Food Journal Reflection

Over the course of this summer B term – the most challenging assignment for me was keeping an active food journal. It was a surprising struggle to be mindful in tracking my eating, exercise and sleeping patterns. Initially I perceived my eating habits as very healthy; I exercised regularly and sleep well most nights. And though at the end of this experience I am still as healthy as an eater I assumed I learned that I have few habits I could work to eliminate from my lifestyle. Those habits were stress snacking, and drinking too much coffee and mindless eating at social events. The stress being the biggest proponent of these concerns, and this crossed over into my sleeping pattern and regular exercise.
Looking back at what I logged the first week I noticed some positive trends in my diet/lifestyle. With the exceptions of Sundays, I have the same breakfast, lunch and mid- day snack: a fruit smoothie in the morning, for lunch a veggie salad and lean protein (one teaspoon of olive oil) and for a mid-day snack some mixed fruit or veggies with hummus. I exercised at least four days a week and was active when possible (i.e. walking instead of driving, planning active activities with friends like beach volleyball etc.) and every Sunday I go on a long distance run with a close friend.
However, I noticed a trend that in the evening I tend to not be as mindful of what I eat or the portion size. I also noted that I snack (more than needed) after dinner as well. When looking at my water intake I was not drinking enough and seemed to compensate with too much coffee. I reflected that this over eating or “mindless snacking” occurs at night because my brain is off “school/work” mode and I tend to mull over the various stressors in my life. This is, I am assuming, what is causing me to not sleep as well. I thought I could function on five-six hours of sleep but know we all need seven –eight hours. I saw the trend clearly: stress leads to over- eating/high caffeine intake which effects sleep that curbs energy to exercise. The following week I tried really hard to maintaining my eating habits (which sometimes was derailed due to birthday in class treats!) and not over snack. I started drinking more water and forced myself to go to bed early to get more sleep. I am already seeing the results from it but am still in progress to fully eliminate and improve these tendencies.
I can see how this would be a great tool for students. It could help them and their family track positive and negative eating/lifestyle patterns and become motivated to improve on their diet and lifestyle. Students tracking what they are putting into their body in relations to its effects on their sleep, activity ,health and school work will make them see food as fuel and not just “stuff” they crave or mindlessly eat. This will make them care about what they eat and care about their lifestyle, giving them the tools to carry this mentality into adulthood successfully.
This could also be put into the classroom by integrating it into various subjects such as math, science or writing. Like measuring their food properly, learning what makes up their favorite foods, and keeping a journal that tracks their reflections on the matter. It might seem daunting to my future students to keep a food journal, and I will fully anticipate their resistance (since I had many reservations and struggles with it myself) but once they make it a part of their daily life , the positive effect it will have is sure to leave a lasting impression on their lifestyle. Which, I believe, it paramount in the learning experience for children.

small reflection

Yet again, I had another great day observing microteaching in the classroom. I am really enjoying observing my peers slowly reveal their teaching styles, and practice. And though we all have much to learn still, it still amazes me that we maintain a safe and supportive environment for this process. Everyone thus far has handled constructive critique and seems to take it in thoughtfully, which instills my belief that they will be fine educators one day. Because if we are not always reflecting, re-learning, and learning something new then how can we call ourselves “teacher”?

Microteaching

On Tuesday I experienced my first microteaching lesson. Working in a group comprising of two other classmates we came up with a lesson based around promoting positive image for sixth graders. The collaborative process alone was a learning experience,and for me, the first time any ideas /planning for lessons were to be acted on. Truthfully I was completely focused on the content and activities we had planned that I put the thought of how I wanted to seen as a teacher in the back of my mind. Overall the lesson was successful and I received some great constructive critique on the content /delivery (it was a learning experience after all). But what really made me happy was feedback from my instructor and peers on how my demeanor towards them as “students” was and the questions I would ask them. It made me feel confident in being on this path towards education. Connection with students and forging a positive relationship with them is important to me while guiding them though the learning experience. Though I have much more to learn and experience – this felt like a great start to my journey in the classroom.

Reflection Resurrection

I recently started up an old Sunday ritual that has been helpful along the way in my teaching journey: short reflective sketching sessions. It is something that really helps me reflect on the week I had, while relaxing my mind by “free” drawing and listening to music. I like to listen to TedTalks sometimes and this Sunday I came across Ji-Hae Park: The violin, and my dark night of the soul, which I highly recommend. Reflection, I have come to realize, will play a major role in my teaching. I will be reflecting after each work week, month and school year trying to see what I can improve, eliminate, or experiment with in my teaching.

Reflections
Education begins the gentleman, but reading, good company and reflection must finish him.
John Locke

Here is what came about from this Sunday’s reflective session; this is a sketch that I have been adding to week by week. Writing down what comes to mind during and after my sketching gives me raw insight to what was weighing heavily on me, or what left a light impression. I highly recommend all teachers, and students for that matter, create their own “ Sunday Reflection” –the results will be powerful for that I am sure of.

Where I am From

Untitled This is a poem I shared with my cohort this past week- it was a great exercise for getting to know my classmates, and for our teacher to get to know us. It also lets our poetic voice shine for a brief moment (insert snaps all around) and is an assignment I will be sure to use in my classroom. I have also added a recent painting of mine that I created when thinking of my hometown, that I miss so dearly.

Where I am From
I am from the ski boots patched with duct tape,
From the wooden snowshoes older then my Dad
I am from the fire logs piled high on the back porch (that crackle and sigh when ablaze)
From the red toolbox that dirties your fingertips and smells like ripe metal

I am from circles and squares that bed my mother’s flowers
From the heavy shovel that sees spring and summer long after winter
I am from fireweed, and moose poop that should plague my yard… but doesn’t

I am from small furry escapees free from Mr. Black’s training kennel
From the old man who runs every day rain , shine or snowstorm
From the village with street names that inspired many paths (down Stanford, stopping at Brown and rounding Berkley)

I am from a land of flannel and extratuff’s where the “odds are good, but the goods are odd”
From a place the raven has supreme power and sleeping bears should never be poked
I am from fresh halibut and smoked salmon
From fried bread and where mayo is added to everything
I am from a land that houses many memoires
Carved in the purple mountains
Flowing through the Kinik arm
To freeze in time on the Portage Glacier.
This is my home that I carry with me , this is where I am from.