Creating a dialogue about what it’s like to be a new teacher.

The Rookie Teacher


Archive for the ‘Blog’


A Rookie Introduction: Our Newest Contributor…Allison Dyjach 0

Posted on September 11, 2014 by Allison Dyjach

Hello there! My name is Allison Dyjach and I am in the process of completing my Bachelor of Education in the Primary-Junior stream at Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario. Although teaching wasn’t the original career path that I had in mind several years ago, working with children has always been a passion of mine. Throughout my teen years I volunteered at day camps being run at church and worked at a summer camp for several years. I recently completed my Bachelor of Applied Science at the University of Guelph in Child, Youth, and Family Studies with a minor in Psychology. Over my four years at Guelph, I was able to explore several aspects of child development and learning, get some experience working with many different populations of children and teens, and eventually discovered that I have a love of education and teaching—which led to me to pursue a Bachelor of Education degree.

Allison Dyjach

Some specific interests of mine, based on my experiences in the education field, include teaching mathematics, special education, working with English Language Learners, and using music in the classroom. Outside of the classroom, a few of my hobbies include all things music (singing, playing guitar, musical theatre, concerts and shows…I love it all!), writing, exploring nature, cooking, and social media. You can follow me on Twitter @AllisonDyjach to see what I’m up to!

Over the next eight months, I hope to provide you with some commentary, insights, and stories from my “Teacher’s College Experience!” For those of you interested in joining the teaching profession or currently completing a degree in education, perhaps I can be a support to you as you go through this journey, and you can in turn share your thoughts with me. After all, I am not an expert by any means; I would love to hear what some of your experiences and questions are as well. And for those of you who are past the formal education stage of your lives, I’m hoping these words can prompt you to either reflect back on some of the learning you did during your BEd days, share your wisdom with a “Rookie, Rookie Teacher” like me, or just sit back and listen to some of the memories, quotations, and resources that are sparking my attention as I move through the process of learning what it takes to stand on the other side of the desk.

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Rookie Recommends: The Lounge Podcast – Episode 015 0

Posted on July 02, 2014 by Natasha

On today’s show, Andrew and Natasha meet again to record another episode of The Lounge Podcast.  This time we have changed up the format of the show – a full episode dedicated to some of our favourite resources (FYI – free plugs for a variety of companies, authors, and not for profits)! 

If you have any questions that you would like answered – comment below, send us an email (info@therookieteacher.ca), @reply on Twitter @RookieTeacherCA, join us over on Facebook.

Watch the episode live here, thanks to YouTube & Google On-Air Hangouts or search for the audio podcast on the iTunes Podcast directory.

Rookie Resource Bank

Here’s a list, to hear what we think of each of them, you’ll have to watch or listen in :)

Quick Shout Outs

  1. We want to take a moment and thank everyone for continuing to support our site – we have reached over 21,000 visitors.  Exciting is that 25% of you are returning visitors and we appreciate your loyalty to our grassroots site.  Thank you !
  2. We hope you continue to watch for Natasha who tries her best to help co-moderate the #ntchat with Lisa Dabbs – on Wednesday nights at 8:00pm ESTJoin me at New Teacher Chat #ntchat
  3. Please join us and 323 others on Facebook.com/TheRookieTeacher
  4. We are also spending time gathering some great ideas for the classroom on Pinterest (http://bit.ly/rookiepins) – we are up to 853 pins and 3267 followers on our collab board – let us know if you’d like to contribute.
  5. If you believe in what we’re doing & want to support our team, we have FREE buttons available – send us a FB message, tweet, or email and we will get one out to you ASAP!

Like what you’ve heard? Have more questions? Contact us:

Andrew: I blog at TheRookieTeacher.ca, or email me Andrew@TheRookieTeacher.ca, I am currently focusing on pinterest as my social media project.

Natasha: I blog at TheRookieTeacher.ca, follow me on twitter @yoMsDunn, or email me Natasha@TheRookieTeacher.ca.

RookieTeacher Online
We are always looking for ideas, feedback, tips and tricks of the trade.  Find us on Twitter @RookieTeacherCAFacebook.com /TheRookieTeacher.  If you are looking to get involved with our team, please contact us!

