Friday Two Cents: What A Piece Of Work Is A Man


 

This past week I have been enjoying my vacation time by indulging in some of my favourite pasts. Bike rides and walks along the lakeshore, reading, writing, drawing and painting. During these long periods of activity, my mind has been free to wander and think of endless possibilities and things that are right in front of me.

The best way to make any sense of what I have been thinking can be best said from a quote in Shakespeare’s Hamlet …

Hamlet
What a piece of work is a man, how noble in reason, how
infinite in faculties, in form and moving how express and
admirable, in action how like an angel, in apprehension how like
a god!

Hamlet Act 2, scene 2.

 

Hamlet said this little speech in irony. Perhaps Hamlet intended to fend off the questions or nosy inquiries from the kings’ spies, yet he finds nothing too impressive about man (humanity). Yet what Hamlet says in irony I take as my conviction.
During my activities I have had time to reflect on what we (humans) have done with our time on this planet. For I have seen the evils of what man can and have done to their fellow-man, yet I have seen many examples that man has the capacity to do good as well. Art has given me the means to look into the soul of humanity and try to understand what makes us tick. Engaging in my own art projects helps me to understand the soul of humanity and our desire to understand the world around us. What other creature on this planet can create something as breathtaking as the Mona Lisa or apiece of street art I see in downtown Toronto. All of this is an expression of us trying to understand why we are here. Art has developed and grown as our civilization has grown. Humanity’s journey of self-discovery and understanding can be reflected in its many forms of artwork. In many ways our art is a window into our very soul.
My own exploration and experiences in art has given me some insights, yet I am far from finding the answers to these questions; but I know the journey is worth it. Lao Tzu once said …

 

‘The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step.’ Lao Tzu

I would add to this …
“Sometimes the journey is as important as the destination.” Paul Gauchi
  

Here’s to the journey into the soul of humanity and my own.

Art Inspiration: Heroes vs. Villains – Lord Awesomeness


As part of the final assignment in my resent drawing club, I had the students create their own hero or villain. Their characters could have up to 2 powers/abilities; a unique name and they had to indicate if they were either a hero or villain. The students also wanted me to redraw their character, in the comic book style, once they had handed their original in. I needed the original as a reference, I told them and I wanted them to do the work. The variety I received was amazing and it inspired me to create a wide range of characters.

I began with my version of the villain’s leader and in the next few weeks I will post the student’s original character with my version that I gave to them. In the past few weeks I posted the Villains now its time for the Heroes to make an appearance …

Hero 05 – Lord Awesomeness

Some students modeled their character after popular comics they are familiar with and this student may have had something specific in mind. He asked me to help him create armour that was similar to the type that the clone troopers and the storm troopers from Star Wars wear. Then I saw his characters abilities I knew he was going for a cross between Ironman and a Jedi.

After he gave me his character I thought of a Jedi like Obi Wan and his battle armour yet I want to show the character in a different light. I drew the character in an action pose like jumping or leaping. I then too my cue from the armour he drew to recreate it on the character. I tried as well to model the hair and face to the student’s for a little extra touch.

I showed the student his character and he was happy with it especially the pose and that it looked a bit like him. I hope you enjoy the fifth hero character from Heroes VS. Villains –Lord Awesomeness.

Friday Two Cents: Keeping A Routine And Keeping Healthy


With the summer upon us and I am, like the children, off for the summer enjoying a well-deserved rest. A time to recharge my batteries and get things done that I put-off during the year. I have a list of things I need to get done around the house yet I decided to make sure I looked after my own health at the same time.

