Friday, March 26, 2010

Last Few Days at Hogwarts

This week has been very good as far as student teaching goes. Jen and I received many cards, sweets and goodies from our students. Many of them have expressed how much they will miss us and thanked us for teaching them. My year 7 girls wrote me a card, and got me a beautiful necklace and bag. With them I did a fraction activity using gummies, which they loved and was a review of what we have been learning over the last few weeks. Even the kindies and middles, whom I don't officially teach, have been saying they will miss me and running to give me hugs. I didn't cry until we were sitting in prep school staff briefing and Miss Hodgson was thanking Jen and I, telling us how there will be era hole when we leave and thanking us for all we have done, and my eyes filled, I looked over at Gill and she was starting to tear up, and then they fell. Only a few, but still. I don't think it has quite hit me yet because I am not leaving straight away, and I will still stay at the flat, so I'll be close by. I will miss the school so much; I have become so fond of everyone and feel like I could fit at this school. Hopefully I can find something just as fitting in the states.

Now all I have to do for the next 5 weeks is relax and plan my trips! Ahhhh!

Sunday, March 21, 2010

The Final Countdown...and a little Surprise!

I wrote this a few days ago:

"I can't believe there are only 17 days left. Seventeen days left in this country, at Howells, living with Jen, hanging out with my new good friends Dafydd, Peter, Dave, Martyn, and Brighid, having pints at the pub, talking walks to the castle, helping at the boarding house, teaching lessons, being a college student, looking at the beautiful view, drinking white tea, listening to the Welsh accent, learning Welsh, watching Rugby, watching Manchester United, playing pool, playing darts, playing with Niamh and Lucy, being "mum" to Niamh and Lucy 2 nights a week, eating pudding everyday, hanging out in the staff room, wearing a coat and scarf everyday, enjoying the cold weather, waking up to the sound of seagulls squawking, having crappy internet, eating unhealthy meals everyday, eating beetroot at every meal, running between prep school and senior school about 50 times a day, going to morning assemblies, being at "Hogwarts", eating at the chippy (at the top and bottom of town), seeing Mrs. Scott, Diana, Gill, Sarah, Sioned, and Gwenville, the girls dressed all smart in their uniforms, playing wii at the boarding house, having dance parties with Niamh and Lucy, having Texas Club, being called Ms. R, waking up at 7 am to read and have a cup of tea, going to Ether gigs, the snow and the rain, playing songs on the jukebox, hanging wet clothes on the radiator, being within walking distance of most things important, teaching a ridiculous amount of classes and grade-levels. Basically, I will miss it ALL, the good and the not-so-good."

And now for the surprise....since British Airways is threatening to strike on the day of my flight back to Texas, I changed my return flight to May 1st. Just in time for graduation, Dad's birthday, and Paul & Bree's wedding! See you all soon!

Friday, March 12, 2010

Final Evaluation

Today was my final evaluation for student teaching, by the head. We were meant to do dividing fractions, which I quite enjoy but can be difficult to teach at times. But I planned my lesson out with the help of a textbook from methods, and was feeling pretty confident with it. I got to class early, wrote my examples on the board, showed Miss Hodgson my lesson plan, and the girls started to trickle in. We started with a story problem: My mum told me I had 1 1/2 hours to wash the dog, clean my room, and take out the trash, how long did I have to perform each task? We figured it out by changing 1 1/2 to an improper fraction, the focus of our lesson yesterday, which is 3/2. then I asked how many 1/2 in 3/2? The obvious answer was 3. They all seemed to understand, so I moved on to the next example: I have 2 1/2 grams of Easter sweets, and I want to put them into 1/4 gram bags, how many bags do I need? So, we thought about it logically. How many quarters are in 2? 8. And how many quarters in a half? 2. So, 8+2=10, I will need 10 bags. Great, on a roll. So, then I introduce the procedure, which is where things get a little tricky. You change 2 1/2 to an improper fraction, 5/2, and then find the reciprocal of 1/4, which is 4/1 and then multiply the two fractions together (5/2 x 4/1 = 20/2 = 10/1 = 10). Then they asked WHY does that work?!? In response, I said, there are 4 quarters in a whole so 2 times 4, and then how many quarters in a half? What i should have said was what is half of 4. But that is beside the point now. Most of them understood. We then completed two more examples as a class. They began working on the class exercise. Obviously, there were questions and girls wanted confirmation that they were doing it correctly, and mind you I am in the room alone, and Miss Hodgson is sitting in the back; I don't have Mrs. Scott in there to help me answer questions. One girl cried, one girl came in late but caught on quickly, and a few forgot to find the reciprocal, but in the end it went really really well. And when Miss Hodgson left the room, I received a STANDING OVATION!!! It was one of the best feelings in the world. A few of them said, "Wow, you could be a real teacher!" I was on cloud 9! I feel really good about my lesson and observation, so we will wait to hear what Miss Hodgson says about it later on today in our meeting.