Monthly Archives: December 2015

Intern Teachers on Teaching

It always comes as a surprise to me that there are those individuals within this building that are here entirely of their own free-will– not to get paid or to enjoy the company of teenagers because those are the most complex interactions they can manage. No, there are individuals who, as part of their education in becoming teachers– something they want to do– spend a small amount of time teaching and learning what they can here at CCH. But why? I had the opportunity to sit down with a small handful of our lovely intern teachers to chat about their motivations in teaching.

I proposed to Ms. McPeake, Mrs. Martin and Ms. Steinborn a theory of mine: that you can place any teacher-to-be on a simple spectrum. On one side are those who had such an awful experience in school that they now wish to nobly dedicate themselves to providing future generations with a far more fulfilling experience, and on the other end of the spectrum are those who had a really good time in school, and just want to keep those days going. Ms. McPeake quickly agreed that she would fall in the former category, having had a poor high school experience but eventually finding her passion in her art, which she now hopes to teach. Ms. Steinborn, however, claims to be quite the opposite. Coming from a multi-generational teacher family, she’s always found herself drawn towards school, apparently possessing an attitude of “Yay! School is awesome!” in her glory days, but still wanting to make a difference for those who might be having a more rough time. Mrs. Martin shared a more mixed experience of high school, noting the difference between her awesome teachers and her rubbish ones. Having learned from these experiences, she claims to try to do her best to push her students even if they might not be as enthusiastic as she is, and reported a willingness to “make a fool of [herself] if it means they get the concept”, even inventing a silly dance to accompany a lesson if need be.

Both Ms. McPeake and Ms. Steinborn (art and drama respectively), bring to the table a more relaxed, liberal approach, with McPeake adding that this comes directly from her own high school art experiences which were very hands-off and very problem-based. Steinborn referred to her own philosophy to explain to students why she makes a particular rule, as one is then more inclined to follow it. Martin continued to speak to the extent she values talking to students as people, and not condescending to them. As well, Martin discussed the challenges posed to her teaching in the quarter system, and the lessons she learned. She claims that the quarter system pushed her to engage her students in a way she wouldn’t have had to otherwise, given the length of class time. Both of the other interns agreed that the quarter system originally seemed rather intimidating, but it has been something they’ve all overcome, eventually taking advantage of it.

My final question for the teaching trio was an inquiry for any advice they might have for their students before parting ways with us, and they were eager to provide. From McPeake: “Take advantage of the quarter system….You can take classes that might be a little more challenging; you can get a really deep thought process going [and it’s about] taking advantage of that. You’re not going to get that again. Ever.” Steinborn added that one should “just enjoy high school in general…This is one of the best times in your life. Learn something new…when you’re not paying for school!”Martin took a more serious note, drawing from her experience: “Don’t make a total idiot of yourself on [substances]…don’t be promiscuous.” And finally, “Every time you get a question wrong, say ‘so close!’, and [then] try again.”

Thank you to all of the intern teachers that have worked with us at CCH, and good luck to you on your future endeavours.

  • Jack

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Jack Harvey is a grade twelve student at CCH. He enjoys (famously) participating in CCH activities and spending as much time as possible making new friends of his classmates. His favourite thing about CCH is the beautiful gift of education he is receiving.

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Bloggers’ Christmas Wish List

If you had a Christmas wish list that was specific for CCH, what would you include? Do not fret! The Cougars With Quills team has compiled the list for you!

Kaitlyn B: My Christmas wish list for CCH consists of just one thing– to fix the heating on Campus West. Or should I say, turning the heat on at the West side? I’m sure they remembered to pay the power bill this quarter. I mean, at least the internet works, but I’d love to be able to use it without bundling up in my long johns, ugly Christmas sweaters, and snow suits. And yes, I did mean to pluralize.

