In Native American spirituality, the Raven is the messenger of magic from the great void where all knowledge waits for us. He is also the symbol of changes in consciousness, of levels of awareness and of perception. from http://www.ravenns.com/raven.htm
So, this year is done. Yesterday was my final pedagogical day of the 2007/08 school year – my first one at HSB. I don’t yet know what I will be teaching next year though I do know…
that I will be returning to HSB where I have been offered a permanent contract :)
and that whatever I teach I will:
…be more proactive in my teaching than ever before
…map out literacy competencies for/with my students and how we will get there
…need to balance teaching, studying, private life
Apparently we receive our teaching loads on June 30th, though they are subject to change up until October 15th! And apparently one should expect it to change by the beginning of the school year at the end of August.
After a few conversations with my principal, I seem to have basically two possibilities – Bridges teacher or Alternatives teacher. I’m focusing on Alternatives teacher. That is where I would like to be in the future. Alternatives is like a school within the school, for students in their last two years of high school (Secondary 4 and 5 in Quebec) who need an alternative approach to graduate. Here is the blurb from the HSB website:
Directions Alternative School
Using alternative methods of instruction, community-based learning, high structure and behaviour modification, “Directions” attempts to aid learners who, for a myriad of reasons, have lost touch with their own educational path. By redirecting their at-risk behaviours and helping them to face the obstacles in the way of their learning, the atlernative school program increases their likelihood of success. Directions has a comprehensive procedure for entry into the program which includes recommendations from teachers and administrators and interviews with prospective students and their families.
I had begun this year as a Bridges teacher working with students on life skills programs, though after 2 weeks they added 8 other younger students to my class of 5 older students. All in all it created a difficult dynamic to teach in – unfair to both groups, though necessary due to numbers. If I am offered the Bridges group again I fear that the same story will unfold. I don’t want that to happen. I would rather see them integrated into a new work-oriented program, with resource support, that the school is offering next year than integrated with the younger learning centre students as they were this year.
All in all I am excited about returning to HSB and excited about seeing what challenges are in store for me next year. Also, I’m glad that I have documented some of my reflections – both positive and not-so-positive – from this year so at I can return to them in the future and always move forward.
But for now…bring on the margaritas because I am definitely ready for vacation!