Enjoying My Time Off!
I don't really post much about daily happenings in my life but there's no Poetry Friday word so I'll take a break from it.
I've been going in to my elementary school every Wednesday all year and volunteering in a Gr. 3 classroom. I love it! Just a few years ago I was in charge of a whole class and teaching from the same reading material so it is very easy for me to take a group out and guide them through the lesson. I don't have to discipline, mark, do anything for the report cards, and I can leave at noon. NO STRESS! And I still have the connection to the kids and teachers I miss. The teacher gets a big bang for her buck with me since I absolutely know what I'm doing. (I team taught Gr. 3 with this teacher for 3 years.) It's perfect.
I also go in on some other days and help judge presentations of projects in history and public speaking contests, do special poetry lessons on my own poetry or my favourite seasonal poems, or read a story to the kids in role dressed up as one of the characters. It is so much fun for me! Most teachers don't have the time or energy to do this so I know it is much appreciated and the kids find it interesting.
Right now, the Grade 3's are gearing up for the 3-day Provincial Standardized Testing and need a lot of training or practising. Most of us, including myself, don't totally believe in this battery of tests because it is just too difficult. Conceptually, the kids simply aren't there yet and it is nearly impossible to cover all the skills that are outlined in the curriculum. It follows, then, that we can't even "teach to the test" because the skills are never transferred and applied to the new test they will actually get.
Although I empathize with my colleagues, I am just as glad that I do not have to contend with the politics and pressure to have kids achieve high scores. After saying my good-byes, I walk home and meet a friend for a stress-free pleasant lunch!