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The Rookie Teacher



New Years 2016 – What’s up Next? 0

Posted on January 09, 2016 by Natasha

Well, it’s official, we have now made it through the first week of the New Year! Personally, I found that the week just FLEW by…maybe I was feeling recharged? maybe the kids had the break they needed to recharge themselves?

Needless to say, we’re back and at it!

photo: planyourmeetings.com

I started the week with community. In each of my rotary classes, we spent about 10 minutes as a group to share about our break and get caught up with each other. With my homeroom, my focus was on setting goals – a large piece of the metacognition process and our Self-Regulation Learning Skill. I was encouraged at the goals that my students set for themselves. My ah-ha moment last year was that we always encourage goal setting, however, we rarely provide the needed time to reflect on goals and take time to celebrate achievements. I have set aside 10 minutes in my weekly schedule (during Language) to have my students check in on their goals. I have them ask themselves 3 questions:

  1. Have I achieved any goals that I can celebrate?
  2. Do I need to start doing something differently to achieve my goal?
  3. Are my goals truly SMART (specific, manageable, attainable, realistic, timely)?
Addie Williams, TPT

Addie Williams, TPT

As a role model, I participated in the task alongside my students. I completed the graphic organizer (shout out to Addie Williams over on TPT), chose three goals to focus on, and completed a paragraph (modeling each step of the process).

Here are my top 3 goals from the task:

  1. I will engage students with hands-on tasks, using technology, and teach the Organization Learning Skill by modeling how to use lined paper. These three things will reduce my eco-footprint by eliminating the need to photocopy.
  2. I will set aside time to be creative (blog, sketch, craft, play more music-looking to starting a Staff Band at school).
  3. I will set weekly fitness goals so that I can be healthy and happy.

We want to know…what are your plans for the new year? How are you going to grow professionally? How are you going to encourage your students to be the best they can be? 

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Survey Says… 0

Posted on December 24, 2014 by Natasha

We are looking for feedback in order to serve you better. Please comment below or on any social media outlet. Thank you for taking a moment to help out The Rookie Teacher Team.

Facebook.com/TheRookieTeacher

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An Update 0

Posted on October 05, 2013 by Sarah

My, my it’s been far too long since I’ve shared my thoughts with the awesome Rookie Team and it’s readers. Almost a full year in fact, my apologies. But nonetheless what an amazing public forum for discussion that I’m super grateful to be part of!

In the last year I’ve finished my Master of Education, enjoyed a beautiful summer in Toronto, and landed a permanent position at a school with an awesome staff! Evidently my days as of late are spent planning furiously and resting!

My M.Ed (in Curriculum Studies and Teacher Development) is one of the best decisions I made. I think I gained the most valuable, transformative experiences of my life (too early to say?) collaborating and discussing with professors, teachers and peers at large. Every course (I had 10 over 2 years) engaged me in a new way and pushed me to think critically about the world and my role within it. I certainly miss being challenged the way that I was so regularly during my time at OISE, it has truly shone as a leader in educational thinking. My time there has made me a stronger teacher and person without a doubt. Thank you to all who supported me throughout that chapter completing 7 years of formal Education Studies (I completed  a 4 year Honours at Brock in Education as my undergrad as well).

The courses I took at OISE for my M.Ed (and I wouldn’t trade ANY in!) are:

  • Foundations of Curriculum
  • Teaching and Learning About Science and Technology: Beyond Schools
  • The Holistic Curriculum
  • Transformative Education
  • Cooperative Learning Research and Practice
  • Poststructuralism and Education
  • Media, Education and Popular Culture
  • Special Topics in Adult Education: The Pedagogy of Food
  • Environmental Decision Making
  • Environmental Finance

photo: flickrcc.net / giulia.forsythe

 

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Growing & Supporting PLNs 0

Posted on April 18, 2013 by Natasha

**note: this is based on US research**

Recently, I was contacted by Erika Phyall, a member of community relations at USC, who was able to pass along some great research and fantastic #infographic called How to Save Our Educators: The Teacher Turnover Problem.  Here’s what she had to say:

We offer teachers and aspiring educators the opportunity to earn an online Master’s degree in Teaching or Education. My team and I recently launched an infographic, How To Save Our Educators, which gives an overview of the teacher attrition rate problem and possible solutions that can be explored. We understand that having great teachers in the classroom is as much about retaining them as it is about hiring and training them.

What I particularly liked about this was:

1) It was an infographic! [I really need to get the kids making these – what an informative and visually appealing way to share research!]
2) It provides teachers with *solutions* – something that is often missed in research.

