Archive for the ‘Teaching’ Category

h1

time. to. enjoy. life.

March 25, 2011

There’s been a lot to reflect on over these past few weeks but getting outside, spending time with Kevin and making progress on some of my projects has been so satisfying.

Kevin and I have spent our weekends together and sharing activities ranging from creating a Nanaimo Bar facsimile that’s free of eggs and dairy to living outside on the beach to bike shopping. Oh, and so many heartfelt conversations too. It’s been such good medicine for my soul!

Here are a few of the highlights in picture form.

doll homework

our attempt at dairy and gluten free Nanaimo Bars

First camping trip of the season.  'Twas beautiful!

Bunnies on the run!

h1

coming up for air

March 7, 2011

Finally… I can breathe again!

This, my first year of teaching has been nothing less than a roller coaster ride thus far. Wow, I never knew it was possible for so much drama or to work so hard and yet still feel like I can’t win.

Right now I’m in the midst of a change that includes me giving up many of the duties I had held since the fall. Before I started down this path I recognized that the life of a Waldorf class teacher wasn’t likely to mesh with my ideals of balance and sustainability. Somehow I thought it would be different for me but this year at least, that has not proven to be true.

After months of trying to make things work and struggling to get mentoring I found myself out of energy and short on nerves – far from an ideal situation for the children or for me.

After taking a week to recollect and recenter I returned to school today, donned an apron and began my new routine. Now instead of stressing about parent communication and lesson plans I get to sit back a bit, observe, and put more focus on handwork. It also means I get some time for myself and can look into getting involved with more community events – both for the school and the community at large.

Fresh air never smelled so good!

h1

finding my rhythm

September 18, 2010

School is well underway now. Two weeks in and I’m finally starting to feel like I can handle this. I was so incredibly tired the first week and I couldn’t believe how wild my class was. It’s amazing what the excitement of being back at school and the addition of a few energetic souls can do to a class. I’m sure having a new teacher also added to the craziness. In any case, we’re finding ourselves and I’m learning to balance my incredible work load with some time for fun and exploration.

In the days before school began I was busy readying the room and worrying about being able to meet the class. Now two weeks later I find I know what I need to do and can be delighted by the simplest of surprises: a child who tested my patience all day waving madly when we crossed paths in town or the light unconscious humming of a song we learned earlier in the morning. It’s been two weeks and I can honestly say there is only one other time where I still enjoyed the job this far in. Yes!

Yesterday evening and today have found Kevin and I out enjoying the beach and then when I settled into work this afternoon birthday verses somehow streamed their way through me and onto the page. It’s so nice when that flow just happens without the pressure of a deadline. In any case I thought it might be nice for me to share some of the verses. Note that I did not go into the depth that some teachers do – crafting a verse with an anapest, iambic, trochee or dactyl foot to meet the temperament of the child. I am thankful for the wisdom a colleague offered – that it’s more important to create something that speaks to me about the child and meets him or her. That, and that a bit of rhyme can go a long way.

Here goes:

1. Far off the jagged shore
On the high open seas,
The greatest of creatures
Kindly watches o’er me.

In struggles and triumphs
I know to be me
And trust in my kind heart
That beats with the sea.

2. Bright-eyed and wakeful
I greet the light
That shines on me
With all its might
Reminding me before the night
That I must do what’s true and right.

3. Steadfast I stand
Like a tree on the land.
What my heart knows is true,
Like the sun, does shine through.

4. Lightly on my nimble feet,
Through the rocks and twigs I sneak,
Until I find my home at last
Among the trees and wild grass.

5. Not fearing vengeful pain or wrath
My feet stick firmly to the path;
From mountains high to valleys deep,
My spirit roams spreading love and peace.

And now we’re off for a night of music playing with friends while the song funky town plays to remind us of why we chose to live here. Oh how I’m loving this new life today!

h1

getting my bearings

June 21, 2010

To be back in BC has been wonderful. So wonderful that I really don’t want to leave for my summer training or go back to Alberta for Folk Fest and a string of goodbyes. It’s true, I’ve enjoyed the past 2 weeks of being homeless.

