A Teacher Getaway: Unwind to Recharge

We spent so much time making sure our lessons are perfect, our classrooms are cute, and that our students are receiving the best education possible. Don’t forget consistently building relationships with our students. We stay up late to mark work, design assessments, and craft the lesson for the next day; all while trying to throw our personal life into the mix, somewhere.

In that mix, we tend to lose ourselves. In that mix, we become burnt out. In that mix, we drain our batteries.

We neglect the importance of self-care.

We can’t help it. We’re caring and compassionate teachers, and we do this job for our students. It’s in our nature, and it’s who we are.

After taking on a total of three teaching terms this year, I decided that it was time for a break. A lot has transpired since the first day back in September, and I was nearing the end of my rope. Did I forget to mention that this is only my first year of teaching? That is not good – ending my first year, and I’m physical and emotionally drained.

Y’all… I needed an intervention. STAT!

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Dear High School Graduate | Things You Should Know

 

Dear High School Graduate,

Congratulations on your high school convocation. It took you many years, tears, frustration, and dedication to get where you are today. For some, it may have been an easy path; for others, it may have been a struggle. But you’re here, and you’re done. Nobody can take this away from you.

You’re probably now at a crossroads – what do I do now? Some of you may be attending university/college/trade school in the fall; some may be working, and some may not have solid plans. That’s ok. It is perfectly fine to not know what you’re going to do. Right now, you’re probably trying to digest it all. It’s ok to not continue with post-secondary studies right after high school. It’s ok to not know what your plans are. It’s ok to be unsure.

Here is something that you probably weren’t told… life is going to get hard, again. You’re going to use your 20s to find out who you are, where you stand, and what you stand for. That’s called life. Remember the first day of high school when you felt like the little fish in the big pond? You’re going to experience that again. You’re going to fight your way to the top; you’re going to have to fight to prove yourself, and you’re going to have to show that you’re just as good as everybody else.

Fight for your place in this world, and don’t give up. Fight to have your voice heard, and don’t give up. There will be people that will take advantage of your age, and think that you don’t know a thing – be aware, and stand up for yourself. Don’t let anyone take advantage of you. You’re going to fall many, many times. It’s ok. Just pick yourself up, dust yourself off, and try again. Failure is your attempt in learning. FAIL. Get it? You learn from your mistakes.

What I’m trying to say is that, everything is going to be okay. At first, it may not seem like that. Just don’t give up, know your worth, and understand the definition of perseverance.

You’re going to be okay. Everything, is going to be okay.

 

To New Teachers | You’re in for an adventure

Congratulations on your convocation. You have made the decision to enter one of the most noble career fields that are out there – you’ve decided to become a teacher. You’re about to embark on quite the adventure, and let me tell you… it is quite the adventure.

Some of you may have already secured a position, while some of you are still waiting. That’s ok. It’s ok to be a substitute for a while because you have been afforded the perfect opportunity to work on your classroom management and teacher skills. You will be seeing different classrooms, different classroom management and teaching styles; you’ll be taking little pieces of those opportunities and shaping them into your own experience.

I was fortunate enough to have a classroom for the first three months of my new teaching adventure. I earned many bumps and bruises along the way, but I would never trade it for anything else. Being able to teach in my community allowed me to become an incredible teacher – a teacher that understands what each student goes through, and at the same time, being tough and challenging their potential.

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The Importance of Food In Your Classroom

We know the importance of food access and how adequate and consistent access to healthy food helps provide energy – energy that children need to get them through the day. We also know that not all students have access to food. When you work at an inner city school, you see this reality every single day.

Lord Selkirk Park is home to the poorest neighbourhood in Winnipeg, with 68% of residents living below the poverty line. The unemployment rate is 18.7%; an average income is $15K, and rent averages under $500 a month (CBC Manitoba). Over 60,000 Winnipeggers access food banks each year; including access to food missions to ensure a hot meal every day. One in 3.5 Manitoban children are living in poverty – that’s an estimated 85,000+ children; 62% of children are in single-families. Manitoba has the highest Indigenous child-poverty rate in Canada – 76%, more than three-quarters (Winnipeg Free Press, 2016). Poverty goes beyond food here in Winnipeg – it includes housing, clothing, medical care (including access to medication), and extra-curricular activities that help promote health, fitness, and well-being.

R.B. Russell is located just steps from the Lord Selkirk Park community.

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2017 Teacher Year in Review

I am not quite sure how 2018 is already here, but it is here. My word for 2018 is change. I’m ready for personal changes and professional changes. Last year my word was, slay. I sure did slay… and it was quite the year.

In January, it was the start of a crazy whirlwind of final year. We went back to (ed) school early, and we were quickly thrown into presentations and preparing for graduation; and subsequently, applying for jobs and interviews. I had my first teacher interview in January, and was hired as a substitute by the time I completed education.

February was filled with more interviews for sub lists and I found myself on two more. March was crazy because it was the last month of ed classes and the beginning of my final student teaching block. April was spent student teaching and lesson planning; I swear I can’t remember everything because that is how fast it went.

Then finally, the two years of Education came to and end. In May I subbed, June I graduated and was hired for my first job.

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