Besides the obvious solution….funding…collaboration, mentoring, and professional development are all viable solutions on this list.  If you’re reading this blog, you’re already participating in all three!  The Rookie Team is always here for you.  We will try our best to answer your questions or connect you with the right folks to help.  I also encourage you to continue building your PLN.  It’s so easy to do online (Pinterest, TeachersPayTeachers, Facebook, and more!) Above all, I would recommend checking out the New Teacher Chat (#ntchat) that happens every Wednesday night between 8:00-9:00pm EST.  You can follow this chat two ways: (1) join twitter and the discussion by following the hashtag #ntchat, (2) point your browser to Twitter Chat’s #ntchat feed and read along (this option restricts you from commenting live).

If you would like to get in touch with Erika – visit her blog post and watch for her on #edchat on Twitter.

Natasha Dunn, OCT [@yoMsDunn]
The Rookie Teacher, co-founder 

Special thanks to our friend & mentor Lisa Dabbs for connecting Erika with the Rookie Team.

via: http://rossieronline.usc.edu/how-to-save-our-educators-infographic

via: http://rossieronline.usc.edu/how-to-save-our-educators-infographic

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Professional Development: The Lounge Podcast: Episode 4 0

Posted on January 01, 2012 by Natasha

The Lounge is a biweekly podcast brought to you by TheRookieTeacher[dot]ca.

Pen and Paper note taking

photo: N.Dunn

On this episode, two RookieTeachers discuss professional development. Being a Rookie is exactly what it sounds like – being new – meaning we have lots of energy, fresh ideas, and looking forward to hit a homerun!  Sometimes it helps to put a name or philosophy behind our ideas to help explain ourselves in interviews or during collaboration projects (so that we are using common language), or to provide a foundation/research for what we are doing in the classroom.  After the overwhelming response we had to Marsha’s previous post about AQs, we knew that this topic had to be discussed on The Lounge.

SHOW NOTES

Each episode features three segments:

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

Topic: Professional Development

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: Reading Beads
  • Natasha: Partner/Group making strategies (avoid getting left out)
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.
Quick Shout Outs
  1. Really exciting news – earlier this month we had our first 200+ views/day.  We want to thank everyone who is showing support for our new project.  Thank you for spreading the word and please continue to drop by our site and join in on the discussion.  We look forward to hearing from you soon
  2. Thank you for Liking us on Facebook – we are almost at our 100 person goal!
  3. We want to be your New Teacher Resource – Facebook poll – what are you looking for in a new-teacher website?

Thanks for listening. Join us for our next episode when we discuss BACHELOR OF EDUCATION ALTERNATIVES: How are you using your B.Ed outside the classroom?

We want to hear from you, please comment on the blog, follow us on twitter @RookieTeacherCA, join us on Facebook, or send us an email to info@TheRookieTeacher.ca.

Find Natasha (@yoMsDunn) and Andrew (@ABlakeTeach) on Twitter.

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The AQ Race 9

Posted on December 11, 2011 by Natasha

A - alone on the wall  by Eva the Weaver, FlickrCC.nettypewriter key letter Q  by Leo Reynolds

Whether you are a teacher candidate, new to the profession or even a veteran teacher, you probably know, what I call, the “AQ race”. I remember when the push to take AQ (additional qualification) courses began early in my practicum experience.  If you spoke to a new teacher they would tell you that getting your Special Education Part 1 was the key to getting a job, while others began to push the ESL course as a way to market yourself, and still others would promote Reading Part 1.  It wasn’t until talking to a mentor of mine that I was able to step back from “the race” and consider what AQ courses meant to me.

Now, without a boring description of self discovery, I’d love to share my perspective with you in short.  AQ courses are a wonderful way that teachers can become life long learners!  These course offer us an introduction to some of the latest classroom strategies, and better yet a support community.  To rush through a course with the sole intent of using it as a marketing tactic on a resume or point of conversation in an interview simply diminishes the golden value that AQs have to offer.

I look forward to one day enrolling in an AQ course like Reading Part 1 or Technology in the Classroom, when I can take my new learning from one session and apply it the next day to my classroom.  With a community around me that shares in my learning, I’ll seek support, advice and of course share my stories of success and failure.

Coin Question Mark by Sandro PereiraSo, this leads me to asking… What do AQ courses mean to you?  What value do they offer?  Or maybe, you have questions about AQ courses (as I had in teacher’s college, and still have today) and wish to ask them now!

I look forward to hearing from you!

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