Saturday, September 8, 2012

A New Year - A New School - A New Role

I have now official completed my first week of school as high school teacher. Wow! Is my life different, or has really changed immensely from this time last year. I am now a secondary school French Immersion educator at Thom Collegiate with an interesting teaching load full of content heavy classes. This year, I will be teaching, History, Social Studies, Francophonie, Science and Visual Arts to students in grades 9-12. The joy of teaching in French is that you always get a hodgepodge of subjects to teach. This should be interesting!

As I leap into this new role with both feet, I know I have a lot to learn and a lot to discover. But just like my students, I like to learn hands-on and I like to get my hands dirty with learning. My challenges will be many, but I have never been scared off of a new adventure. It just means I get to work with new material, new curriculum and bigger kids.

So far, my first experience with Thom Collegiate has been overwhelming but wonderful all at the same time. Most staff are friendly and very welcoming. My students are bigger, but really just bigger boddies filling the desks in my classroom waiting to learn something new.

This year, I want to not only focus on new curriculum and content, but I want to focus on how to make my secondary classroom an inquiry driven, project-based environment, supported through integrated technology whenever possible. Is this possible in content heavy high school classes? I guess I will find out! My goals include an effort to make my lessons more engaging and relevant to students, by not allowing them to be simply be direct-teacher instruction, but to eventually build the learning environment necessary that allows for student-directed learning to dominate my classroom. I want to experiment with Project Based Learning and engage my students through inquiry journeys of discovery. I also want to explore new ways to allow students to incorporate their hand held devices into my planned learning activities. Here's hoping a content heavy load of curriculum can still be taught through project based learning!

I wish all of my fellow teachers the best of luck as they embark on a new school year.