Time to Shine

Perhaps being a teacher-candidate is one of the few opportunities in which a person can make a first impression twice. Last week, I was introduced to students as the stranger who would be observing, helping out in class, and, eventually, teaching lessons. Tomorrow morning I will actually teaching for the first time, and in so doing I will be establishing the type of educator that I will be for at least the first seven weeks of my fledgling teaching career.

I wonder if I have given enough thought to how I actually want to act when I step into the spotlight tomorrow morning. Will I be able to move away from the tentative feelings that I have experienced during my first week of my practicum? Can I bring the confident and flexible attitude that I had as a Music & Drama camp leader to the classroom? It was a love of camp and interactions with campers that helped foster my desire to teach.

I imagine that my first class tomorrow will be difficult but that the second will go more smoothly. At least one of my two lesson plans will probably be a bit of a flop, but this flop will also be my first opportunity to learn how to be a better educator the next time around. I feel ready though – I know most of the students’ names, I am familiar with the school, and I have solid lesson plans. I cannot quite remember the best way to manage a class of fifteen-year olds, but hopefully those skills will come back to me.

So what will my second beginning, my second first impression look like? It will be relaxed and confident, welcoming and excited, and have a healthy blend of camp counsellor and professional teacher. Just as the memories of being a high school student came flooding back when I stood up for the national anthem on the first day of my practicum, so will the joy of teaching, leading, and learning return when I pick up my piece of chalk tomorrow.

I remember that joy.
I’m ready. As the great MC Hammer said, “Ring the bell – school’s back in.”


Welcomes, Warnings, and Wonderings

A year ago today, if you had told me that in the future I would be publishing on not one but TWO blogs, I probably would have given a horrified shudder at the thought that I could ever be so dorky.

After one year of blogging and one week of being a part of the Faculty of Education at Queen's University, it seems clear that blogging provides an opportunity to be a reflective practitioner of Education (...or History...or Chemistry...) and to control and enhance one's presence on the Web. With Humility in Education, I hope to consider compelling or challenging issues in education, describe my progress from teacher-candidate to teacher, and share thoughts on how to successfully engage with students.

If I know anything about myself, it is that I set high expectations for myself that I do not always end up reaching. While I hope to post frequently, I apologize in advance if I write no more than once a month. An ironic characteristic of my experience as a univeristy student has been that when I am most surrounded by fascinating concepts and compelling questions, I have been too busy to take the time to reflect deeply on what I am learning. Find yourself a solid aggregator so you don't miss a single pearl of wisdom!

As I look back on my very first post, it still seems relevant to mention a few more points.

The title of this blog is derived from from my first blog, Humility in History. Humility in Education is intended to represent a focus on educating students; furthermore, this title is both an acknowledgement and a reminder that I will make mistakes along the way. Hopefully we can all look back upon those mistakes and laugh!

Thank you for taking an interest in the challenges and successes I face as I grow into a better educator. I hope that this blog will give you a good sense of what I'm personally up to as a teacher and what my profession is grappling with more broadly.