Friday Two Cents: Time To Recharge


 

Well teachers, we made it.   Another year has come and gone and now begins the two month-long process of recharging you batteries. Yes it’s a great time to do nothing and many people may be jealous of the two months but remember one thing, you deserve it.

The public may only see you work six hours a day with the students, five days a week and you now get two months off, yet you and I know what they don’t see adds up to a lot more. Sometimes you stay late helping students with their homework, or mark their work and we both know you have to get all your lesson plans prepared before but you can only do this once the school day is over. Yet sometimes you volunteer your time to run extracurricular activities like sports teams, school committees and countless clubs. Not to mention the tests, individual lesson plans and reports you write on a constant basis, all during your own time.
You deserve a break but I know that it is not easy. The most difficult part is how to begin. Luckily I was able to find five meaningful places where we can start.   These five were published by the Greater Good Science Center at UC Berkeley and I thought it may be a good starting point.  

 

8 Essentials for Forgiving: Raise your hand if you have any residual “grrr” feelings from this past school year. We’ve all experienced times when a student, parent, or colleague treated us unfairly or said something hurtful, and sometimes it can be hard to let go of the bad feelings. But holding onto grudges, even small ones, only makes things worse for you. By helping you forgive, these steps can reduce your stress and make you feel better. 

Gratitude Letter: Now, raise your other hand if there’s someone who really made a positive difference in your life this past year. It could be someone at school, someone who supported you from the sidelines, or anyone else who you never got to thank properly. Taking the time to write a note of gratitude to them—and even better, delivering it in person—won’t just make them feel great. It’ll make you happier, too! 

Awe Narrative: From making intense decisions to dealing with little details, it’s easy to get consumed by the day-to-day challenges of teaching. To break out of that tunnel-vision head space and expand your perspective (and maybe even remember why you became a teacher in the first place!), try thinking and writing about a time you felt awe. Believe it or not, doing this can make you feel like you have more free time and increase your life satisfaction.  

Meaningful Photos: Want another way to boost your happiness and sense of meaning in life? It’s (almost) as easy as taking a selfie—but so much more fulfilling. Just take a picture or two each day of things that you feel make your life meaningful and then, at the end of a week, reflect on why those things mean so much to you. Now that you’re no longer stuck in a classroom for eight hours a day, get out there, get creative, and remind yourself of all the wonderful things that make your life worthwhile. 

Self-Compassionate Letter: Teachers, on the whole, are a pretty self-critical bunch. We dedicate our lives to caring for others, but we often don’t extend the same kindness to ourselves, instead beating ourselves up over every little thing. Thus, the idea of writing a letter to yourself expressing compassion for one of your own flaws or mistakes may seem strange, but it really works—it not only makes people feel better, but also makes them more motivated to improve. This would be a great way to set the stage for being kinder to yourself next year.  

Campbell, E. (June 17, 2015) Five Ways for Teachers to Recharge This Summer. The Greater Good Magazine, The Greater Good Science Center at the University of California, Berkeley. https://greatergood.berkeley.edu/article/item/five_ways_for_teachers_to_recharge_summer

Writing down you thoughts.

 

These are just a few of dozens of ideas and articles available but they appear to be a good balance. I have actually done a few of these to help myself relax and recharge, perhaps they can help you too.

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Friday Two Cents: To Boldly Go


 

This past week has been a whirlwind of a week to say the least. First off I finally made it onto the Occasional Teaching (OT) roster of a school board. I say finally because after 2 years in university, one year of teacher’s college and 2 years of supplying as an early childhood educator (RECE), I can say that I am working in my chosen career.

