Teaching in towns

As the pressure of the end of my University career draws to a close, I’m putting more thought into the near future ie. Fall 2011.  With so many options for areas to teach, one of the major debates that I’ve had is whether to teach in a a city or a town. Since everyone has the chance to teach in the city at some point during their Ed degree, we all have somewhat of an idea of what to expect in teaching in a city. I want to present some pros and cons for teaching in a town:

Pros

  • Fewer students in each grade
  • Better opportunity to know background of the students (family, home situation, extra-curricular activities)
  • People are usually very welcoming to new people
  • Cliques aren’t always apparent
  • Most students grow up together from k-12
  • Invitations to family meals 🙂

Cons

  • Could be put into a position where you have to teach subjects that you are not trained to teach
  • Staffing doesn’t always allow to have ideal prep periods
  • People know you wherever you are
  • Not as many course options for students
  • More commitment needed for extra curricular activities
  • Multi-grade classrooms
  • Nightlife is slower

I think that when it comes down to it, each person will have their own opinion on whether they feel like they could survive teaching in a town vs the city. I however feel that everyone should try it at some point. During my internship, I had the opportunity to live and teach in a town where I knew no one before moving there. I found it to be such a rewarding experience where I focused my attention solely on my teaching instead of having so many distractions in the city. I did miss some aspects of the city, but I’m very glad that I was able to experience teaching both in the city and in a town.

If you have more to add, don’t be shy!

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My boyfriend, my roomate, and I were talking recently about raising kids in an age of technology.  We all had similar upbringings with technology, with one desktop computer to share with the family, and cell phones were only becoming really popular when we were finishing up High School. My family’s rules were that we couldn’t have our own laptops until we were graduated from High School and accepted into Post-Secondary. As well, I wasn’t allowed to have a cell phone until my graduation ceremony. This was a common occurrence with all the people I grew up with.  The majority of what we spent our time with on our cell phones or the internet was chatting with the same people we saw all day at school.

Today however, we depend on technology for banking, shopping, communication, research, schooling, video games, online dating, etc.  How will this affect the way we raise OUR kids? I find it interesting to think that we’ve never had to worry about losing touch with people we grew up with.  We have the chance to contact anyone in the world with a touch of a finger.  Our parents unfortunately (or some might say fortunately), didn’t have this opportunity.

Since moving away from home, I can already see the drastic change with technology in my family in the past 4 years.  Now that I’m away from home, my main method of communication with my parents and 10 year old brother is…..technology! Yes, we text, email, instant message, and skype. My youngest brother has been teaching my parents things about technology since he’s started elementary. I think that that is amazing how much he has grown up with technology-wise compared to myself and my older siblings.

I am positive that I’m not alone in thinking that the way we were raised with technology is going to or already has (for those of you who are parents) affect the way we will be parenting. The amount of gadgets, the time we will allow them to use their gadgets, how much supervision we will do, and so on….will all be things we ponder on as technology steadily has a bigger place in our lives. I think that it’ll be easier for our generation (university age students) to have a comfortable integration of technology in parenting, but those parents who haven’t experienced technology, will have a more difficult time seeing the positives of technology. My Dad is farrrrrr from being tech-savy, so he assumes that if we are on our computers or cell phones, that we are playing useless games. It’s too bad that the older generations didn’t have the chance to learn about technology like we do. I found a list of tips and guidelines to help parents understand what their children could be doing with technology.

I’m looking for feedback from parents and non-parents.  Do you have guidelines, or hesitations when it comes to raising your kids with technology? Do you have memories of growing up with or without technology and how that affected you?

Please share!

 

Here’s some words of wisdom from the “wise” Dwight Shrute on the Office. Remember these words this weekend :p

 

 

In EDFDN 355 this week, the topic of the class was on race. As a set, our prof led us through this online activity that had us trying to sort photos based on race.  There are five categories: Asian, Hispanic/Latino, Black, White, and American Indian.  Then there are 20 photos of people with a mixture of ages, and gender.  Our task was to try to place each photo under one of the 5 races listed. We were doing this together as a class on the projector, and it was very easy to tell that our answers were far from unanimous.  The people in these photos could often fit in more than one category.  We kept pushing a few of the photos to the end, and by that time, we just slotted them into the empty spaces since we couldn’t come up with a consensus.  Then came the results….we weren’t successful whatsoever! We only had approximately a handful of the photos in the right categories.  When you see the results, you can also click on each photo to learn more about the background of the person, as well as a comment that they’ve made on their race based on things they’ve encountered.

I thought that this was such an interesting activity to try, even though it was frustrating to say the least.  While sorting, it was difficult not to judge photos based on stereotypical traits such as eyes, facial structure, nose, and teeth.  We were proven that these aren’t always effective, especially with the large range of possible ancestries today.  What I learned from this activity is that I can’t judge my student’s race based on their appearance.  Looks can be deceiving, and I don’t want to assume I know that aspect of my students without them telling me themselves.  I encourage all of you to try this test, and comment on how you did and what you thought of the activity. Good luck!

One Man Disney Movie

This is for all you Disney fans out there….I wonder how long it took him to put this together?

 

 

After reading my classmate, Erin’s blog http://erinvallee.wordpress.com/2011/03/18/group-work/ , I had the idea of making a list of creative ways to randomly put students in groups of 2 or more. In the High School Core French curriculum, there are some suggestions, as well, I will add some that I used during my Internship. Please add any ideas that you have used or heard of that could be successful.

Slogans: Each student receives a word(s) of a slogan. Students look for the other words to complete the slogan to form the group.

Puzzles: Take any picture or map and cut it into the number of pieces equal to the number of students per group. Students find their group members by fitting the pieces together.

Deck of Cards: Distribute playing cards and have students form groups of four based on the suits (eg. all eights).

  • Alternative: cut cards in half for groups of two

Name tags: Place names on tables where each group is to be situated. Students will sit where their name tag is now located.

Birthdates: Groups can be formed by birth months or seasons (this is good oral practice for French or other additional languages).

Colors: Students will pick colored slips of paper from a hat, and will group together with the other students who have chosen the same color.

Clothing: Students can be grouped according to clothing that they are wearing (eg. black socks).

Popsicle Sticks: Have all your student’s names written on popsicle sticks and choose the number of sticks you will want in each group.

Clock Buddies: Have each student place a classmate’s name on each hour of a clock. In turn, the students that they write down, must write their name down for the same hour. When they need to work in pairs, call out a number 1-12, and they will work with the partner they chose for that number. (For more instructions and a blank clock: http://www.readingquest.org/strat/clock_buddies.html ).

 

Help with Final Project

For my ECMP 355 Final project, I needed native french speakers from the 29 countries that have French as an official language. If you know of anyone that may have connections to these people, please send me an email at celestelalonde@hotmail.com, or send me a tweet @lalondce. I’d really appreciate any help with this project! Thanks!

Map of the countries:

http://maps.google.com/maps/ms?ie=UTF8&hl=en&msa=0&ll=-7.710992,-71.367187&spn=120.379746,262.265625&z=2

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