Wednesday, September 15, 2010

My Life

I have been quite busy with the start of a new school year. Coretta starting fifth grade, and Geno starting a brand new preschool. With any year, we are never certain what the next one will hold, but I feel quite positive about this one.

Towards the end of the year last year, I had started teaching again. Previously I was the Head Teacher for The Beehive Preschool in Hunenberg, which gave me great skills into how learners think at multiple grade levels.

Then, I started substitute teaching at The International School of Zug and Lucerne. I first was called in for what seemed like an interview. The principal sat me down, asked me a few teacher related pointed questions, and then welcomed me to the team. I have been trying for months to find a way to penetrate the school system to no avail. I emailed the principal with my CV, talked to specific teachers that I know personally at the school, as well as those same teachers turning in a copy of my curriculum vitae to principals and assistant principles. It wasn't until I was able to see that I might have a chance to teach again, I realize how much I miss it.

My first subbing assignments was in a Humanities class. Now back in the States, this would be the equivalent of a history or civics teacher. I was going to be teaching 7th and 8th grade students about slavery for the day. Students were working on a creative project that tied in with this theme.

The next work assignment I had was for teaching P.E. (Physical Education). The students were going to be playing basketball matches. I used to play basketball in middle school and loved the sport. It was great to be the referee of these games and witness first hand the teamwork and competitiveness of these students. We then decided to switch it up and play some dodgeball instead. I don't know why, but dodgeball seems to be one of those common threads in childhood that bring all decades and groups together.

The next work position I was offered was a 6th grade Humanities and I loved it. The topic was on the Gunpowder Plot that happened in November 1605. James I was the King and wanted to get a divorce from his wife. When the Pope denied him this he became enraged. It was at this time that Catholics put together a plot to overthrow the current King by blowing up the House of Lordes. Catholics were hoping that this would allow them the chance to have a Catholic King once again. After reading this article, students were given a side. They either had to look at the Protestant or the Catholic view. Once decided, I asked students who were Catholic, and some raised their hands. I asked the students who were Protestant and they raised their hands. I, then asked if they could explain the differences between religions. Students then had to decide if it was treason or a conspiracy.

This past week, I have substitute taught in English, my area of expertise. I was quite excited when the librarian was talking about bibliographies, and I offered to teach a bibliography lesson to 6th graders. I then was able to teach 7th graders how to write a five paragraph essay. Anyone who knows me, knows this. That I love to teach writing.

With my professional life going well, I was happy to see the kids flourishing in their own academic environment. Coretta, now a 5th grader, is more confident and sure of herself, hard working, funny, and responsible. They just announced the new student council representatives for her grade, and Coretta and her friend Rosalee won. When she told me why she was going to run, she said she liked public speaking. What almost middle school child will say that? She is becoming quite advanced in skyping with her friends, chatting on facebook, and texting on her phone. She likes to go into Zug and go shopping and have lunch with her friends on the train, and then go swimming at the Baar lattich. She has field week coming up next week, and she will be in Geneva, Switzerland in the Verbieau area for five days with 100 of her classmates. Coretta is currently taking piano and guitar lessons and plans to try out for the traveling Choir as well.

Geno is loving his new bilingual montessori school. Although it is hard for him to part with his Mommy in the morning, I have been told that he actively participates and is fine after that. Every day when I pick him up, he tells me that school is fun. He has recently started talking aboout some of his "best friends" and how "boys don't play with girls because they bonk their heads, and boys are strong and have muscles." The names that seem to be coming up as potential bff's is Niko, Tom, and Nessa (Melissa). His speech therapy is coming along nicely. He is continuing to see Ms. Tabea once a week, and Geno is doing well. In fact, almost everyone can understand him 100 percent of the time. he has developed a little bit of a stutter, but I am unsure if that is him concentrating on saying the words or something else. Tabea tells me it is not so easy for him to always get his ideas out as fast as he would like. He is completely potty trained and it took no more than two days. I am also happy to report that he is also sleeping in his own bed and not crawling into Mommy and Daddy's bed in the middle of the night.

Nick is doing well too. He is working hard at Thomson Reuters, hiking every chance he can get, and just registered for a class at the University of Zurich. He has become an avid runner and usually runs four miles a day and lifts weights. Nick is definitely in the best shape of his life. He is reading more as well. Reading about post war Europe, his latest passion in books.

This is the Bieter month in a nutshell.

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