The transition between semesters is hectic, to say the least. High school teachers enjoy tying up any loose ends from first semester, marking culminating tasks and/or exams, calculating final marks, writing report cards, and preparing for new courses that begin in semester two. This is why I wanted to take advantage of a Flexible Workplace day; to have the freedom to stay at home if need be, and to focus on a course that I haven’t taught before. I knew that a lack of planning would affect my stress levels, and that’s the last thing anyone needs at this time of year. Or any time of year. *I also knew that my friend Lindy would be presenting to new teacher candidates at Lakehead University and I couldn’t wait to hang out.
While Lindy shared her presentation in the Bora Laskin auditorium, I began preparing my Course of Study for ICS2O (Introduction to Computer Studies, Grade 10). It was my opportunity to text my Principal a number of times as I refreshed my memory on the requirements for courses of study, since I hadn’t had to write a new one for some time.
Later, I stopped in at my high school to speak with Sam, our Information Technology Services Technician, who sorted through a variety of computer parts to help me build a collection of equipment that could be used in my course. Not only did we begin preparing a rough plan for the first few weeks with Computer Studies students, but we discussed his role and how his post-secondary education related to his work. He also agreed to visit my class to share his knowledge with students!
I left school *early* (because I could), and because I had arranged to meet with Peter McAsh and Doug Peterson, my two friends (and superstars from ECOO). When I found out that I would be teaching ICS2O, they were the first people I contacted. I have relied on their amazing support for years, and I wasn’t about to stop asking for help now! 😉
We reviewed a long list of resources that they had been sharing with me over the past while, and they helped me gain a better understanding of the overall flow of the course. I could feel my stress levels subsiding as my familiarity with expectations grew.
So, I guess this post is a bit of a thank-you note. Thanks to our union for negotiating a day that respects teachers and allows them to use time that suits them best. Thanks to my Principal for allowing me to use this day the way I needed. Thank you to Doug and Peter, for helping me wrap my head around this course (and for the constant hand-holding that will probably be needed through this semester). Thanks to Sam for helping me prepare the equipment that we will need for hands-on learning and for your courage to come and speak to my students.