Assignments have been pouring out of my place and into my prof's eager (perhaps not) hands. I'm finding most of the coursework interesting and not horribly hard. Some are pretty cool and lots of them encourage us to be creative. The thing that is hard is all of the group projects, I've had great groups, okay groups and a few duds. I've come to the theory that group work is like marxism great idea on paper but complete crap in reality because it forgets to take into account the reality of people. The thing I hate is in the one group there are two people who are just not getting it; so me and my friend end up having to do all the work if we're going to get a good mark. So basically the other two get a free ride on our coat tails....and we have to figure out ways to keep them busy, explain what's going on 20 times and keep them out of the really important stuff.
I had a great time for Halloween, I joined my friend Katrina and we took her two girls trick or treating. I also get to join them in a week to ride the Christmas Train which will be fun. I finally got a working oven in my place so Kristine came over and we baked up a storm to break it in, then I played bartender and we sampled some of my fave concoctions which was a blast and I introduced her to one of my new favorite movies Repo! The Genetic Opera. This weekend with the start of advent and because one of our group projects needed christmas lights to help create a midway booth (don't ask) I decorated my place for Christmas and finally shifted the living room furniture into a better layout. I got to meet a great family and spend some time babysitting for them in trade for using their children as the subject for one of my projects. I had a great time! Shannon drove down from 'Toon to spend the day not being Mommy. We had lunch and watched the new Harry Potter movie. It was a lot of fun and the movie was great!
For the most part I've been pretty pleased with my marks and with what I've been learning. Just like in most areas there is a big gap between the idealism of the theory you learn in school and the reality of the work world. It's wonderful to talk about how you can create the perfect educational experience but rarely do we discuss the obstacles that will face a teacher in the classroom. I think that's partly why education has such a high burnout rate; education programs aren't always addressing the reality that will face people. We spend hours talking about social justice education, environmental education and best practices but 80% of what we talk about is probably not easily achieved in a traditional educational setting. It's all well to say that for kids to learn about the environment they need to spend time outdoors as much as possible and that they should be taken out to wild natural spaces but in reality field trips take a lot of time and financial planning. There's the added complication that while it's great to say that you should let your students lead your teaching but in reality there are standardized tests that are provincially mandated that your students have to pass. If your class does badly on these tests you are held responsible as a teacher, to cope most teachers end up doing some degree of teaching to the test. These are obstacles that as a young teacher you have very little control over or ability to change. Wow that was a bit of a rant...sorry to those who aren't educators out there.
I'm really doing well, settling in and slowly building some friendships. I really like Regina but i do miss the people in Edmonton. Next semester I'm looking at hosting a craft night once a week for a few friends which would be fun.