Cupcakes and Tears

Weeks with presentations are relaxing, sort of. I planned to have my last two days of teaching as presentation days for my grade ten class and work periods for my grade nine class. It has been lovely not having to concoct a lesson plan for each of these days. However, I didn’t plan my marking very well. I’ve been sitting at my desk for hours at a time each night this week trying to grade papers. I’ve had to start wearing my glasses again to combat the hours of reading.

This week was my big unit for my EAL classroom. On Monday I worked on building confidence when you have to read out loud in a classroom. We worked on slamming some lyrics to popular songs and playing a few vocal drama games. The kids really opened up during this lesson and comfortably talked in front of each other. I had one boy slam the lyrics to ‘Let it Go’ from the Frozen soundtrack and got the class incredibly energetic. I asked them if they would all like to sing that sound. My slam poetry successfully ended with seven boys and five girls belting out ‘Let it Go’ together. Honestly, I left class that evening with an ear-to-ear grin. It was amazing to see the confidence flowing around the room.

My presentations didn’t work out very well. I wanted to get through fifteen on my first day, but we only did eleven. In a class of thirty-two, that cannot happen. Because my time management was so poor, I’m going to have to come in on Monday between my own classes to finish off the presentations. I should have spent more time going through my expectations of a three to four minutes storytelling and using one sheet of notes. Most of my kids just read right from the papers. However, one of my EAL students told us her story in a campfire style. I was proud of her. She displayed great confidence and copious amounts of enthusiasm.

In the future, I will take ten minutes out of my class time to go through expectations that I have for assignments. I have learned that even if you give a rubric, students will not read it. My rubrics were specific, but the students didn’t even spend a minute on it. Another thing I will change is just getting started right away. We were all sitting in a circle for our presentations and the students took a long time to get settled.

I have had an amazing three weeks at my school. It is going to be difficult to leave my kids. There is a part of me that just wants to rip them away from my co-op and hoard them all to myself. I can already feel myself getting emotional this morning and I am trying to think of ways to keep myself together. I’ve baked up a storm for my young ones, so hopefully they will remember the horror of Ms. Fisher.