Tuesday, December 26, 2006

I've been Tagged

As per lots of us in the blogosphere I was tagged. Karl Fisch over at the Fischbowl got me while my head was turned the other way. I am supposed to write 5 things that you might be interested in learning about me. Well here it goes.

1. I was and am a decent athlete. In my youth I was a swimmer qualifying for Canadian Nationals numerous times and I even made a National Youth Team one year. I decided after high school to try University in Calgary only to find that milk and food do not grow on trees. I also decided at the age of 20 that I did not like smelling like a chlorine bottle so I came home and gave up the pool. Swimming gave me a great group of friends and I was able to visit most of the major cities on the continent by the time I was 20.

2. Since I do not swim competitively anymore I enjoy running. I am a decent half marathoner running 4 or 5 a year. I am able to do times that are respectable 1:35 to 1:38 for most of the races. I enjoy long runs and find it is an excellent way to recharge my batteries when I am running low. Both my wife and I exercise and provide good role models for my 3 very active boys.

3. When I was in Calgary I worked in a Grade 3 classroom helping them learn French. This was my first real experience in the classroom. I did not know then that I was going to become a teacher. My father was a teacher and still is a teacher at the University of Manitoba. He teaches courses people want to take and has influenced lots Manitoba Teachers. I can still remember marking his exams every January and June. I guess I was in teacher training early. Speaking of teacher training..... I would go back and take more courses if there were courses worth taking. I find it very hard to find worthwhile courses at my local Universities.

I started out teaching in a small elementary school that had a very high transiency rate. I would start out the year teaching one grade and by the middle of October be teaching another grade. Most of these rooms were mixed grade levels so it was an excellent training ground to get me prepared to think on my feet. I enjoyed teaching the younger children but got a chance to try Junior High (8th Grade) got the bug and have not looked back. I have no desire to leave the classroom and go into any other job. I am in this profession for the kids and I will stay in a job that allows me to influence the largest audience possible.

4. I never was really good at math. I was a Social Studies junkie and enjoyed English. I was decent at math but never "good" at it. Funny how now I am so passionate about teaching "Math" as a subject. It is crucial that students understand what they are learning. They can be shown the magic of math but need to understand the concepts that lie underneath the magic. (Sure we can cross multiply to get percentages or proportions but why does this work?) I have found that students are more likely to do conceptual work on the computer than on paper. I hope my blogging and wiki work show improvement.

5. I have changed my fifth topic. I love to cook. I would call myself an amateur chef. I say my father cooking and worked in restaurants for many years (waiter not chef). Anyone growing up should work in the service industry. It makes you a better person. My favorite tv channel (other than college basketball) is Food network. Anytime you are in Winnipeg I would love to cook up a meal for you. (Jen I make a wicked Chicken Tortilla soup)

My five people to continue what feels like a blog chain letter are, Jeanne, Danita, Julie, Paul and Sharon.

Thanks for reading and I hope you have a great break from work. Enjoy your holidays and participate in the Second When Night Free Fall Blog Club on January 6th.


Karl Fisch said...

That will teach you to turn your head. Thanks for playing, it felt somewhat like a chain letter to me as well but - maybe it will help us all connect better.

I hope that you share with your students that you never felt "good" at math, yet are so passionate about them learning it well now. I think that's very powerful.

JenW said...

Grins -- I am on my way.

Happy New Year, Friend.