Saturday, April 28, 2012

Week 2 of Teaching and Day Tour to Kilkenny

Hello everyone!

I can't believe as of this Tuesday I will already have been here 3 weeks! Time is flying by!!

Second Week of Teaching:

This second week of teaching flew by. But, I finally started teaching so that part was great. I also started working with small groups of students.
I am working with 4 of the maths teachers. Two of the teachers teach 2nd year students (8th grade), one teaches 3rd year (9th grade) and the other teaches 1st year (7th grade). I will be teaching lessons for these teachers throughout my 6 weeks at St. Aidan's.
I am also responsible for working with small groups of students who are struggling with their current maths classes. One group is 5th year (11th grade), and the other is 3rd year (9th grade). There are 7 students in the 5th year group and 4 students in the 3rd year group.

On Thursday I taught my first lesson. It was on the topic of mode and I taught it to first year students who are in the foundation level of maths (the lowest level). I actually taught a similar lesson on mode (as well as mean and median) to students during my pre-service student teaching experience last fall so it was nice being able to think about similarities and differences when teaching students in Ireland versus the United States. Overall the lesson went fine. But, I have observed that students at St. Aidan's are not the most behaved. Especially in this class specifically, students call out and talk to their peers as the teacher is teaching. This actually did not happen too much during my lesson, partly I'm guessing because I a new person to them. But, when students were talking and I tried to get them to stop, the students really didn't seem to listen too much. This is a challenge I am willing to accept and excited to get students to stay on task more! But, students were very enthusiastic in wanting to answer all of my questions which was great!

Once other students in the school found out I taught a lesson to a class, they all were repeatedly asking me to teach them. Many made references to wanting a teacher with an American accent to teach them. I found this really amusing but am glad that I am accepted by all of the students to teach them!

Friday's lesson was a continuation of the lesson on Thursday to the same group of students. Again the students were eager to volunteer. This was great to see!

Like stated earlier I have also started working with small groups of students who are struggling with their maths classes. This has been really neat. I haven't really done any group tutoring too much outside of classrooms so this is a really fun experience. I get to work closely with students on strengthening their maths skills. On Thursday I even thought a song I learned from my pre-service student teacher mentor to one of the groups. Although this song was made for younger students (7th graders), I used it with the 5th year (11th grade) group and it really helped them with the topic they were struggling with. They all even asked for copies of the song, which I was perfectly okay with doing!

Next week I will be teaching two classes for two of the other teachers. I will most likely be teaching more but this is all that was planned for Monday and Tuesday of this upcoming week.

Here are some pictures of St. Aidan's. I'll post more when I get the chance to take more!

(P.S. I have learned that if you click on each picture you can see a bigger view of it!)

 The upstairs main hallway

The canteen (cafeteria)

The main entrance

The middle sitting area, on the ground floor

The school's crest

Day Tour to Kilkenny

Well this is an interesting part of my blog. Last night (Friday) I was talking with one of the girls in my program who is student teaching here in Ireland as well and is about 30 minutes from me. I've never met her but we were talking about meeting up to do something this weekend. Jessie is away this weekend so I was without my travel buddy. At about 6pm she texted me and asked if I wanted to do a day tour for today. I decided, why not? So we booked it last minute! Twelve hours later I had to wake up (at 6am) and get to Dublin city. There we met our tour guide and bus for the day. Our tour was to Glendalough, Wickalow Mountains and Kilkenny. My parents and sister are coming in June and this was actually part of Ireland not on our tour we will be doing so I was extremely excited to see a part of Ireland I wouldn't have gotten to see if I didn't go on this tour! The girl I traveled with, Anna, was a very nice girl and we had a lot of common and to talk about since we both go to PSU.

The weather was also wonderful! Although it was a tad chilly it didn't rain at all! This past week it has rained every single day so it was a miracle we didn't get any rain :)

We first started at Glendalough. It was about a 40 minute drive from our pick-up stop in Dublin. It was beautiful!! It is a mountain/park site. There were beautiful waterfalls, lakes, and old ruins (see pictures below). It was wonderful seeing the scenery.

Anna and I

I wish I could post all of the pictures I took at Glendalough - there are over 50 though, so I choose just a few highlights.

I should mention that throughout our tour we saw these fields and fields of yellow flowers. I forget their name, but a picture is below. The picture doesn't do the scenery justice.

After Glendalough we drove through the Wickalow mountains. Then we reached our other main destination besides Glendalough, Kilkenny. Kilkenny is a medieval town with a gorgeous castle called Kilkenny Castle. I was extremely excited to see the castle because I had yet to see one. The castle was beautiful. 

After Kilkenny castle we boarded the bus and headed back to Dublin. After getting off the tour bus, Anna (the girl I traveled with), decided to go to a pub. We wanted to go to the oldest pub in Dublin (The Brazen Head), a pub our tour bus driver suggested we checked out. It was really old - built in the 1100's!

All in all, it was a wonderful day to tour the countryside and towns of Ireland! I am glad I went and now have another travel buddy, Anna, to travel with for the remainder of my trip!

Until next time,

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