Permission to fail and a lesson in how to succeed.


For the past week or two my students have been busily building robots in their French class. I have been eagerly anticipating the completion of their robots as I have created a math unit to connect with our shape and space section of the grade 4 math curriculum.

I was told today would be the day they would be ready. So when I got into my classroom after lunch excited to get our math unit underway I have to admit I was a little disappointed. I quickly popped out and asked the French teacher if they could finish them in class with me. With the green light I said to my students ‘Gather your stuff. Time to finish your robots’.

My class eagerly got everything together and as things got underway they asked me to plug-in the hot glue gun. They patiently waited for the glue to heat up and I wondered why they weren’t glueing away. I asked them if they knew how to use it. They answered they did because they had seen it being used but weren’t given the opportunity to use it themselves but instead just gave instructions what to glue where. I got up demonstrated how to use it (just in case a few hadn’t paid close attention to the process before) and showed them the proper way to use it.

Once the demonstration was over I said ‘Go ahead glue your stuff on. You will quickly learn how to use the glue gun and avoid getting your fingers burned. Don’t worry try it out. I’ll be here if you need help.’

Stunned they looked at me and asked if I was sure.

When they saw I was dead serious and would be right there for the first little bit the first few started glueing away.

Of course a few had to try out how hot the glue was. But once they realized it really wasn’t that fascinating they focused on perfecting their creations.

No one failed. All succeeded.

Sometimes all you need is permission to fail in order to succeed. It takes trust on both sides, a bit of space and a net to catch you if you fall.

-Sidenote: I am happy to have robots for tomorrows math class. Let the math madness begin! –


First Day Butterflies

I have been a terrible blogger this summer with posts being few and far between. Hopefully now that school is session I will have more to write about! So here goes the first post of the new school year!

As I sit here this evening the hours tick closer to my first official day as a teacher. As the title would suggest I have those first day butterflies that we all know so well. I switch from excited on minute to nervous the next. It’s hard to know how things will go until they happen. I have all my resources collected and options available if things go terribly wrong. Here’s to a great first day with my Grade 4 students!

 photo credit: Kalexanderson via photo pin cc

You See Colour Samples… I See..

As a new teacher I find myself thinking of all the resources I would like to get ready for my future classroom. Because I am fresh out of school and am still looking for a classroom to call home, I can’t quite justify spending oodles of money on supplies just yet. With a great conversation with a friend, a bit of inspiration and an eye for ideas, here is what came from a trip to the hardware store with another teacher buddy of mine.

Dotcards to for subitizing games! 

(A fun way to increase fluency and number sense)

 Alphabet squares for an alphabet wall!

A Word family game idea I  found from The Snail’s Trail &  My Crazy Simple Life

 (Check out their blog posts they’re awesome and full of more great ideas for the word family game!)

So there you have it! A few colour samples from the hardware store and three new bright colourful ideas for the classroom! My next stop is going to be at our local ArtsJunktion (a great place for any budget conscious teacher)  to see if there are any similar supplies I can gather for free!

“Best Days Ever”

photo credit: Untitled Mandy Frediani via photo pin cc

Late last week close the the end of practicum I got a comment from a kid that pretty much sums up how I feel about teaching.

This is the best day ever!

There were many days  if not all the days of practicum that I said the same the exact same thing. Teaching is crazy, the days often fly by so fast that it almost  takes your breath away but in the end of it there is no feeling quite like it.  From the moment that first bell rings (okay maybe even when you walk in the  front door) until the moment you get home you are constantly running around solving problems, answering questions, cracking jokes and sharing the joy of learning with your students and the school community.  Teaching is so much more than just the material covered in class it’s also about the interactions, the experiences and wonders that happen in the classroom each and everyday. Teaching is hard and no day is every the same but it is worth every moment.

As I work during the next few months at my other education related job I hope to sort through my teaching journal and resources and  to share them here on my blog! So keep coming back because I am quite positive it’s going to be another exciting and fun filled summer travelling the province teaching kids about road safety (Amusing comments and stories will be shared!). And although this all means I am done practicum and full-time teaching until September, I truly can say I can’t wait to have many more “Best Days Ever!” back in a classroom in the future!