Working as a teacher is no an easy job. It is a mental and physical job that many people think is easy to do. ‘You’re playing with kids. How hard is that?’ Trust me it’s not easy. Put aside the fact that teachers must program the daily lessons, write reports and supervise the students, it is also very physical. Everyday I would look at my step counter and on average I would do between 14 000 and 15 000 steps daily. That level of activity is taxing and does take its toll after a time. Yet I must admit once you get use to it you miss it after a while.
During the summer months I have taken it upon myself to keep healthy and physically fit. I big part is maintaining my diet. I have a routine that did not change over this past three weeks of the summer and it has helped.  I try to keep to the same routine but I also know that I am not perfect and I allow myself to occasional indulgence but in moderation.
Eating is only part of it; I also go to bed and wake up at the same time. I exercise and keep physically fit but this week I have taken up something that I haven’t done for about 5 years; ride my bike. I have a stationary bike at home that I use often but going out seemed such an inconvenience. I use to ride almost everywhere when I was younger, yet when I got my licence I rode less and less. This year though I thought why not start again.
I got my bike ready and the day after I finished my Mathematics course I went down to the lakeshore and rode along the bike path. It was an exhilarating experience and it is true what they say, once you have ridden a bike you never forget. I rode along the same path I did years ago everything about riding came back. The breeze whipping across my face; the sensation of my legs as I pump them up and down and the sense of accomplishment after riding the set amount of kilometers I set for myself.
I know this is only the beginning and I am being realistic. I know not to push myself too much but I intend to continue for at least the summer. After that who knows. Trying to keep healthy is a lot of work but as I have discovered, its fun too.

SaveSave

SaveSave

Art Inspiration: Heroes vs. Villains – Super Coco


As part of the final assignment in my resent drawing club, I had the students create their own hero or villain. Their characters could have up to 2 powers/abilities; a unique name and they had to indicate if they were either a hero or villain. The students also wanted me to redraw their character, in the comic book style, once they had handed their original in. I needed the original as a reference, I told them and I wanted them to do the work. The variety I received was amazing and it inspired me to create a wide range of characters.

I began with my version of the villain’s leader and in the next few weeks I will post the student’s original character with my version that I gave to them. In the past few weeks I posted the Villains now its time for the Heroes to make an appearance …

Hero 04 – Super Coco

Some students modeled their character after popular comics they are familiar with and this student may have had something specific in mind. I asked her why she drew her character this way and she said it was like she was doing gymnastics. I thought that was a great why to pose her character.

I thought of what kind of pose to place her character in but I did not want it to be a standard pose. I knew that her character had the ability to stretch or elasticity therefore I wanted to show that ability. I decided to draw her character in a standing pose but stretch out her arms and hair into a shape of a heart.

I showed the student his character and she was happy it but she had a question. She asked, “Why is her hair in hearts too?” I said because her entire body, including her hair, has the ability to stretch or has elasticity too. She loved the thought of it and wanted to picture right when I showed it to her. I hope you enjoy the fourth hero character from Heroes VS. Villains – Super Coco.

Friday Two Cents: I Enjoy Mathematics


 

This past week was the first week of my summer vacation, yet instead of going away somewhere or doing some work around the house I decided to improve my teaching knowledge. I decided to take an additional qualification course (AQ) in mathematics for the primary and junior grades. Many people asked my why I would take such a course because I am more of creative person who enjoys art. Other said “YUCH!! I hate math.” or “I was never good at math.” Many people had a negative experience with math in school.

Yet truth be-told, I have always enjoyed math since an early age and it seems to come natural to me. Yet I have discovered that knowing how to do math and teaching it is a lot different. I wanted to increase my knowledge in the subject matter to better help the students understand math and perhaps enjoy it as I have.

What are numbers?

The course has been very eye-opening yet there was one notion that made me pause in refection. As part of the course I read a chapter from a book entitled, ‘Adding It Up: Helping Children Learn Mathematics’. In it you are made to try to understand what are numbers. The professor then posed a question… ‘What statement best captures your understanding of “number”?’ – Number are ideas, nouns, adjectives or something else?
When I was first asked the question my first thought was that numbers were quantitative / measurable units. Yet after the first lecture and reading the chapter I am starting to see that numbers are a lot more that I gave them credit.
Numbers are what we make them to be. They can be apples, cars, money, people or even time. Without the context of what the number is, it is just a digit, a visual image representing something but we are not sure what. When you say 5 what is five? Not until you say five cars does the number have value. I never thought of this concept but it makes sense.
Numbers are ideas, nouns and adjectives. They are all of these and more. It puts into perspective the idea of giving the students equations. The concept of 1+2=3 is good if you are doing high-end mathematics, yet we are talking about students in the primary and junior grades, children from ages 3 – 12 years.
This reminds me of when I took calculus in high school and university. It is all about numbers being part of an equation that needed to be solved. Yet I remember using many similar equations in physics when doing formulas. We knew that each variable represented something (f = force) and we would plug-in numbers to calculate the values. Even back then there was value to the numbers like mass (m) or speed (m/s) yet I never though of that when I would be teaching math.
This has definitely changed my thinking around how I present and instruct math. But it has also helped me to know what I can say to parents about, what people are calling the new way of teaching math. I can help them understand that numbers are ideas, nouns and adjectives. That the numbers are only part of the lesson, that we are helping the students to connect the number to their own life and thereby allow them to carry on this knowledge into their every day life.
This has only been a beginning of my journey to understand and help others understand math. There is a lot more to learn and with time, practice and perseverance I know I can improve my knowledge of how to teach math to the students. Perhaps even change society’s negative preconception on math.

