September recap from a MT point of view

*This post was written by Caitlin Cheung, a MT student in the Primary/Junior stream.

The weather is getting colder, my Starbucks drinks are getting hotter and my workload went from “I can see you after my class” to “I’ll recap my semester with you during the holidays.” As a self-proclaimed multi-tasker, this month has really tested my time management, priorities and ability to not sweat the small stuff.

In true teacher education format, I will present my 2 stars and a wish on my first month at OISE. If you are not in one of the many teacher education programs at OISE, 2 stars and a wish is an infamous exit strategy to conclude a lesson. Teachers or peers provide constructive, positive feedback to the student about their abilities, competence and performance. This type of assessment is authentic to the student’s abilities and helps them rise to the expectation set for them.

My 2 Stars:

1. My first star about my program is for the support I have received. I have heard from many graduate students that they feel so supported in their program. I even felt like that during my undergraduate program as well. But the support I have been given by my peers and professors here at OISE is on a whole new level. I have never felt more reassured that I am on the right path towards my future. Everyday I reconfirm my affirmation that I want to make a difference in the lives of my students. If you haven’t seen this Ted Talk by Rita Pierson, I will give you 9 minutes to watch this video and then come back to my post. The video is 7:48 long, but you will need that 1:12 to contain your composure and reflect on her enthusiasm.

I frame her as my inspiration as practicum is slowly approaching. I want to empower my students with the right attitudes towards education and development.

2. My second star is for Pepper. I am absolutely lost if I don’t check this application on an hourly basis. Literally, I would be lost with the classroom changes and new events popping up constantly. I love how I can access the site from my phone, laptop or on campus computers. A sub-wish for this site is to have better emoticons, especially coming from a tech crazy human being. Hey Jim Hewitt, I can help you design them if necessary

If you are not familiar with Pepper, because you don’t use it in your program or you haven’t entered yet….Its basically OISE’s own quercus/portal/education powerhouse. Not to sound elitist, but if you aren’t on Pepper, you are missing out. Also, can we make the phrase “Pepper me” a real thing? I say it on a constant basis since email addresses and phone numbers are too complicated!

My 1 wish:

1. Please don’t tell me that my wish for there to be underground tunnels between the OISE building to all my favorite food sources is unreasonable. It is unreasonable? NOOOO! Okay then, let me think of another wish for the program.

Directly concerning the program, I wish for our next practicums to be released at least a month in advance. (If you are not aware, at exactly 4:01 pm on October 7th, practicum locations were released. This is 20 days before the actual start of practicum). Speaking specifically on behalf of PJ 161, we would have loved to have more time to prepare ourselves for our first practicum of the program.

Preparations included but are not limited to:

-Material preparations. As a frugal graduate student, I want to shop for the best deals to prepare my teacher tool kit.Mental preparations. I would have liked to engage in a few more meditations allowing me to focus my energy on classroom management and lesson planning.

-Social preparations. Do I have enough time between my commute to and from the school to text my friends that I am alive and I will see them during the Holidays.

-Life preparations. I live religiously by my agenda. If it is not mapped out a month in advance, my whole week falls apart. And I know that many of my peers have more family responsibilities than I do. How can they start preparing their families for a new routine and schedule?

But the bright side is that practicum could have been released 1 day before our field experience days. And it is not to say the Practicum Team did not work tirelessly to provide us with practicums. I’m just wishing that my extra mindful meditations will help offset my lack of preparations and make me extra keen on excelling in the classroom.

So that was my first month at OISE in a nutshell. Please check back next month to 1) make sure I am alive before practicum 2) make sure I am alive to blog about my adventures at OISE.