Kevin and I started this piece of the journey with a few days of packing and followed it with a slow 2 days of driving with our truck fully loaded and the E carrying the more delicate and precious cargo. His folks joined us in packing and driving and when we got to our new stomping grounds we took a good couple of hours arranging our storage space. Everything fit and most everything we’ve needed since has been accessible.

moving!

We camped for a few days and then Kevin went back to AB to wrap up work while I joined my class for the last few days of their school year. It was so good to be able to meet everyone and the social calendar has meant that I’ve been able to work at getting to know people from the school and the broader community. It’s been so great that not being able to find a house or rental suite is hardly stressful right now. We knew this piece would be difficult but it’s still a surprise to me that it’s such a non-issue.

I am really happy to be where we are but in wanting to maintain some privacy I’m really reluctant to give too much of my location and my work away just yet. Suffice it to say that we’re where we need to be and we’re looking forward to getting to know our neighbours and all the local recreation hot spots.

As I spend the summer traveling and sinking myself into this new community I expect the opportunities to blog will dwindle… much like in my last semester of schools. I wish it weren’t so but if it means I’m spending less time on-line (as it has these past few weeks) then I think I’m good!

Have a great summer and happy solstice!

h1

change is coming

April 29, 2010

Change has been brewing for quite some time now and it’s made for quite the balancing act lately. Earlier this month I was adjusting to being back at school, trying to sell the house from a few provinces away, being without the computer and desperately waiting for word on the jobs I had applied for. Oh, and there was school too of course!

It’s hard to believe that in such a short time I’ve completed my last practicum, celebrated a great birthday (on more than one occasion now!) and gained a computer. Together, Kevin and I have sold our house and made a decision on where to go too! Quite the handful but all really good things.

There is so much to do in these last few weeks of school and as much as I would like to be here more often, I know my days of multiple posts a week are over… well at least until summer!

I’m so excited!

There are only 5 weeks left of school now and then begins the journey west to pack up and move further on west. I’m so excited to be joining the class I connected with and to be moving somewhere we both want to be… where the ocean touches the mountains which touch the sky.

h1

kootenay fun

March 6, 2010

Wow, I didn’t realize it had been so long since I shared an update. It wasn’t my priority when I was sick and then this week has been so busy.

I shared my first stories with a class of grade fours earlier this week and then yesterday I read from a book with the grade ones (they had their oral story from their own teacher earlier in the morning). Yesterday and today I’ve spent outside enjoying the fact that I can breath deeply again and soaking in all the sun, sights and sounds in this sunny town. I went out for 4 hours today and only realized too late that I had forgotten my camera….

I could so easily live here… it is the kootenays after all! There’s a commercial core that isn’t big box, there are a lot of cultural and community events, nearly every service I can imagine needing and of course, good people! Today I looked at a few more neighbourhoods, scoped out the rowing club and city parks. It feels like such a nourishing place on so many levels and I love that I can walk nearly everywhere.

I’m sorry I don’t have photos to share but things are going well.

h1

a little bit of mythology

February 24, 2010

My current teaching practice is with a class of grade fours that are currently in their Norse Mythology block.

Other than recognizing the name of the God, Thor, Norse mythology has been completely foreign to me. There are 9 worlds with unusual names like Muspelheim, Alfheim, Jotunheim, Midgard and Svartheim. Those names are among the easier things to pronounce – the characters, the things they carry, etc. are all strange and new. The world tree, Yggdrasil, is a little more typical of the names in this mythology.

For next week I’m working on telling a story of the three norns: Urda who sees the past, Verdandi who sees the present and Skulda who sees the future. The norns are a mysterious bunch and they spin together the threads of past, present and future for each human beings life.

The class teacher has an image of the different worlds and other key elements on the chalkboard and the children seem quite interested in the three women who live among the roots of Yggdrasil. Not only will I be telling a story in front of a class for the first time but I’ll also be leading them in a shaded colour pencil drawing (another first for me) sometime next week. I still have a few days to prepare but today I played around a little and did a first sketch of the type of drawing I plan to lead them in. Skulda’s face is rarely seen so I want her to appear a little further back in the shadows of Yggdrasils roots. There is a drawing in each of the books I have but I thought looking back to the past, straight on for the present and forward for the future would be helpful. I’m not sure whether I’ll go with having them staggered from left to right as well or one directly above the other. All things for me to fine tune in the coming evenings I guess.

three norns