Friday Two Cents: Here’s To The Next Chapter


 

In Canada, this was the last week of school for many students. I have worked in a few schools during the last week of school but never as a teacher of a class. To say it was exhausting would not accurately describe the feeling. Physically yes, I had to do a lot of cleaning and get the room ready for the next teacher for the following year, yet there was a bit more this year.

Perhaps it was because I am the teacher and not the early childhood educator (ECE). There was more responsibility for both programing and duties as a teacher. Duties such as getting the report cards out, doing the final bit of paper work, talking to parents on different issues on top of getting things organized like cleaning toys and preparing supplies. Yet I also think that this coming school year has a big change in store for me.
At the school I usually work in I started as an ECE in the after school program. During my time, I worked hard in school and received my undergrad and bachelors of Education within three years while I worked at the program. At the same time I worked as a supply ECE and recently I finally got onto the occasional teaching list.   A lot of changes over the past five years. Yet this year I decided to leave the after-school program and focus all my efforts on my teaching career. I have been working there for about 10 years and I know the staff very well and consider them friends. And for the first time in a while the future seems less and more clear at the same time.
I decided this course of action some time ago and I know it is the right move for me, however today when I handed in my pass card and key it hit me, this is it. No more after-school, no more drawing club, newsletter, Christmas play, baseball program, no more clubs and programs I began. They are now the responsibility of others. Even some of the students asked me, “If you are going who will teach me baseball?” I said with a smile, “Don’t worry.  There will be another teacher to teach you that.” And as I said it I began to believe it too. Yes I began these programs but they are not mine, they belong to the students who enjoy them and another teacher can come by and do them and improve them.
I think that is what truly made me feel exhausted on the last day of my time there. Knowing that there will be some big changes for me in the coming school year. Yet when I look forward into the fog of uncertainty, a light from a lighthouse beams through the fog reminding me that there is a glimmer of the positive. Yes I am leaving but I am still an occasional teacher and I can go back to that school to supply teach. 
I have heard a recurring theme these past few weeks, “Here’s to the next chapter.” both from the students graduating and from other teachers retiring. This is not an end but the beginning of a new and exciting chapter of their lives.   Yes, this is just a new and exciting chapter in my life too. I have to think positive and just keep “my eye on the ball”, go for my goal. For the future may be uncertain, but it is filled with wondrous possibilities.

 

Here’s To The Next Chapter

 

SaveSave

SaveSave

Sauce Box

Never get lost in the Sauce

The Trombonist's Mouthpiece

Music, education, and philosophy

Paul Gauchi

My innermost thoughts I wish to share. These things Inspire me, maybe they will inspire you.

Lucia Lorenzi

the body politic: musings and meanderings

Eternal Atlantis

Official Website of Luciana Cavallaro

The Art Studio by Mark Moore

Where Imagination Becomes Realality

Daniel is funny

Monsters, Jokes, Analogies

A Step onto the Road

The journeying of a literary hopeful

teachingontheverge

Emergent curriculum, play-based learning, and Arts education... go!

The Baggage Handler

I made the impossible easy in both worlds!

Bucket List Publications

Indulge- Travel, Adventure, & New Experiences

Belief Blog

Spreading the Power of Belief

The First Gate

Stories, Dreams, Imagination, Soul

Chris Martin Writes

Sowing seeds for the Kingdom

Unbound Boxes Limping Gods

The writer gives life to a story, the reader keeps it alive.

Mama Cormier

.... my journey to a healthy life, making new memories and so much more

The WordPress.com Blog

The latest news on WordPress.com and the WordPress community.