Cents for three reasons.
  1. I have been really busy with lesson planning.
  2. Trying to spent time with my nieces.
  3. A colleague shared something with me and  I simply had to ignore my original idea and share my thoughts on this one.
 The last reason centres on a newspaper poll for the Toronto Sun where it asks:
Ontario Teachers are:
  • Paid what they’re worth
  • Paid too much
  • Paid too little
At last count 56% said that teachers are Paid too Much.

 

When I read this Poll, I saw the same media bashing of teachers I have seen for years. Being an ECE I know a thing or two about not being paid enough for the work I do. We are entrusted with the care and education of the children and yet we are constantly attacked and undervalued. When I was part of a contract negotiation, I even had a parent tell me once, to my face, that we do not deserve a cost of living increase for what we do. This coming from a fellow union member, unbelievable.

Many say that teachers are doing nothing but babysitting the children and should get paid accordingly. Well let’s do the math. The average income of teachers is about $55,500 a year (from salary.com – http://www1.salary.com/CA/Ontario/Public-School-Teacher-salary.html).  The average babysitting rate is about $10 an hour / child (http://www.payscale.com/research/CA/Job=Babysitter/Hourly_Rate). Lets get the hourly rate of the teachers and see how overpaid they really are.  

Let us begin by dividing the yearly salary by the number of workdays they work in a school year 185 (PA days are not included because they are not with the children.)

$55,500 / 185 = $300 per day

 Now let us divide the amount by the number of children in a classroom. From kindergarten to grade 3 the average class size is 20 and in grades 4 – 6 it’s around 30, so we spit the difference and say 25 children per classroom.

So that’s $300 / 25 children = $12 per child per day

 Hold on, now we have to divide that number by the number of hours they work. Okay their school day is from 8:30 am to 3:00 pm that’s 6.5 hours. Subtract the hour lunch that gives you 5.5 hours with the children.

Therefore that’s $12 / 5.5 hours = $2.18 per hour per child.

 Hold one, are you telling me that teachers are getting paid $2.18/ hr. per child to teach them Math, Language (reading & writing), Science, Social Studies, Health, Physical Education and Art?  Baby-sitters are getting $10/hr. per child to just look after them.  Hmm, maybe they should pay teachers babysitting rates.

Art Inspiration: Optical Art With My Students


 ArtInspirationPaulGLogo

Within my practicum I have been given the great opportunity to do the Art lessons with the students. I am with an older junior grade and I did a great Optical Art lesson with them. It took about 3 weeks but the results are amazing. Below is the lesson and the steps I used to create the Optical Art with them.

 

Step 1

 Draw a border around the piece of paper 2 cm from the edge of the paper using a ruler. Then draw a curved line across the paper.  Like rolling hills not a roller coaster.

 ArtProJect01

Step 2

 Place 8 dots across the line at different lengths apart.  Make sure you place two dots close to the edges of your borders.  Connect the dots with bumps.  The dots close to the border will go off the edge of the paper to an imaginary dot.

 ArtProJect02

Step 3

Continue the bumps and eventually you will go off the top and bottom of the border.  Fill in the entire border area.

ArtProJect03 

Step 4

Pick a couple of colours you feel works well together.  Press harder in the corners or edges of the bumps and as you get near the top or centre of each bump get lighter and lighter.  This way you get the illusion of  3 dimensions, highlights or hot spots and depth with the darker areas.
And that’s it.
 ArtProJect04
Here are some of the students finish products. Enjoy!

 

Friday Two Cents: Worth The Trip


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This week was as busy as usual but there was an added bonus that I did not anticipate. I had the usual practicum placement but we did not have lecture classes because we are getting for our two-week block placements for practicum.   However we did have one mandatory visit we had to go to for class. It was a visit to a literacy program for students in grade 1 & 2 called 5th Block.