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The End of the School Year 0

Posted on July 02, 2014 by Natasha

The end of the year is an odd time for me.  I think it’s because I can’t identify exactly how I feel…or that I have opposing feelings.  Half of me is excited about the summer (particularly this summer because I am headed to Europe for the first time) and the other half is sad to say goodbye to my kids and colleagues. I spend a lot of time working on community in my class and in the school at large – and for the next 2 months…routines go out the window and I am forced to experience change.

I also look forward to the summer as a time for rest and reflection.  It’s important for us to rest and rejuvenate after a school year.  We work hard and by June 30th we are pooped!  I usually schedule time with friends and family, camping and nature, and sleeping without an alarm clock.  I find that taking in those 5 things helps me get back on my feet.  Taking a good look at what worked and what didn’t and building up my energy for the next school year.

photo: NDunn

photo: NDunn

“The most distinctive of these very good teachers is that their practice is the result of careful reflection… They themselves learn lessons each time they teach, evaluating what they do and using these self-critical evaluations to adjust what they do next time.” (Why Colleges Succeed, Ofsted 2004, para.19)

Sample Reflection Questions (via Teacher Tip, Scholastic.com)

1. Was the instructional objective met? How do I know students learned what was intended?
2. Were the students productively engaged? How do I know?
3. Did I alter my instructional plan as I taught the lesson? Why?
4. What additional assistance, support, and/or resources would have further enhanced this lesson?
5. If I had the opportunity to teach the lesson again to the same group of students, would I do anything differently? What? Why?

 

I. Reflection Questions To Help You Get You Started:*  (via Syracuse University, ref link)

• Why do you teach the way you do?

• What should students expect of you as a teacher?

• What is a method of teaching you rely on frequently? Why don’t you use a different method?

• What do you want students to learn? How do you know your goals for students are being met?

• What should your students be able to know or do as a result of taking your class?

• How can your teaching facilitate student learning?

• How do you as a teacher create an engaging or enriching learning environment?

• What specific activities or exercises do you use to engage your students?

• What do you want your students to learn from these activities?

• How has your thinking about teaching changed over time? Why?

*These questions and exercises are meant to be tools to help you begin reflecting on your beliefs and ideas as a teacher. No single Teaching Statement can contain the answers to all or most of these inquiries and activities.

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Ask a Rookie: The Lounge Podcast: Episode 14 (season 2) 0

Posted on April 22, 2014 by Natasha

rookie-logo-podcastOn today’s show, Andrew and Natasha meet again to record another episode of The Lounge Podcast.  But this time, we are joined by Rookie Team Member Sarah Lowes to answer questions from a soon-to-be Faculty of Education student, Allison Dyjach.  She asks us everything from our time at teacher’s college to tips on grade 6 drama to keeping a work-life balance.  

If you have any questions that you would like answered – comment below, send us an email (info@therookieteacher.ca), @reply on Twitter @RookieTeacherCA, join us over on Facebook.

Watch the episode live here, thanks to YouTube & Google On-Air Hangouts or search for the audio podcast on the iTunes Podcast directory.

Whole Class Assessment

Whole Class Assessment, A.Blake

Quick Tip for Tomorrow 

  • Allison: Silent Ball!
  • Andrew: Full class assessment (*note: laminate*)
  • Natasha: Google Drive > Documents > Tools > Research (right within the document!!)
Google Docs Tools Research

Google Docs Tools Research

Rookie Resource Bank

Quick Shout Outs

  1. We want to take a moment and thank everyone for continuing to support our site – we have reached over 12,500 visitors. Thank you !
  2. We hope you continue to watch for Natasha who is co-moderating the #ntchat with Lisa Dabbs – on Wednesday nights at 8:00pm ESTJoin me at New Teacher Chat #ntchat
  3. Please join us and 307 others on Facebook.com/TheRookieTeacher
  4. We are also spending time gathering some great ideas for the classroom on Pinterest (http://bit.ly/rookiepins) – we are up to 850 pins and 3177 followers on our collab board – let us know if you’d like to contribute.
  5. If you believe in what we’re doing & want to support our team, we have FREE buttons available – send us a FB message, tweet, or email and we will get one out to you ASAP!

Like what you’ve heard? Have more questions? Contact us:

Andrew: I blog at TheRookieTeacher.ca, or email me Andrew@TheRookieTeacher.ca, I am currently focusing on pinterest as my social media project.

Natasha: I blog at TheRookieTeacher.ca, follow me on twitter @yoMsDunn, or email me Natasha@TheRookieTeacher.ca.