First Day as an occasional teacher (OT)

As great as that sounds it is only the beginning. I went in on Monday to the school I usually go to for my first day as a supply teacher. The experience was amazing! I was in a grade 5 class where all of the students basically knew me and I knew about half of them since kindergarten. I then covered a few other classes where I had the same experience.
At the end of the day I received some good news for me. A teacher had gone on sick leave and they asked me if I could cover the class until the end of the school year. I jumped at the chance and the best part  was that it would be in a kindergarten class that I have already worked in as a RECE!!
So the following day I started in the kindergarten class as their teacher until the end of the year.  The experience was a lot different then when I was a RECE. I have been in the several classes as a RECE for several weeks and months at a time, yet being a teacher in a class is totally different. They say the weight of responsibility weighs heavy on those in authority and I can now say from experience, that it does.
Before, I was helping the teacher, something very similar to a “sergeant”. Someone in authority and respected, but subordinate to someone else.   Now as the teacher I am like the officer, the “captain” of the ship. You still have someone to report to, the principal (Admiral), but you chart your own course, steering the ship in a direction towards a destination for learning. The crew (the students) are your responsibility, you must keep them safe and ensure that they benefit for your leadership.
This week of being the “Captain” in the class was amazing. I had the benefit of the programming of the previous teacher and then I threw in my own spin in teaching the material. Next week I bring in my own plan of action, so to speak. This coming week I am the captain of the S.S. Kindergarten. Their on going journey, into a new and exciting world of learning and exploration. To boldly go where we have not gone before.

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Art Inspiration: Staff Cartoons The Journey Together: Group 3


The JourneyTogether Title

“Sometimes it’s the journey that teaches you a lot about your destination.” Drake

 

“Friends are as companions on a journey, who ought to aid each other to persevere in the road to a happier life.” Pythagoras

 

Inspiration and Imagination, two things that every artist needs and is as difficult to find as buried treasure. But once you find it the world is you oyster. Many people have told me that I inspire the children and people in general with what I do. Whether creating art, playing baseball or trying to improve my life, people say that I have inspired others to try new things and look inside themselves. I have always found this interesting because I get my inspiration from these very people. Whether it is a child asking me about Mythology or talking to people about a number of different topics, they have all inspired me to create and use my imagination to bring the impossible to life.

A prime example is when I draw the staff at my school as cartoon characters or caricatures. It started one year around Christmas when we have our Christmas concert and staff dinner. Always after the concert, we go out for dinner and we exchange gifts, such as a Chris Kringle. I wanted to liven things up and instead of giving Christmas cards, I decided to create my own with the staff members as a caricature.
This specific year I was at teacher’s college and I spent more time with my follow teacher candidates and anyone else. In many ways they inspired me all yearlong and that inspiration gave birth some new caricatures.   I continued with my favorite style Steampunk. Steampunk is a subgenre of science fiction and fantasy that came out of literary works such as Jules Vern and H.G. Wells. But Steampunk can be best described by breaking up the word. “Steam” represents the era mostly the early industrial age around the Victorian Era. “Punk” represents rebellion or going against the norm.
The “Punk” or rebellion goes for going against what is expected on the technology level as well as societal norms. On the technology level you see cars that are steamed powered, flying dirigibles or airships the size and look of sailing vessels or steam-powered walking machines.   Yet when it comes to rebellion on the societal side it affects women the most. During this time women were relegated to subordinates to the men, covering up themselves, not taking up employment or independent behaviour. That is why in Steampunk you will see many women showing cleavage or wearing short skirts and showing a lot of leg to show off their stockings.
Between classes, lesson plans work and other things it took quit a while to create the caricatures. But once my fellow teacher candidates received them they loved the cards and caricatures. In the next few weeks I will be posting a few of the characters from the cards because these people inspired me to create these characters on our ‘Journey Together’ through teacher’s college. Hopefully they can spur imagination and inspire others.

Steampunk Group 3

 

This group of wonderful people, I connected with them from the very start of the year I was in teacher’s college. In some ways this group inspired all the previous group caricatures. Yet I did not create their caricatures until the end of the school year. Mostly because I was so preoccupied with all the schoolwork, yet I made it a point to give this to them before the end of the school year. Their friendship and help made teacher’s college fun in so many ways. The title The Journey Together is self-explanatory and it fits well for this group. We journeyed through teacher’s college through the good and bad times but we never lost of sense of fun and fellowship. We ended up with a great adventure, tremendous stories and experiences to remember for a lifetime.

When I gave them their individual caricatures’, I also gave them this group image. It has all of them and myself as The Captain (of course). They all loved it and they were speechless. Yet they could not stop thanking me for this piece of art and a few tears of gratitude was shed too. I hope you enjoy the third steampunk caricature group from “The Journey Together.