To be honest I was not looking forward to going. I was swamped with work and to top it all off I had to go across town to get to the school. Lets put it this way, by car it would take me close to an hour to get there but by public transit it would take my over 2 hours. Either way I would have to leave home early to get there for 8:45 am. I did drive there and it took over an hour with all the traffic and I was late. Once there I was saying to myself this better be worth my time because I could be doing something else more important.

I got there before the children arrived for their morning program and got caught up with the teachers. Yet once the children arrived and the program started all my issues disappeared. The teacher went through a phonic program with the children to help them improve their reading and word recognition. She went through one activity after another that involved phonics, reading words on a word wall, reading from a storybook and having them read a story. They even read stories to each other and then discussed the story together. It was very impressive.

For me the part that made me very happy was that they encouraged the children to know the sounds of the letters or the phonics. I grow up with this strategy and when I began teaching as an early childhood educator (ECE) I helped the child to do the same thing. Also within my studies we learned that phonics is the most helpful way for children to begin to learn to read. Even when I was helping in some kindergarten classrooms many did the phonetic way of teaching the children yet others just taught the name of the letters not the sounds.

When I was teaching in a centre I was responsible for 10 students who’s parents wanted them stayed at the centre because they did not want their child to go into the school system until they where ready for grade one. Therefore I was responsible for teaching them the kindergarten curriculum and one area I focused was teaching the name of the letter and more importantly the phonetic sound of the letter. The parents appreciated my efforts and wanted the children to know both, and I agree. I worked with the children for one year and in that time I saw them go from knowing the letters and sounds to reading level A, B & C books.

I witnessed the value of learning teaching phonics to help improve literacy and I am overjoyed to see that there are great literacy programs doing the same thing. I guess it was worth the hour and a half trip to the school after all.

 

Comic Strips: Too Scary


ComicStrips  

Last week I could not post any art inspiration because I was swamped with schoolwork. To be honest I felt bad not just because I missed a posting but I find posting art helps me to recharge and relax. Art is a big part of my life, I have found that no matter how bad the day is, art will always brighten my mode.
I am posting this month’s newsletter comic strip of, The Craziest Things centring on a Halloween theme and how inventive the students are. The wonderful thing is that I have seen something like this costume, not at this school but someplace else. Also the girl who is wearing the costume, is very politically motivated. 
The staff and students enjoyed this comic and I hope you too will enjoy The Craziest Things; Comic Strips: Too Scary.

Nov2014NLPg8 copy

Friday Two Cents: Thank You For Being In My Life


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On a list of bad weeks this one would rank up near the top. Suffice it to say that it was a trying week with one stressful issue placed on top of another. I wasn’t even able to post anything on Tuesday for my art inspiration and a major way of helping me relieve my stress is to indulge in my artistic pastimes. Things got worse and worse.

I then got a notice from WordPress that I just had my second anniversary and I thought where has the year gone. I have been so busy that I forgot about the anniversary and then it made me think about what has happened in the past year.

2nd Year Anniversary of starting my blog.

2nd Year Anniversary of starting my blog.

Well in the past year I finished my undergrad in Early Childhood Education (ECE), worked in several full day kindergarten (FDK) classes for long-term occasional (LTO), worked in my school with amazing people doing many extracurricular activities. I was able to finally fix up my place that I have been putting off for years. I applied and got accepted to teacher’s college, made new friendships and relationships and most significant, I went to a team/community building retreat where I reconnected with my faith and new community through new relationships with teacher candidates like myself.   These are just the big things I did not mention the continued support and love I have from my family and friends of many years.

If I look back at the past year it has been a whirlwind adventure to say the least and an adventure I would not trade for the world. Yes there are some bumps on the road of life but if you have the support from family and friends, the ride becomes that much smoother. I guess I just needed a reminder that in my life, there are some great support people who helped me and that I am truly blessed to have them.

To all of those people who support and help me, you know who you are; I would like to say,

You know who you are.

 

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