Since September of 2016, I have been volunteering regularly in a Grade 4 class within my former public school. I have also applied to the supply list for my local school board (and received a job interview in November), but this volunteer position has been wonderful so far, because it is providing me with valuable classroom experience in the meantime.
My favourite part about this job is not only the amazing, inquisitive, kind, and funny children I’ve gotten the chance to work with in both small-group and one-on-one tutoring settings, but the teacher who has been supervising me each day. I am currently working with Mrs. Skinner, my own Grade 1 teacher, and the person who inspired me to enter the profession myself. Watching her teach from the perspective of a new teacher has been incredibly rewarding, and I have gained a great deal of insight into her classroom management techniques and routines, the power of strategic student grouping throughout daily activities, and into the processes and strategies that she uses when planning lessons and units over the course of the school year. Overall, this volunteering feels like a completely full circle moment for me, and I’m definitely enjoying my time at the school. I’ve met a number of supportive fellow teachers, been exposed to several new assessment and evaluation tools, and had the chance to start and maintain an ongoing resource bank, containing activities and ideas for my own future reference and use. This position has also reminded me to stay optimistic about my professional prospects as a teacher, and it has been a great, incredibly fulfilling first step in starting my career. I am so excited to see what 2017 has in store for me, and I will continue to post updates as they happen.