One thing that is so cool about teaching is how we grow and evolve with experience. It's an amazing career for seeing tangible improvement and growth as a teacher (and as a human!) , starting in just your first year. It's pretty crazy how you have to adjust and change in order to adapt to new students, new behaviours, new curriculum, and more, year after year. Since I started teaching, many of my "limiting beliefs" about myself and what I do/don't do best have changed drastically - for the better. For example, when I first started teaching, I basically flew by the seat of my pants, believing that it's better to always go with the flow and follow my heart - to basically teach what I wanted to teach and do what I wanted to do... often switching up my plans at the drop of a hat. I reasoned that that's how I worked best, and nobody would get bored. Up until that point, I had spent my whole life "following my heart" and doing what I felt l...
I'm not sure if you can relate, but sometimes I feel like half the battle in maternelle is just getting the day started on the right foot. If I can get my students calm, happy, and speaking French right from the get-go, we generally have a calm, happy, French-filled day. If not, I've sometimes had students climbing on window sills (true story!!) , throwing tantrums because someone didn't share, and/or speaking English all day long. Just like with adults (I have a super strict morning routine myself!!) , I think that our students can really benefit from starting the day in the way that we would like for it to continue. There is a particular way that we start our school day in my maternelle classroom, every day, right from Day 1. Read on if you're curious to learn more! ...
Can you take a second to imagine this scenario? Pretend that it's about 7am, and you're driving a huge, noisy, yellow bus through your neighbourhood, after getting up super early to inspect the bus and make sure it's safe. You pick up student after student - who may range in age from 3 (YUP - here in NS, we have 3-year-olds who take the bus!!!) to 18. After an hour or so, your bus is full of kids - sleepy kids, excited kids, nervous kids, hyper kids, hungry kids, kids with "attitude"... all kinds of kids! Now imagine having to supervise all of those kids... while also keeping them safe on the road. Watching for errant drivers, deer/wildlife, and who knows what else! Driving through rainstorms, ice storms, snowstorms, in 30+ degree heat with no AC, etc. All the while knowing that one mistake, one lapse in judgment, or one distraction (even though your bus is FULL of distractions!) could lead to tragedy for any of those kids and their families. I ca...
When I first started teaching maternelle, I must admit... I liked to make things complicated. Not on purpose, of course - I just wanted everything to be perfect. I wanted my students to have THE BEST EXPERIENCE EVER in my class. So I had treasure chests and classroom jobs, students of the week and elaborate show and tell plans. And for my students' birthdays, I had a big fancy poster where I spent ages handwriting their birthdays and adding pretty stickers. I had a special crown for my students to wear, and I gave them a gift (from the dollar store, but still!) and it was just... a lot. A lot of time spent on things that my students could really do themselves. Since that first year, I have definitely calmed down. I work hard to ensure that my students still have an amazing experience in my class, but I have found that my limited time is much better spent on developing amazing lesson plans and actual learning activities, rather than birthday celebrations and fancy decor...
We all know that maternelle is a... special adventure, especially in September ;) When we school starts in September, some of our students may have never been in an environment where they have to follow group rules before. (Or ANY rules ;) haha) I remember one year having a student think it was okay to start a game of TAG in the classroom, while I was teaching! Our students in maternelle are just getting familiar with school and all of the routines that come with it. Plus, they're really young, so sometimes learning rules takes some time to stick! There's also the fact that not all of our students speak and/or understand French yet. So, how do I introduce classroom rules in maternelle? Keep reading to learn all of my teaching tips and tricks! Introducing Classroom Rules in Maternelle On Day 1, of course, we talk about classroom rules and expectations. Like I said above, this can be a challenge since not everyone can speak/understand French! ...