Sarah: I blog at TheRookieTeacher.ca, follow me on twitter @sarlowes.

Allison: Follow on twitter @AllisonDyjach.

RookieTeacher Online
We are always looking for ideas, feedback, tips and tricks of the trade.  Find us on Twitter @RookieTeacherCAFacebook.com /TheRookieTeacher.  If you are looking to get involved with our team, please contact us!

About Allison:

Hi my name is Allison Dyjach and I am in my fourth and final year of my undergraduate degree in Child, Youth, and Family studies with a minor in Psychology at the University of Guelph. My love for working with children began when I started working at summer camp at 16 and since then I have worked with people of all ages including working as a don in residence, running extracurricular activities for English language learners at my university, and helping to run a recreational therapy program for seniors. I discovered my real passion for education when I had a 6-month practicum placement in a grade 6/7 class which led me to apply for teacher’s college. I currently work full time as a co-op teaching assistant at the Child Care and Learning Centre at the University of Guelph, which is a daycare on campus for children 16 months old to 6 years old.

Her Questions for us:

  • If you had one tip of how to make the most of teacher’s college, what would it be? What do you think is the best way to make the most of the program and experience?
  • During my school placement I always found English a difficult subject to teach. Kids would often give me their pieces that they were working on to proof read, and after reading some of them I knew they didn’t meet the standards of grade 6 writing, but I found it really challenging to essentially teach kids how to be better writers. I could tell them to expand their ideas or write in longer sentences, but that didn’t usually do the trick. Do you have any strategies that you use to improve student’s writing to meet the standards that you’re looking for?
  • From my experiences, when students start to get older in grades 6, 7, and 8 that also means that all of the drama starts in the classroom. Students gossip about each other, exclude people, are friends one day and enemies the next…how do you try to maintain a drama free classroom?
  • Do you have an ideal desk setup in your classroom? Do you always like to keep your students in groups or individual, or does it vary for every class or even for different times of the year?
  • Something I struggled with when I had my teaching placement was bringing my problems from work home with me. When I was working with a student with some serious behaviour difficulties in the class I would find myself getting stressed out about it and spending my nights racking my brain for better strategies to work with them, or if they had a bad day in class it could put me in a bad mood for the entire night. What are some ways to combat bringing that stress home with you and maintaining a proper work-life balance?
  • I always hear from people that as soon as you get into teaching you should work on getting ABQ’s right away. Are there one or two ASQ’s that you absolutely recommend or think are essential for a new teacher to get?

Quick Tip

Rookie Resource Bank

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Technology in the Classroom: The Lounge: Episode 13 0

Posted on July 16, 2013 by Natasha

On today’s show, Andrew and Natasha meet again to record another episode of The Lounge Podcast.  This episode features conversations about technology in the classroom…apps, tech tools, and using technology safely!  Listen in to hear about tips, tricks, must-do activities, and more!  Read the show notes below and don’t forget to download & subscribe to the podcast on iTunes today!

photo: flickrcc.net / aperturismo

photo: flickrcc.net / aperturismo

SHOW NOTES
Each episode features three segments:

  1. Topic Discussion
  2. Quick Tip for Tomorrow
  3. The Rookie Resource Bank

Topic: Technology in the Classroom

photo: flickrcc.net / LEOL30

photo: flickrcc.net / LEOL30

Quick Tip for Tomorrow:

Something you could do the next day in class with little or no prep and is applicable to most grade levels.

  • Andrew: Create a culture of learning/Kids involved with programming 
  • Natasha: Classroom Twitter Account

The Rookie Resource Bank:

photo: flickrcc.net / Spree2010

photo: flickrcc.net / Spree2010

Any electronic, print, or event resource that we found helpful in our first few years of teaching.  Of course, these are all applicable to all teachers.

Quick Shout Outs

  1. We want to take a moment and thank everyone for continuing to support our site – we have reached over 12,500 visitors. Thank you !
  2. We hope you continue to watch for Natasha who is co-moderating the #ntchat with Lisa Dabbs – on Wednesday nights at 8:00pm ESTJoin me at New Teacher Chat #ntchat
  3. Please join us and 261 others on Facebook.com/TheRookieTeacher
  4. We are also spending time gathering some great ideas for the classroom on Pinterest (http://bit.ly/rookiepins) – we are up to 2881 followers on our collab board – let us know if you’d like to contribute.
  5. If you believe in what we’re doing & want to support our team, we have buttons available – send us a FB message, tweet, or email and we will get one out to you ASAP!
  6. Watch for our Lounge Express Series – starting soon!