It turns out I lied–I actually do wish for one more itsy bitsy change to Campus West. All they’d have to do is tear out the expensive, brand new hardwood floor in the gym, dig a big hole, and turn it into a pool. Who needs a gym anyways? A pool would be a far more awesome use of that space.

A pool isn’t a bad idea. In fact, we could be the first school in Alberta to have ultimate sports mash-ups: underwater badminton, snorkelling basketball, etc. Mrs.Koran: please look into this. You know, for High School Redesign?

Ashley: What I would like for Christmas for CCH is for the SmartBoard screens to be brighter, because I’ve heard a lot of complaints from students and teachers alike. Another thing that would be wonderful for Christmas would be a debate club at CCH, because some students just can’t stop debating in the hallways, let alone in class, about the most random of things.

Or better yet: a debate club that can travel on the road to raise awareness (and money) for brighter SmartBoard screens for all of the children. (#firstworldproblems) Maybe arguing at the screens will make them brighter?

Charlène: What I want for Christmas this year isn’t something that can be wrapped up and put under the tree. Among other things such as world peace and an unlimited supply of Nutella, I wish for a teleportation device to save me from the annoying cold and, not to mention, time-consuming shuttle trips to Campus West. I also wish for a cloning device to bring all my long-forgotten friends that I haven’t seem since quarter one (tragic, I know) to the west side. I get that having two campuses is actually pretty cool, but sometimes, especially around Christmas, the whole dual campus things turns me into such a grinch.

I heard it through the grapevine that your so-called “friends” ate the entire world’s supply of Nutella. Are you sure you want to hang around with that kind of crowd?

Kaitlyn S.: My CCH Christmas wish list follows some popular Christmas rhymes:

“All I want for Christmas is my two-week break…”(to become a well-deserved four-week break.)

“Away in a hallway, more water fountains are found…”(Real water fountains, not the water bottle ones.)

“‘Tis the season to push back start times! A later start time for all, and for all, more sleep!”

Well, at least you’re cheery and musical about your griping.

Chloe D.: I wish that school would start a good hour and a half later in the day. I mean, come on. If we’re driving to school while it’s still dark out, it’s clearly a strong indicator that school is not meant to start for at least another two hours.

Also, I wish the school would invest in a heating system for Campus West, so that every time I complain about getting cold, Mr. Wilson won’t tell me to go sit in a corner because it’s 90 degrees.

You are SO right Chloe. This is an OUTRAGE. No one should have to forebear terrible, math-related puns.

There you have it! We hope that Santa has heard our pleas because we’ve been awfully good (oxymoron?) this year!

 

 

 

 

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Advent and Our Faith Pillar

Can you believe it? Christmas is less than a month away and Advent has just begun. With this holiday season upon us, it’s a great time to reflect on  one of our four pillars: faith.

Faith has always been a large part of CCH. Catholic Central is built on the fact that we share our faith, and we celebrate it in many ways, from Religious Ed. classes to school-wide masses. Taking part in our faith tradition runs 50 years back; CCH was founded on the Basilian motto: Teach me Goodness, Discipline and Knowledge. The clergy were once a part of the teaching staff!

Advent is a great time to think about how you can give to those around you. There are various clubs around the school who are willing to accept whatever you can give. Santa’s Anonymous just finished up their bottle drive but they are always looking for more people to sign up and help. The Interact Club is also working on some fundraisers and will be giving out more details soon.

There are also things you can do around the community to beat this drab weather. You can shovel the walkways for one of your neighbours, brush the snow off of someone’s car, or get a group of friends together and volunteer for a morning at the homeless shelter. You can take part in the angel tree, donate food to the Food Bank or take part in Mass. Do small, simple things that will allow you to show those around you that Jesus is alive in you, especially over this blessed Advent season.

  • Kaitlyn S.

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Kaitlyn Stolte is a grade eleven student at CCH. She enjoys hanging out with friends, binge-watching Netflix, and telling terrible jokes. Her favourite thing about CCH are the three-hour classes.

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