Hello everyone, I am Sydney McGrath and this is my first class of my TLL program! This is my second year teaching and I teach Pre-Kindergarten in the mornings and am a release teacher in the afternoon. I have really enjoyed being a part-time release teacher as I get to work with a variety of the classes in the school from Kindergarten all the way up to Grade 6! This past year I have completed my Certificate of Extended Studies in Inclusive Education here at the univeristy and I enjoyed those classes I wanted to continue on with my education and growing as an Educator! I have really enjoyed these classes being offered online as they have allowed me to work close to all of my family while still taking courses with the University of Regina! I look forward to working with you all this semester and I am sure our path’s will continue to cross throughout our programs!
Throughout my undergrad I had the opportunity to take some Edtech classes with Katia and they provided me with such valuable knowledge about how to bring technology into the classrooms. These classes not only supported me throughout my degree as I learned how to lesson plan and unit plan, but also helped me get through my internship and first two years of teaching. I completed my internship the fall of 2020, which was during the meat and potatoes of the Covid-19 pandemic. I was working in a grade 1 classroom and we jumped from online learning, to in-person learning a couple times throughout those 4 months. With that, I had to learn different programs such as SeeSaw and Google Classroom very quickly to be able to connect and work with the students. Moving forward a year from my internship I was covering a maternity leave at a school in Humboldt and my grade 5 class was put online for two weeks due to the pandemic. This was a very daunting and time consuming task as a new teacher, especially since it was my first contract alone, however, with the ease of Google Classroom I made it through! During these two weeks I really focused on using tools such as Screencastify, YouTube, and PDF readings to support my instruction. Zoom is great for mature students, however, I quickly learned, a group of grade 5 students has even less of an attention span on Zoom than they do in the classroom! Creating videos of myself teaching short lessons helped tremendously as the students could then go and review it at their own time! Luckily, before I went online with this class our admin had us all prepare and teach the students how to navigate these different platforms which was a life saver as the students had already completed assignments and submitted them through Google Classroom! Jumping to present teaching, the fear of popping back to online learning has settled, however, after using platforms such as Google Classroom I now have an immense appreciation for them. I find they tie the break between home and school well and support students to get caught up on school work if they are away from the classroom. In the afternoons I teach Grade 5/6 science and Grade 6 Career Education, I continue to use Google Classroom to support my teaching as it allows me to post all the assignments that we are working on and the students can easily access the information and resources from their homes when needed! As for my Pre-Kindergartens, I use Edsby as a communication and family engagement tool. This is not as much units and lessons, however I often post different activities that the families can go and try! This is a great way to include families in the learning of their young children! Moving forward, I want to continue using these online platforms to bridge the gap between school and home and create an easy way for students to have access to their school work as we know our lives are busy and so are the families lives that we work with. I am hoping through this course I gain more resources and tools to better provided more interactive lessons to offer in the classes that I teach!
Here is an example video I made while teaching online: