Welcome to my Teacher Education blog!

My adventures in the UBC B.Ed program of 2020-2021

Initial Wonderings

Coming up with the name of this site pretty much sums up my inquiry wonderings. How do I find a name that encompasses ALL that I’m aiming for in my teaching practice? How do I reflect my values of inclusion, diversity, growth mindset, unlimited potential, and mental health? I brainstormed and came up with about…
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Last Year vs. This Year…

This is my second year in the Teacher Education Program. Last year I had some health issues that meant I had to do the program part time. It was a very difficult year for me, but somehow I made it through and passed all my classes. This year I’m feeling great! My health is much…
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I See You

In 2019, in our first week in the Teacher Education Program, the Middle Years / Self-Regulated Learning cohort had an opportunity to visit Royal Heights Elementary school in Surrey. This was an amazing experience because we met many teachers and students, and we visited a class in progress. As you can see in the visual…
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Goals for my first school visit!

As I mentioned in previous posts, this is my second year in the Teacher Education Program. This year I am heading into my practicum (THIS THURSDAY!!!) and I’m so excited to be able to put into practice all of the amazing things I’ve learned the past year. My goals for this first school visit are…
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Week #1 Reflection

Gah! I did it. It happened. I was finally in a classroom! Of course I’ve been in many classrooms before, both as a teacher and as a student, but never as a UBC B.Ed teacher candidate. This has been YEARS in the making. My day started off lumpy with a trip to the hospital. No…
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Week #2 Reflection

On my second visit to the class I felt much more comfortable and the kids seemed a little more comfortable around me as well. I got their early and no one had arrived yet, so I hung out in the teacher lounge. Pat arrived 15 minutes later with news she’d won a free office makeover…
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Goals for School Visit #3

The past weeks have really flown by and it’s been challenging to keep up with all that I would like to do and need to do to prepare for my practicum. This Thursday is my last visit before my short practicum, so I hope I can get some things done, including: Bring some lesson plan…
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Hearing silent voices

Something that has become very apparent to me in my first two school visits is that some voices just don’t get heard in the class. There are 25 kids in my class, and of them about 7 don’t speak up. A few of those 7 children can actually go an entire day saying almost nothing…
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Class Profile

Leyton and Bel have been teaching us that creating a class profile is an essential part of planning for the upcoming year. And the best way to build a class profile, according to Leyton, is to get to know your students. Hence the “Getting to Know You” worksheet! The getting to know you sheet that…
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Greta Thunberg – Reading Lesson Plan Reflection

For LLED 350 we had to design a reading lesson plan that related to critical and multiliteracies, and that used the Connect/Transform/Personalize/Reflect lesson sequence. My group, with Lomish, Arvinder, and Mandip, decided to create a lesson about Greta Thunberg and to create a cross-curricular lesson plan that included both Social Studies and English Language Arts…
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Practicum Reflection #1

I’m four days into my short practicum and there are already a few things I know for sure: I love teaching! There are not enough hours in the day—compromise is necessary Connection is everything I love teaching! Sometimes when I walk down the hallway at school, I feel this overwhelming sense of gratitude. I’m finally…
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My first observation

My short practicum observation took place on Thursday morning during a lesson I’d been planning for almost a month. There’d been quite a few hiccups in the planning of that lesson, the first of which was feedback from my SA saying she didn’t quite think the focus of the lesson—symbolism as literary device—hit the mark.…
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Class Profile – Part 2

Well, what do you know! I was able to use the Getting to Know You worksheet after all, and it was a success. I learned a lot about my students through this exercise, including personal interests and challenges, but also insights into the class as a whole and about students or this age-group in general.…
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I raised my voice

It happened. I raised my voice during class. I promised I would never be the teacher who yelled, so I’m disappointed to say the least. I don’t feel good about it, but I also cannot beat myself up about it as I know that I am learning. I clearly lacked other skills/options in the moment,…
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Preparing for group work

In preparation for my long practicum and in support of my Inquiry on inclusion and diversity, I am hoping to spend some lesson time between now and then working on teaching students in my class how to work in groups. From what I’ve observed, my SA does not do much groupwork. Whether this is because…
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Choral Reading

One of the things I’ve learned about recently that I would like to try with students is choral reading. My teacher friend recommended it to me as a way to improve reading comprehension and build vocabulary, especially for students who are struggling to learn to read, and EAL students can benefit. However, I also think…
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Managing Expectations

One of the most important things I learned during my practicum is that I am prone to wishful thinking and unrealistically expectations. My expectations of what can be done in an hour are unrealistic. My expectations of students’ capacity are often unrealistic. This is part of learning to be a teacher—having realistic expectations and creating manageable…
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Goals for finishing 2020

As of today there are only a few Thursday practicum school visits left before winter break. Three to be exact. This means I have three one-hour lesson blocks available to me for teaching, so I really want to make them count. Here are my goals: Get the students *thinking* about groupwork and collaboration in healthy ways.…
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Conferences & Performance-Based Assessment

Since the beginning of the year, I have been holding individual conferences with the students. It started out because Pat had written the names of students who had not completed their homework up on the board for each of her projects. I selected students who had multiple assignments overdue and asked them to chat with…
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Self assessment of my progress and inquiry plan

My progress so far: So far I have done quite a bit of research into inclusive education, UDL, and circle pedagogy. I have developed a few inquiry questions related to inclusive education, including: How can I build a community where diverse learners feel safe, included and welcome? I believe students need to feel safe and…
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Spelling Bees – my experience of assessment

As an activity for EPSE 310: Assessment, I’ve been asked to write about my own experience with an assessment I remember from school, and how it impacted me. In grade six we did a weekly spelling bee. These were low-pressure because we marked them ourselves and the teacher didn’t count them for marks. If I was…
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Relevant readings for my inquiry into inclusion

The following are some of the people I’m interested in studying with, and the readings I’ve reviewed in preparation for deepening my inquiry. Teaching students with exceptionalities – Dr. Jennifer Katz I hope to study further with Dr. Jennifer Katz. I took EPSE 317 with her this past summer, and I absolutely loved it. I…
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My developing inquiry!

I am beginning to unpack my passions and wonderings to develop an inquiry question, and I’m currently most interested in the following topics: Growth mindset Inclusion Diversity Mental health Identity Circle pedagogy Community / social cohesion Lingering questions I have… How do I engage in and include all learners in my lessons? What classroom management…
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Event Story unit complete!

Yesterday we rounded off the event story unit. I gave them back their writing, and offered the opportunity to do another draft if they were unhappy with their grade. One student who rarely does work, took up the opportunity—we’ll see how far she gets, but I found it encouraging that she expressed an interest in…
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Success! (with engagement & collaboration)

I am on top of the world today after my practicum experience yesterday. I had two big moments of success: I initiated group work for the first time in class and it went really well The introduction to the new unit on friendship and mental health (SEL) was received with a lot of interest Success…
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When I prepare, the students respond

One of the biggest things I’ve learned in my practicum so far is that when I prepare my lessons and I come in armed with a plan, my students respond with their attention and effort. It seems so obvious, but it’s been key for me to see this because it motivates me to try harder…
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Friendship Unit

Can you believe my luck? My SA has asked me to do a unit on friendship! Not only is this a great way to build the classroom community, but it also ties in very well with my inquiry project. There are two parts to the BC Physical Education Curriculum that fall under this unit: Social…
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Antiquities Treasure Hunt

As part of my Social Studies unit on Ancient Civilizations, I plan to design a treasure hunt using Google Arts and Culture, a website with thousands of virtual tours and very expansive database of ancient artifacts, as well as accompanying information and connections. The goal of the Treasure Hunt The goal is to introduce some…
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Knife to the heart

Got a knife to the heart today, as the image shows. It was just one of those practicum days where a lot of things went wrong. First of all, I had trouble sleeping, which is probably what caused a lot of my grief. I arrived to school a little later than usual, and was a…
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My story of physical and health education

For the new class—EDCP 320: Physical and Health Education—we’ve been asked to write a reflective story on our experience with physical health. Here are the questions I’ve been asked to consider: What is your story about Physical and Health Ed teachers? What stories do we hear about PHE teachers? What stories do we hear about…
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First People’s Principles of Learning and Physical Health Education

My experience with an Aboriginal Support Worker Prior to this course I took the Aboriginal Education course in the B.Ed program, where we learned about the FPPL in some depth. I’ve also been lucky enough to have Deana, a member of the Musqueam Nation, an Aboriginal Resource Support Worker, come to my practicum class every…
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Physical Health Education Curriculum Deep Dive

For class this week we took a deep dive into the BC Physical Health Education Curriculum. I created flow charts for the  four primary curricular areas in PHE (see bottom of this post). The flow charts make it very easy to create Aligned Learning Experiences because all you need to do is take the big…
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Technology that aids inclusion and community

One of the advantages of having worked in communications for ten years is that I have a wealth of experience and knowledge of online technologies. I’ve been experimenting using some of them to build community and aid inclusion in the classroom. Some of my favourite classroom technologies I discovered during the teacher program: Menti, Padlet,…
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A Switch to Inquiry or Project-Based Learning

A few weeks ago, I posted about how one of my students had criticized the unit on friendship and mental health. It sent me into a bit of a spiral for a few days as I mulled over what to do. I had put a lot of effort into that unit and it was difficult to…
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My second observation – Scaffolding

I had my second observation by my Faculty Advisor, Dave, this past week, and it was challenging to say the least. The lesson was on summarizing non-fiction texts using a text about stress to support our Friendship and Mental Health Unit. I had worked out a plan with Dave to attempt to scaffold the learning…
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What physical literacy means to me

Physical literacy for me has developed later in life. I played baseball fairly seriously as a child, but in my teens I turned away from the sport. I was one of those students who decided in my teens that sports weren’t for me. I felt very awkward in my body and grew to hate phys-ed.…
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Practicum Reflection #2

During my weekly visits from January to March, I have continued to develop my skills in lesson planning and managing classroom behaviour, which are both intricately linked with engagement. I’ve also been able to implement some of the strategies I’ve developed in my own inquiry into my teaching practice for EDUC 451, which is on…
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Enjoying the Rollercoaster

So I’m already onto my 7th week of my long practicum and things are in full swing! There have been so many twists and turns, ups and downs that it really feels as if I’m on a rollercoaster. The great thing is that I’m loving every minute of it! The lows of the week In…
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CFE Reflection #1: Resource Teaching & IEPs

The End is a New Beginning The last few weeks of my practicum were very challenging. There were serious issues with multiple students expressing mental health distress, and the principal, school counsellor and the youth worker had to get involved. Let’s just say I experienced things that I shouldn’t have had to experience during my…
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