Would you like a BUTTON? Email us and we will send you one :)

Like what you’ve heard? Have more questions? Contact us:

Andrew: I blog at TheRookieTeacher.ca, or email me Andrew@TheRookieTeacher.ca, I am currently focusing on pinterest as my social media project

Natasha: I blog at TheRookieTeacher.ca, follow me on twitter @yoMsDunn, or email me Natasha@TheRookieTeacher.ca

RookieTeacher Online
We are always looking for ideas, feedback, tips and tricks of the trade.  Find us on Twitter @RookieTeacherCAFacebook.com /TheRookieTeacher.  If you are looking to get involved with our team, please contact us!

 

 

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Invitation 0

Posted on July 04, 2013 by Natasha
Truth is revealed as darkness descends

via Flickrcc.net, cindy_k

INVITATION

If you are a dreamer, come in,
If you are a dreamer, a wisher, a liar,
A hope-er, a pray-er, a magic bean buyer …
If you’re a pretender, come sit by my fire
For we have some flax-golden tales to spin.
Come in!
Come in!

Shel Silverstein

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Teaching a Combination Class: The Lounge: Episode 12 0

Posted on May 07, 2013 by Natasha

On today’s show, Andrew and Natasha join up for the long awaited return of The Lounge Podcast.  It has been a while, but as many of you know, life as a teacher is hard work…and can be quite busy too!  This episode features conversations about life as a combination/split grade teacher.  Listen in to hear about tips, tricks, must-do activities, and more!  Read the show notes below and don’t forget to download & subscribe to the podcast on iTunes today!

Photo via: Sanya Khetani, articles.businessinsider.com

SHOW NOTES
Each episode features three segments:

  1. Topic Discussion
  2. Quick Tip for Tomorrow
  3. The Rookie Resource Bank

Topic: Teaching a Combination Class

Quick Tip for Tomorrow:
Something you could do the next day in class with little or no prep and is applicable to most grade levels.

  • Andrew: Inside/Outside Circles or Concentric Circles
  • Natasha: Food Bin

The Rookie Resource Bank:
Any electronic, print, or event resource that we found helpful in our first few years of teaching.  Of course, these are all applicable to all teachers.

  • Andrew: Ontario Curriculum Unit Planners (link)
  • Natasha: Knowing What Counts Series (Anne Davies)

Quick Shout Outs

  1. We want to take a moment and thank everyone for continuing to support our site – we have reached over 10,000 visitors. Thank you !
  2. We hope you continue to watch for Natasha who is co-moderating the #ntchat with Lisa Dabbs – on Wednesday nights at 8:00pm EST
  3. Please join us and 248 others on Facebook.com/TheRookieTeacher
  4. We are also spending time gathering some great ideas for the classroom on Pinterest (http://bit.ly/rookiepins) – we are up to 2742 followers on our collab board – let us know if you’d like to contribute.
  5. If you believe in what we’re doing & want to support our team, we have buttons available – send us a FB message, tweet, or email and we will get one out to you ASAP!
  6. Watch for our Lounge Express Series – starting soon!

Like what you’ve heard? Have more questions? Contact us:

Andrew: I blog at TheRookieTeacher.ca, or email me Andrew@TheRookieTeacher.ca, I am currently focusing on pinterest as my social media project

Natasha: I blog at TheRookieTeacher.ca, follow me on twitter @yoMsDunn, or email me Natasha@TheRookieTeacher.ca

RookieTeacher Online
We are always looking for ideas, feedback, tips and tricks of the trade.  Find us on Twitter @RookieTeacherCA, Facebook.com /TheRookieTeacher.  If you are looking to get involved with our team, please contact us!

 

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Natasha joins Lisa Dabbs for Classroom 2.0 Live Webinar 0

Posted on April 15, 2013 by Natasha

webinar set upThis past Saturday (April 13/13), Natasha [@yoMsDunn] joined New Teacher Chat (#ntchat) founder Lisa Dabbs (@teachingwthsoul), and co-moderators Jamie Vandergrift (@JamieVanderG) & Dean Mantz (@dmantz7) to discuss the benefits of building a PLN and participating in Twitter chats (like the ever popular, #ntchat).