Steampunk Group 01 - An Inspirational Group

Steampunk Group 01 – An Inspirational Group

Art Inspiration: Staff Cartoons The Journey Together: Steampunk Group 02


The JourneyTogether Title         

 

“Sometimes it’s the journey that teaches you a lot about your destination.” Drake

 

“Friends are as companions on a journey, who ought to aid each other to persevere in the road to a happier life.” Pythagoras

 

Inspiration and Imagination, two things that every artist needs and is as difficult to find as buried treasure. But once you find it the world is you oyster. Many people have told me that I inspire the children and people in general with what I do. Whether creating art, playing baseball or trying to improve my life, people say that I have inspired others to try new things and look inside themselves. I have always found this interesting because I get my inspiration from these very people. Whether it is a child asking me about Mythology or talking to people about a number of different topics, they have all inspired me to create and use my imagination to bring the impossible to life.

A prime example is when I draw the staff at my school as cartoon characters or caricatures. It started one year around Christmas when we have our Christmas concert and staff dinner. Always after the concert, we go out for dinner and we exchange gifts, such as a Chris Kringle. I wanted to liven things up and instead of giving Christmas cards, I decided to create my own with the staff members as a caricature.
This specific year I was at teacher’s college and I spent more time with my follow teacher candidates and anyone else. In many ways they inspired me all yearlong and that inspiration gave birth some new caricatures.   I continued with my favorite style Steampunk. Steampunk is a subgenre of science fiction and fantasy that came out of literary works such as Jules Vern and H.G. Wells. But Steampunk can be best described by breaking up the word. “Steam” represents the era mostly the early industrial age around the Victorian Era. “Punk” represents rebellion or going against the norm.
The “Punk” or rebellion goes for going against what is expected on the technology level as well as societal norms. On the technology level you see cars that are steamed powered, flying dirigibles or airships the size and look of sailing vessels or steam-powered walking machines.   Yet when it comes to rebellion on the societal side it affects women the most. During this time women were relegated to subordinates to the men, covering up themselves, not taking up employment or independent behaviour. That is why in Steampunk you will see many women showing cleavage or wearing short skirts and showing a lot of leg to show off their stockings.
 Between classes, lesson plans work and other things it took quit a while to create the caricatures. But once my fellow teacher candidates received them they loved the cards and caricatures. In the next few weeks I will be posting a few of the characters from the cards because these people inspired me to create these characters on our ‘Journey Together’ through teacher’s college. Hopefully they can spur imagination and inspire others.

 

Steampunk Group 2

 

This group is a bit different. The only student in the group is me, the rest are the professors and administrator at the teacher’s college location. I went to teacher’s college that was centred on Catholic education. We were still part of the university but we were off site at the Catholic Board’s Head office to can help us with one very important aspect of catholic education, community. We were a small tight-knit group that worked on getting our Bachelors of Education and teaching certification, but we had one thing more that bind us together, our faith. This principle was established early on by the professors. They helped to fuse our small group into a community. I know that without their assistance, many others think the same way; I would not have succeeded without their guidance and mentorship.   The Journey Together title applies to them greatly because they were there to lead us through all the good and bad times and then ended up as teachers with many happy memories.

I gave them their individual caricatures’ and a group image at the end of the school year. It has all of them and myself as The Captain (of course) and I wrote a thank you poem on the back for all the things they had helped me to achieve. They all loved it and couldn’t stop talking about it. I hope you enjoy the second steampunk caricature group from “The Journey Together.

Steampunk Group 02 - Professors

Steampunk Group 02 – Professors

Art Inspiration: Staff Cartoons The Journey Together: Steampunk Group 01


The JourneyTogether Title  

“Sometimes it’s the journey that teaches you a lot about your destination.” Drake

 

“Friends are as companions on a journey, who ought to aid each other to persevere in the road to a happier life.” Pythagoras

 

Inspiration and Imagination, two things that every artist needs and is as difficult to find as buried treasure. But once you find it the world is you oyster. Many people have told me that I inspire the children and people in general with what I do. Whether creating art, playing baseball or trying to improve my life, people say that I have inspired others to try new things and look inside themselves. I have always found this interesting because I get my inspiration from these very people. Whether it is a child asking me about Mythology or talking to people about a number of different topics, they have all inspired me to create and use my imagination to bring the impossible to life.

