Prior to the start of the Contextual Learning program, Canadian International School hosted their CL middle school assembly to wrap up and present what they did during CL for term 2 and to set up the activities that Tamara (the CL coordinator for CIS), the other interns and I have been organizing and figuring out logistics for. Imagine our surprise when Tamara wished for us to present and emcee the assembly. I was taken aback as it was quite a surreal experience for me. I say that because while I understand it was a great way to introduce us UM interns to the school officially, the one thing that struck me was the fact that I was a host. My whole life I have seen the teachers be the emcee for school assemblies and although I was a teacher here it still was a bout of irony for me seeing that I am a student as well. Regardless of that matter, emceeing was a wonderful experience as I got to emcee myself and see how it works. I tried my best to make it engaging and entertaining for the students as I knew how assemblies can quickly blur one’s attention. However, I think that my confidence and easygoing nature paid off as I saw many engaged and enthusiastic eyes in the audience, everyone was excited to see what was in store from us and from the presentations. That really stuck with me, never have I seen a school program that has such an impact on the school where everyone is as engaged as the middle school students at CIS were. With that look in the students’ eyes I felt energetic and excited for the CL term 3 to start.
I wish I could say that the energy I had looking at the students’ faces during the assembly lasted.
My first day of the Contextual Learning program I was filled with nervous anxiety rather than that enthusiastic energy that I had during the assembly. As an intern I had to teach homeroom for a group of seventeen grade 7 students and I was filled with nervous anxiety that my students would not like me or my teaching style or they would just be a hard group of students to control. Walking into the class that first day I felt like I was the new kid in school, which really wasn’t too far from the truth, except this time I’m not the student but rather the teacher. I attempted to curb my nervousness by telling myself that I had already interacted with some of these students before, when we were tasked with shadowing some of the homeroom classes for a day. Not only that, but I had met a few during the middle school assembly. After the first day it turned out that my anxiety for was naught as I was lucky to have such a great group of students. My grade 7 homeroom class was a delight on the first day and everything went pretty well. We ran through ice breakers and played a couple of games to get to know each other. I felt confident that I could do this after that first day.