Friday 26 July 2013

Preparing for Possibilities

My seven years as a teacher have all been in a middle school setting, but in September I’m headed to a 2/3 classroom in a K-5 school. I’m excited and a little nervous too.

When I got the job, I asked myself “What is the one thing that you can do to prepare for this new role that will be the most beneficial for you and for your students?”  “What is the most important skill for students in grades 2 and 3?”


According to the Ontario Ministry of Education, “children who struggle with reading in Grades 1 to 3 are at a serious disadvantage” academically and emotionally. I didn’t really need the Ministry to tell me this; I’ve worked with students in grades 6, 7 & 8, some who continued to have reading difficulties. I know how important reading is and I wanted to make sure that I would be as effective as possible.  So for the first few weeks of July, I went to the classroom as a student, to take my Reading Part 1 Additional Qualification. Our instructor, PDSB Principal Jim Brooks, led us through engaging, practical and valuable learning activities that have put me on the path toward implementing a comprehensive literacy program in September and for years to come. I had the opportunity to work with a great group of teachers throughout the course and further develop my PLN.

It was a fantastic learning experience, but I still have moments of worry – Guided Reading, Shared Reading, Independent Reading, Word Study, not to mention Math, Social Studies, and Science. How will I fit it all in? For grade 2 and 3?

As I returned from our board’s professional library with another bunch of books yesterday, my husband, who is not a teacher, told me that I should take a break, and that I should just enjoy the summer. He asked me what I was doing with all of the books. I told him that I am


I don’t know my students. I don’t know who they are, or what they are interested in, or what they already know. Until I get to know them, all I can do is prepare for the possibilities. I’m not forgetting to have fun and enjoy my summer - part of what makes summer fun and enjoyable for me is learning and preparing. I'm connecting with others, asking questions, reading and thinking.
I'm excited about getting to know the group of children that I'll be working with, about meeting their parents and my new colleagues, and about all of the learning that I’ll be doing over the summer and into the new school year.

What possibilities do you think I should prepare for, knowing that I'll be teaching primary for the first time?

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