A prime example is when I draw the staff at my school as cartoon characters or caricatures. It started one year around Christmas when we have our Christmas concert and staff dinner. Always after the concert, we go out for dinner and we exchange gifts, such as a Chris Kringle. I wanted to liven things up and instead of giving Christmas cards, I decided to create my own with the staff members as a caricature.
This specific year I was at teacher’s college and I spent more time with my follow teacher candidates and anyone else. In many ways they inspired me all yearlong and that inspiration gave birth some new caricatures.   I continued with my favorite style Steampunk. Steampunk is a subgenre of science fiction and fantasy that came out of literary works such as Jules Vern and H.G. Wells. But Steampunk can be best described by breaking up the word. “Steam” represents the era mostly the early industrial age around the Victorian Era. “Punk” represents rebellion or going against the norm.
The “Punk” or rebellion goes for going against what is expected on the technology level as well as societal norms. On the technology level you see cars that are steamed powered, flying dirigibles or airships the size and look of sailing vessels or steam-powered walking machines.   Yet when it comes to rebellion on the societal side it affects women the most. During this time women were relegated to subordinates to the men, covering up themselves, not taking up employment or independent behaviour. That is why in Steampunk you will see many women showing cleavage or wearing short skirts and showing a lot of leg to show off their stockings.
Between classes, lesson plans work and other things it took quit a while to create the caricatures. But once my fellow teacher candidates received them they loved the cards and caricatures. In the next few weeks I will be posting a few of the characters from the cards because these people inspired me to create these characters on our ‘Journey Together’ through teacher’s college. Hopefully they can spur imagination and inspire others.

 

Steampunk Group 1

 

I was with this group from almost the beginning of the school year in teacher’s college.   We grow, learned together and supported each other throughout the year. It was amazing to be apart of this special group of individuals and I wanted to give them something that they could remember with happy memories of fellowship and a shared experience. The title The Journey Together is self-explanatory. We journeyed through teacher’s college through the good and bad times. We ended up with a great adventure, tremendous stories and experiences to remember for a lifetime.

When I gave them their individual caricatures’, I also gave them this group image. It has all of them and myself as The Captain (of course). They all loved it and couldn’t stop talking about it. I hope you enjoy the first steampunk caricature group from “The Journey Together.

Steampunk Group 01 - Close group

Steampunk Group 01 – Close group

Art Inspiration: Staff Cartoons The Journey Together: Steampunk Woman 11


          DefiantScene01

 

“Sometimes it’s the journey that teaches you a lot about your destination.” Drake

 

“Friends are as companions on a journey, who ought to aid each other to persevere in the road to a happier life.” Pythagoras

 

Inspiration and Imagination, two things that every artist needs and is as difficult to find as buried treasure. But once you find it the world is you oyster. Many people have told me that I inspire the children and people in general with what I do. Whether creating art, playing baseball or trying to improve my life, people say that I have inspired others to try new things and look inside themselves. I have always found this interesting because I get my inspiration from these very people. Whether it is a child asking me about Mythology or talking to people about a number of different topics, they have all inspired me to create and use my imagination to bring the impossible to life.

A prime example is when I draw the staff at my school as cartoon characters or caricatures. It started one year around Christmas when we have our Christmas concert and staff dinner. Always after the concert, we go out for dinner and we exchange gifts, such as a Chris Kringle. I wanted to liven things up and instead of giving Christmas cards, I decided to create my own with the staff members as a caricature.
This specific year I was at teacher’s college and I spent more time with my follow teacher candidates and anyone else. In many ways they inspired me all yearlong and that inspiration gave birth some new caricatures.   I continued with my favorite style Steampunk. Steampunk is a subgenre of science fiction and fantasy that came out of literary works such as Jules Vern and H.G. Wells. But Steampunk can be best described by breaking up the word. “Steam” represents the era mostly the early industrial age around the Victorian Era. “Punk” represents rebellion or going against the norm.
The “Punk” or rebellion goes for going against what is expected on the technology level as well as societal norms. On the technology level you see cars that are steamed powered, flying dirigibles or airships the size and look of sailing vessels or steam-powered walking machines.   Yet when it comes to rebellion on the societal side it affects women the most. During this time women were relegated to subordinates to the men, covering up themselves, not taking up employment or independent behaviour. That is why in Steampunk you will see many women showing cleavage or wearing short skirts and showing a lot of leg to show off their stockings.
 
