Learning to Watch the News



Watching the news was never something that I wanted to do. Not only did I find the news depressing, but I also found it biased. Therefore, I often tried to avoid watching or reading the news unless there was a certain issue I was interested in. However, during my extended my practicum, my sponsor teacher Doug Bruce changed my view on the news.

It was half way through my practicum, and right before I was supposed to head off to teach my English class. Mr. Bruce stopped me and in a very stern voice, “Ms. Fresu at lunch I want to have a meeting with you”. Right away dread set in! What could I possibly have done wrong? My practicum had been going so well and I was unsure what this meeting could be about. I stressed for the entire next class. I headed back to Mr. Bruce’s room feeling extreme anxiety. I opened the door and right away I was told that in 5 minutes I would given an exam. I started to sweat! What could the exam possibly be about. Finally, Mr. Bruce called me to the desk and started asking me questions. These questions were based on various news stories that were going on at that very moment. I only could only answer about half these questions. Soon a big smile broke across Mr. Bruce’s face. He said, “Rikki, part of the reason I did this was to show you how important life long learning is for a teacher”. This is one of the most important lessons I learned from him.

What if we were in the middle of a lesson and a student had asked me about a current issue and I didn’t know anything about it. Not only would I be denying my students important world information, but I would lose their confidence as well. It was then that Mr. Bruce told me that everyday he watches the news and in his spare time reading history books. This allows him to have a very broad knowledge of his subject, but also knowledge of issues that effect us on a global scale. Right away I took this little experiment to heart. I began watching the news daily, and  checking historical books out of the school library. I am a strong believer in life long learning. However, I never thought that simply watching the news everyday would be part of this important part of my teaching career. Thanks to one very stressful pop quiz, I now am a dedicated news watcher!


Collaboration Days!!!



Hi my name is Rikki Fresu and I am a WKTEP student! I was fortunate enough to participate at my old highschoo JL Crowe Secondary for my extended practicum. Even when I was a student here I always found that the staff had a strong team mentality! They always seemed as if they were on the same page and supported each other through out the whole school year. Even through very difficult times within our community, the staff appeared to face every obstacle as a whole.

Therefore, I wasn’t surprised that on my very first day of practicum a new strategy was being tried out to make the team even stronger! Therefore, my first “artifact” to show contribution to the profession and engage in collaboration had to be the Collaboration days! One day every other week is dedicated to professional collaboration. The staff is broken down into groups within their subject and as a team they come up with an inquiry that they want to experiment with. For example, in my collaboration group, we were trying to recreate the grade eight Social Studies curriculum. The idea was to make it more project based in order to increase engagement within the classes. Other groups were working on effective essay writing, and backward classroom theories.

For me collaboration days were wonderful. This was the time that I could get away from my tiny little desk in the back of the room and discuss teaching with those who have done it for years! All the teachers seemed more then willing to share their ideas and strategies because they knew it would benefit the kids in the long run.

I hope that which ever school I end up with has a similar strategy because i really believe that this would promote a solid team within the school community.