Winter Practicum Report 1: Busy as a Bee

by Caitlin
Master of Teaching student

The first week has come and gone with a blink of an eye. It was extremely hard to get into the groove of the first week. I think it was especially hard for me, as the first week of practicum followed Family Day and the start of the Lenten journey. If you were placed in a Catholic school, you may have experienced the same struggle. Everyday had an event, or an interruption which disrupted the flow of the routine.

Here how my week went:

Monday- Family Day. I had this day off to plan and prepare my first lesson on Speeches

Tuesday-Pancake Tuesday/Shrove Tuesday. In Catholic schools, it is a tradition to serve pancakes as we prepare for the Lenten journey. So in the middle of our math lesson, we stopped to enjoy some delicious pancakes made by the parent council. This took me back to enjoying pancakes in Elementary school on Pancake Tuesday. What a delicious tradition that continues on!

Wednesday-Ash Wednesday. After first recess, all the classes gathered in the school’s gym to attend the Ash Wednesday Mass. Ash Wednesday is the first day of Lent, which is 40 days of fasting before Easter. The priest walked around and asked the students what they were fasting on. Many said chocolate, candy or watching TV. Personally, my favourite responses were bacon and chicken nuggets. The mass took up two periods before lunch.

Thursday-Girls Basketball Tournament. Two of my students attended a basketball tournament. I had to organize their homework on Wednesday during the last period of the day so they wouldn’t be behind on researching their speech topic. This was a huge shuffle in a 40 minute span. I felt like I was racing the clock.

Friday-Boys Basketball Tournament. Similar to my shuffle for the Girl’s Basketball Tournament, I had to grab and make copies of the work the boys had to take home on the Thursday. While I taught my lessons on Thursday and Fridays, I had an uncomfortable feeling that I might have not given the students clear instructions on how to do their research. (Update on Monday, February 23: Not to fear! My students just came back with all their work done!!)

It was hard to get into classroom routine when there were interruptions occurring left, right and centre. But the reality of it is, this is normal. As a teacher, you won’t have a perfect week with your students. Events happen outside of the classroom is beyond your control. In these types of situations, teachers must be adaptable, flexible and on top of their game. I knew that the week would be a little rocky. Thats why I used time to plan all my lessons on Family Day so I would be ready at any moment. I think I will need to plan all my lessons the weekend prior to the week I teach them. Or I might be in trouble.

One week done. Three more to go!

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