Between classes, lesson plans work and other things it took quit a while to create the caricatures. But once my fellow teacher candidates received them they loved the cards and caricatures. In the next few weeks I will be posting a few of the characters from the cards because these people inspired me to create these characters on our ‘Journey Together’ through teacher’s college. Hopefully they can spur imagination and inspire others.

 

Steampunk Woman 11 – “Femme Fatale”

 

The twelfth caricature is of a person who is a wonderful friend that is fun to be with and dare I say a bit like myself, a bit of a joker.   With her caricature I came up with her code name first “Femme Fatale”. At a function many of us attended, we were all well dressed and the theme of the night was based on a James Bond movie Casino Royal. I jokingly gave code names to each of the people who attended. She was dress in a stunning black dress and the first code name that stuck for her was “Femme Fatale”. She loved the name and it suited her especially with the night’s theme and the amazing dress she was wearing.

With her steampunk caricature I knew I needed to really punch up the rishé factor. I started with the corset. I drew it very tight-fitting to accentuate her breasts and waist. I also drew silk frills that would protrude out from the waist and breasts. I then drew her wearing a high cut skirt with two slits that would show off her shapely legs. To enhance her legs I added thigh high stockings with her suspenders showing and of course matching black high heels. I then drew her wearing a leather jacket with fur cuffs and a fur cloak to give her that rebellious look as well as sporting two fast action revolvers. I drew her hair very similar to her own, long and curly. I had it layered and some strands going over one of her eyes in what I call the mysterious look.

To add a more personal tough to the caricature, I then drew roses on each of the breast. We both love Disney and ‘Beauty and the Beast’ is our favorite movie. With the three keys dangling from her waist, that is an inside joke between us.  

When I finally gave her the caricature she was overjoyed to point of being speechless, which is a first for her. She could not stop saying how much she loved it as did many others. I hope you enjoy the twelfth steampunk caricature from “The Journey Together.

Steampunk Woman 11 - Codename Femme Fatale

Steampunk Woman 11 – Codename Femme Fatale

 

Comic Strips: WB 2 Skool Stdnts


ComicStrips

 

Well it is the start of a new school year with a fresh crop of students and situations that can be the basis of my comic strips. If you do not know, I am the editor of the afterschool program’s newsletter. I just finished putting the first edition of the 2016-17 newsletters together and sent it out to the parents. Even though it’s a lot of work while I look for a teaching position and work as an Early Childhood educator (ECE), I enjoy doing it yet my favourite part is creating the comic strip.   I always use the students of the senior grade 5s as my inspiration for the comics. I will draw every grade five in the program as a fun cartoon caricature.

Many of the other children ask why don’t I use the other grades too. I tell them that these students are the graduating class and they deserve their moment. Also it is hard enough trying to draw 15 – 18 students and place them into 8 – 10 comic strips, just imagine 120. Therefore I had to limit the amount I can draw.
I use many different themes to inspire me to create the comic such as the difference in the generations or the use of technology in the classroom compared to their parents. Yet there are some themes that are universal to all generations.
This month centres on the first day of school. Yes that amazing day when you have to go back to the salt mines, I mean classroom and begin a fresh new year of learning and discovery.   We have all felt that horrid feeling that the summer is over and you have to wake up early each morning and go to your cell, I mean classroom, ha, ha. Not everyone is of that opinion many enjoy school. A place where you can learn new and interesting things, a place where discovery is encouraged.
In this new world of technology, teachers are looking to different ways of engaging their students. How does the old saying go? “If you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em.” That saying is no more prevalent than with this comic. With texting in full flight everywhere you go it is only natural that the students are using it as well.   Texting is the medium where spelling is not that important to cut down on the number of characters. Many times I have debated with other teachers about the value of spelling correctly and weather texting abbreviations should be acceptable in the classroom. Sometimes you just need to speak in their language to get the message across. Or in some cases texting.
I hope you enjoy Comic Strips: WB 2 Skool Stdnts and I wonder if you where in the same situation as these students were at work?

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