that perfect hand…

In Ocean's 11, Danny said that "the house always wins. If you play long enough, never change the stakes, then the house takes you. Unless, when that perfect hand comes along, you bet big… and then, you take the house." Here's the hand I've been dealt, sometimes it's risky and sometimes it's safe, but all the time… it's perfect. It's mine.


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inspiring

I forgot the feeling of student teaching — learning a lot, not excelling at much. As I finished my first week, I was overwhelmed by all of the change and all of the pressure and importance and emotion of what I am doing. I don’t know how someone couldn’t do this without being overwhelmed. But it was fantastic… that teacher’s high of standing in front of the room, showing students something they might not have seen before (or showing them something they’ve learned a million times and have them teach it back to me). I wish I could tell you I hit it out of the park and the first week was a dream come true, but where is the fun in that? It was hard and tiring but worth every second and I am excited about week two. More on that later.

Monday was a professional development day and interestingly, one of my favourite educators and slam poets ever was one of the keynote speakers at the event! It was quite the event indeed, Scott and I were bewildered by the music and people and entertainment, it felt like a teacher party (at 9 am on a Monday). Anyway, when Taylor Mali shared some of his poems, the inspiration was electric and his passion magnetic… so I wanted to share a bit of it so you know what I mean. It felt like being in the presence of a celebrity that you’ve looked up to for a lifetime. Not that there are any celebrities I feel that way about, except for maybe Sean Connery when he rides up on his white horse as King Richard in Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves. So in essence, Taylor Mali was my Sean Connery for a moment. Take a watch/listen:


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here i go again

Tomorrow it starts all over again. However, this time I am teaching 2 English 10s instead of 1 English 11, Julius Caesar instead of Macbeth, Social Studies 11 instead of SS 9, I’m one of four pre-service teachers instead of the only one, have a fall wardrobe instead of a summer one, and driving 25 mins NW instead of 25 mins NE (just kidding, I don’t know the direction but the commute is the same). I am unprepared currently — tomorrow is a Pro-D day and we get to go to a seminar instead… but it’ll come. I am much more relaxed this time around. Doesn’t mean it won’t be overwhelming and daunting and tiring but the actual ‘unknown’ isn’t as worrisome as it was once before. I’ve been waiting for this forever so I am excited. I also hope it doesn’t go SO fast that I don’t have time to process it. I am thrilled that Scott will be there, teaching bio and physics right downstairs from me… so if you think of me, think of him and hope for some greatness/success/patience/resilience to come our way!

It’s so close now, the end, I am so excited for the next couple months… if it’s even a fraction of as incredible the first practicum was, I am going to be blown away!

Any wisdom or advice for me/us? I would love to hear your thoughts… what was the best part of your high school experience…or the best part about your favourite teacher?

Cheers!


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sleepless

because he bends down to listen…

If publication of this post included the ‘time’ it would say 3:45 am. I can’t sleep, my mind is running a marathon, and I don’t know how to stop it so I’m producing something tangible from those thoughts in effort to slow it down.

I had my meeting with my mentor teacher for my up-and-coming practicum today (more accurately…yesterday). I was confident going in but a bit paralyzed coming out. I will be teaching two English 10 classes to the tune of writing composition and, cue the trumpets, Shakespeare. Again. Coupled with my fear that I would be teaching Shakespeare again is the overwhelming honesty and confidence of my mentor. I know it will be a good fit and I know that I will be challenged by her but I am left sleepless by our overwhelming differences. Expectations are high, expectations for failure were voiced and anticipated, and expectations for a sleepless eight weeks were guaranteed. Maybe tonight is just my training period? In other words, after meeting my last mentor, I got excited to teach. Cathy made me feel safe and assured and confident from the second I met her. I think it was because we are so similar. So this new challenge of different personalities and ideas might be overwhelming right now, made worse by the fact that I only just met her when my practicum begins in ten days. 10. I like humility, I appreciate being humbled by someone who has wisdom and experience and focus. But I also wanted a glimmer for assurance that it would be okay. I’m terrified (in this case, dramatics are not exaggerated… nothing ever keeps me up at night like this!).

Second, I have yet to be placed with someone for my Social Studies teachable. There is someone in the works but nothing has been confirmed and this, too, is something I am nervous for. This whole practicum experience is showing me how deep rooted I am by my faith in my plan for my life. Thus, if everything occurred as per what I think would be best for me… having mentor teachers way in advance (not one week), knowing my content better, having much more time to prepare, a mentor as fantastic as my first one… then I would be a rockstar teacher in no time. Doesn’t work like that. My plan isn’t working. In fact, I would testify against myself if that went to trial. However, I am awake in a bit of purgatory between hoping for the practicum situation that I anticipated and desired, yet didn’t get, and trusting the one that is in place; trusting the one that is not one made by my hand.

Yes, I’m not an idiot. I know I could be eating these words in a few short weeks and you know if I am wrong and my fears prove entirely unnecessary, I am good for admitting so. But for now, it’s 4:00 am, I’m feeling like my world got very, very full all of a sudden, and not just with my pending return to high school, and I am a little bit unsure of what to make of it.  You know that feeling when you’re winded after going for a nice long run and your heart is racing for awhile after your legs have slowed down? The opposite is the best description for right now… my heart and brain have been kicked into overdrive, hoping the rest of me is going to catch up. I know change is imminent, but like I said, the new fullness of my life has caught me completely off guard. I could use a couple more days of a little slower, and safer, pace. Is that too much to demand?

Haha ‘demand’. Like I even have a say in the matter. Think of me?

Goodnight.

i will pray as long as i have breath
psalm 116.2