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Teacher Newsmagazine Volume 16, Number 5, April 2004

New faces going places

The 2004 theme for the New Teachers’ and Student Teachers’ Conference held in February, captured the mood of the more than 400 participants who came from every corner of the province. Classroom teachers, in their role as facilitators, commented positively on the decision to integrate the two conferences, stating that the energy and enthusiasm of the new teachers with the soon-to-be teachers was ample reward for the hard work put into their workshops. Attendees enjoyed the variety of workshops dealing with curriculum, social justice and classroom management, and appreciated the hospitality of the organizing committee and that of the hotel staff.

Why did you choose to be a teacher?

I enjoy working with all ages of children and youth, so becoming a teacher just seemed natural. The idea of influencing children and aiding them in learning new concepts is huge in so many ways. Now that I am a teacher, I look forward to making learning enjoyable for all learners!
Pamela Chandler, Gill Elementary School, Port Alberni

I chose to become a teacher because of my Grade 4 teacher. He made learning fun and would go the extra mile to let me know he cared. He made a difference in my life, and as a teacher, I hope to pass on this gift he gave me. Mr. Araki, I thank you.
Allison Goodman, Wildwood Elementary & Chilcotin Road Elementary Schools, Cariboo-Chilcotin

I made the decision to become a teacher when I was overseas, teaching English in Japan. I’m really interested in science and in working with people, especially young people. Having a class full of students engaged in a lesson and seeing someone "get it" is very rewarding. Though I still feel like a student myself, I’m looking forward to making a career of this.
Mike Richardson, Elphinstone Secondary School, Sunshine Coast

Who influenced you the most in your first year of teaching?

Being in at least five different departments in the school, I can say that the entire staff at Westview has given me a hand in surviving this year by appreciating my bizarre sense of humour.
Tim Dilley, Westview Secondary School, Maple Ridge

Valérie Taylor has influenced me the most during my first year of teaching. She is a mentor to me--she helps me out with French resources and strategies on how to manage my class, and she is devoted to the students and the school. She has also helped me with writing report cards and integrating visual arts into the curriculum.

From my sponsor teacher, Monique Thibault, I have learned classroom routines and many useful strategies to help students learn French.

They have both greatly influenced my teaching style and philosophy.
Chantal-Liette Jobin, École Central of the Arts, Fort St. John

My sponsor teacher. I still talk to her from time to time, and I can always ask her for advice on anything. She always gives her honest opinion. She is knowledgeable and has a good, ethical teaching philosophy. She prepared me well for my first year of teaching in terms of the most effective classroom-management strategies, and, most important, how to keep a sense of community in my class. Thanks, Sylvia!
Bethony Lam, Sandy Hill Elementary School, Abbotsford

The staff at Glenwood Elementary School in Maple Ridge. I was a TOC for three years. From my first few days at their school, the staff at all levels were welcoming in the staffroom and just making sure my day was OK. Even though I didn’t officially have a home school, the staff made me feel I was one of them.
Jen Sens, Fairview Elementary School, Maple Ridge/Pitt Meadows

What was your funniest experience in your first year of teaching?

When all of your classes are taught in different rooms, you often do not have any consistency with the equipment. I am quite the klutz to begin with, so the A/V equipment has always been a challenge. My funny experience involves the overhead projector. Usually it is anchored; this day it was not. I leaned on it and it rolled away. I did not go with it; I fell to the ground, seemingly in slow motion. Luckily, I’m used to being embarrassed, and, of course, the students laughed hysterically.
Kristy Abel, Westview Secondary School, Maple Ridge

Throughout my first two years, I have learned many valuable lessons: never turn your back, never make promises you can’t keep, and fighting the small battles one at a time means you’re winning the big ones. However, one lesson I learned this year I will carry forever. A true mentor once told me that on the days when the tears want to fall and frustration sets in, don’t try to analyze it or figure it out, just say these few words: Be quiet and colour!
Kylie Philpotts, Marie Sharpe Elementary School, Cariboo-Chilcotin

The most important lessons I learned in my practicum.

• Three fingers in your face mean washroom (W).

• Change the name of the dog when reading aloud the Secret World of Og from Osdick to Osrick.

• Don’t have an observation on cupcake day, tacky-dress day, or party day.

• Be careful of the vowel pairs you ask the class to make into words on the board, e.g., oo or ee.

• Don’t write directly on the overhead glass.

• Get someone to help you photocopy transparencies; appreciate the secretaries.

• Laugh, laugh, laugh!

Judith Hightower, Student teacher, Blakeburn Elementary School, Coquitlam

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