If you missed joining us on Saturday, you can listen to iTunes Audio ow.ly/k5J9j & watch iTunes Video ow.ly/k5JaV.

Thanks to Classroom 2.0 Live for allowing us to participate.

 

 

 

 

Webinar Screen Shot

From Classroom 2.0 Live‘s website:

Join us for this show where Lisa Dabbs and a couple of teachers from her New Teacher Team will share their experiences mentoring new teachers in the New Teacher Community and weekly Twitter Chat (#ntchat). About Lisa: Lisa is an Education Consultant, Speaker, Presenter, Resident Blogger/Social Media Marketing Support/Group Moderator for Edutopia.org. ( Also a wife and a mom.) She was a former Elementary School Principal with a B.A. in Child Development and a M.Ed in Educational Administration. She started her career as a Kindergarten teacher then was promoted to Project Director of a Language and Literacy program. She served as an elementary school principal for 14 years…a challenging position that she really loved! During that time she recruited, hired, trained and mentored over 200 new and veteran teachers at her school sites where she observed the power of mentorship in teaching success. She is a recent employee for Kaplan K-12 Educational Corporation as a Middle School Instructional Literacy Coach in Los Angeles Unified and was newly appointed as Vice President for Literacy on her local non-profit board. Lisa blogs at http://teachingwithsoul.com She founded (and moderates) a chat for New and Pre-Service Teachers on Twitter: #ntchat. The chat occurs every Wednesday at 5PM PDT/8PM EDT. It’s supportive and practitioner-focused with discussions that resonate with new teachers in the field. Classroom 2.0 LIVE is an opportunity to gather with other member of the community in regular “live” web meetings. Special thanks for this go to our sponsor, Blackboard Collaborate, for providing the service that allows us to do this! Details to join the webinar: http://live.classroom20.com Follow us on Twitter: #liveclass20 Thanks so much for being a part of this community!

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From all of us on The Rookie Teacher Team 0

Posted on December 23, 2012 by Natasha

We Wish You A Very Happy Holidays!

Scout and Lucy by the Tree

Happy Holidays from Scout & Lucy

We would like to take this time to wish everyone a safe and happy holiday season.  For some this is known as ‘the most wonderful time of the year.’  Last week on #ntchat with Lisa Dabbs (@teachingwthsoul), we spoke about what it meant to be #grateful at this time of year (archives).  The Rookie Team would like to take this time to thank everyone for reading the blog, listening to The Lounge Podcast, joining the discussion on Twitter & Facebook, and Following our Pins on Pinterest.

Our readers have made 2012 a great year!

Thank you, we are humbled and grateful for your support.

We couldn’t leave you without some food for thought over the break…here are  3 Quick Tips for rookies and veteran teachers alike:

  1. Rest up & Rejuvenate: you don’t have to pay big money to rest & relax…have a nap, find a good book, sleep in, spend time with family and friends, have another nap, catch up over a beverage or two, sleep, nap, sleep, and nap
  2. Read a book for PD: as Rookies, it’s tough to catch a break, we are always so eager to continue learning and developing our strategies and classroom routines – if you must think about work over the break – grab an EDU, children’s, or young adult book (we recommend: Words That Start With B by Vikki VanSickle, Smile by Raina Telgemeier, Divergent Series by Veronica Roth, Teach Like Your Hair’s On Fire by Rafe Esquith, Tribes by Seth Godin, The Book Whisperer by Donalyn Miller, Guiding Readers: Making the Most of the 18-minutes Guided Reading Lesson by Lori Jamison Rog …)
  3. Recharge: this may seem a lot like #1…but it is so critical for new teachers to keep up the energy we give off at school.  Sleep, rest, and gather new energy to make 2013 the best it can be!
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Bits From Books: A Thought Experiment 0

Posted on November 25, 2012 by Sarah

“Can a stable, fair, and peaceful world be created in practice — and in time? Can people change their thinking and behavior from today’s selfish and self-centered material-gain and power-oriented wats to cooperative and sustainable ways? The answer is yes: through conscious change by a critical mass. But can conscious change be embraced by a critical mass before current trends and problems become intractable? The answer is still yes: by accelerating the spread of the consciousness that’s already emerging at society’s creative edge. The rapid spread of an evolved consciousness is a basic precondition of moving toward and effective and timely WorldShift.”

Ervin Laszlo, WorldShift 2012, p.71

“A handbook for conscious change that could transform the current world crisis into planetary renewal.”

 

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