Thursday, October 13, 2011

Is it a bird?

There is a tiny tweeting thing that has it's tweeting fun somewhere in the ceiling of my room after the sun goes down. I have no idea what the hell it is, but I need to bring the upstairs folk down one of these nights so that they can hear what it is I'm hearing. It's two short tweets, it sounds like a bird, but it can't be. It's not a bat, I'm pretty sure. Anyway, I'm hoping it shuts-up soonish.

Today was the third day of my early practicum in a school that I haven't decided if I should name yet. I'm not sure how easily I want this blog to be found through a basic Google search is all.

But what i have to say can only be glowingly positive so far. I'm journaling a lot about this stuff for university purposes, but I will say here that I'm astounded by two things at this school: 1) The amount of respect the students and teachers show each other, and 2) the extreme high quality of the teachers that have formed a community in the school.

I have observed, since Tuesday, 11 different classes with 11 different teachers. I'm getting "the lay of the land", and the land has been laid well, as it were. I watched an English teacher give a 74 minute lesson (that's how long classes are at this school, by the way) and the students were completely engaged, challenged, and inspired throughout. I know this because each of them responded to the teacher and to each other throughout. The students' unique definitions what "A poem is..." would make you weep for how shabby your own creative writing experience might have been in high school. Dang - these kids be lucky.

The teachers all view their practice as a continually growing and evolving thing. These are the kind of people that don't just line their bookshelves with impressive titles - they READ THEM and APPLY THEM in the classroom. If there are master teachers in the world, the staff at __________ secondary school are doing their darndest to increase the population of such fine folk. I'm going to learn a great deal and I have a long way to go. This, I think, will be my mantra - not just for the completion of the program, but for the rest of the time I'll be a teacher.

More about that later... but for now, let me share with you that I decided to ride my bike home from school today - well, mostly home anyway. I cruised from the far south of Richmond, East to Railway Avenue, then North past the airport and across the Arthur Laing Bridge to the southern beginnings of Granville, then followed that for a loooong time North through downtown and to the Waterfront where I ate my two $2 pieces of pizza by Canada Place and thought how cool it was that I live here for now, how cool it is that I'm becoming a teacher, how cool it is that I'm going to have my sister out here visiting at the end of the month, and how cool it is that I'm going to have the best holiday this year - how's that for expectations? What can I say? I was feeling positive.

Just wanted to add as a foot note that there are a lot of ridiculously beautiful homes in the West End of Vancouver - most notably off Granville in a neighbourhood called Shawnessy - not to be confused with the strip-mall laden suburb in South Calgary. I checked on MLS, and while there are some fine homes available in the area for between 1 and 2 million, you can really break the bank on something like this for a mere 23 million.

There are some gargantuan mansions that have been newly built in the area, but my best 5-8 million would be spent on one of the original homes with a bit more character - like the one below. Huh... so that's how some people live.

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