• cold snow wood winter

    Absolute Joy

    A little girl stands at the top of a hill.  All around her are children, filled with glee as they go racing down through the snow with their sleds.  She is uncertain.  It is all so strange to her.   Only weeks ago, she was in the hot, arid climate of Africa.  She has had to adjust to many things since her move to our country.  Our cold winter is a shock to her.  Her experience with snow is limited and sledding is a large unknown. One of the staff on outside recess supervision approaches her with a sled.  I can see the discussion and the sign language as the…

  • mountains with crepuscular ray

    When Bad Persists

    As I write this, I am working from home this week.  Our jurisdiction postponed the start of school one week to give school boards the opportunity to make plans for the anticipated rough ride ahead with a new Covid variant.  I am supposed to be planning but it is hard to know for what.  Will school be in person?  Will I need to instruct my students online for a time?   Uncertainty breeds fear, discontent, and turmoil.  I find myself feeling easily irritated and upset.  I want normal life again.  I don’t want to have to think about masks and protocols and adapting to all that is needed to function…

  • photo of brown house near mountain

    Look at Me

    “Teacher, teacher, watch me do this.”  I hear this comment multiple times in my teaching week, particularly on the playground.  As students think they have mastered a new skill, they want to share that with me.  It validates them in their minds.  It helps them stand out in the myriad of students outside and gain that prized teacher’s attention.  As we all do, these students want to matter and feel that have something special to contribute to school life. This need for validation seeps into adulthood as well.  I know I often have done things for the “show” factor.  I want people to see that I am smart or organized…

  • time lapse photography of waterfalls

    God Speaks

    A baby is born into slavery.  Life seems hopeless, but God has a plan.  The baby grows up as an Egyptian prince.  He learns from the best educators and is groomed for leadership.  He knows the intricate workings of the Pharaoh’s life and work. Yet, all this seems for naught when he is caught in the act of murder and he must flee for his life.  He takes on a new role – that of a shepherd in Midian.  He marries and has children and leads a so-called everyday life.   All that changes one day when he encounters a bush that is burning but not being consumed.  His curiosity…

  • beautiful view of moraine lake

    Most Best Teacher

    Every day is an adventure with the little people in my classroom.  Their antics amuse and their insights into things amaze me.  For them, life is much simpler – more black and white.  When they get excited about things they go full tilt.  I love to see the glint in their eyes as they tackle something that intrigues them.   For some, entering into their lives means crossing barriers.  They are reluctant learners, for various reasons.  Such students often hesitate to actively engage.  It is a challenge to reach those inner corners of their lives if they don’t open the door. The other day, while walking outside on recess supervision,…

  • mountain digital wallpaper

    The Right Start

    The morning rush exhausts me at times.  My to do list is great as I prepare for my long commute to school.  I need a proper breakfast to nourish me through the morning.  Lunch needs to be prepared and my tea mug filled.  I have papers to gather and school bags to fill and so on. It is very easy to get caught up in the flurry of activity and feel rushed and overwhelmed with all that needs doing before I head out the door.  I cannot easily come home for things forgotten and so the pressure is on to be totally ready for my day. In times past, I…

  • green trees across body of water

    I Don’t Know

    This list of things I don’t know at my new school seems to be growing rather than diminishing.  It seems that every week there is something else I need to figure out, a new hurdle to master.  At times it is downright exhausting trying to discern what I need to do so I can keep on top of things and keep my class functioning properly. Added to my disconcertion is that I often don’t know who to ask to help me.  My coworkers are very gracious about answering my questions but sometimes I don’t get the right person for what I need.   How am I supposed to ask questions…

  • branches cold conifers environment

    Consumed

    Reports are due.  Training needs completing.  Students require assistance on many fronts.  New school division strategies must be implemented.  Meetings to attend.  Massive emails to read.  Students need counselling and observation.   I could make a very long list about what needs to be done in my teaching week.  Just when I think I have scaled one mountain, there are four more on the horizon.  I find myself unable to keep up with everything and so what is my solution – long hours to try to fit it all in. It is now the weekend and the pile of work I brought home stares me in the face, taunting me…

  • It’s Too Hard

    “Mrs. Goerz, I just can’t do it.  This is too hard for me.”  I hear these words in my classroom from time to time and they concern me.    While I challenge my students to do better and move ahead, I do not give them work that they are incapable of doing.  I choose lessons and activities that meet the needs of my students, right where they are at. I provide support throughout the learning process and encouragement to complete the task. So where does the “it’s too hard” language come from?  For many students it is simply not listening to instructions properly and they don’t know what to do. …

  • water falls surrounding green grass during daytime

    The Power Source

    As I enjoy a leisurely breakfast I contemplate recent changes.  For almost two years now, I have been able to enjoy a relaxed morning as I have been teaching from home in an online school.  No long commutes.  No making bag lunches.  No long hours of preparation.  I merely got myself ready and headed to my home office.   I no longer have the freedom to go out for walks whenever I need a break.  I miss time spent in my garden and enjoying the flora and fauna of my lovely country home throughout the day.  I no longer have those precious early morning weekday hours to study and write.…