To be quite honest,
I’ve spent the last hour sitting here and trying to decide: Which one favorite do I want to hone in on? The trouble is there are far too many things that I love about both teaching and learning, so why not encompass that in my response?
My absolute favorite thing about becoming a teacher is that I get to inspire lifelong learning through demonstrating my own passion for knowledge and understanding. Even back in middle school when I “hated” math (in actuality I just hadn’t been challenged enough previously), I knew I loved school. Given the option, I’d have chosen to be a “professional student” without question. I slipped, skipped, and danced through at least a dozen majors- Art, nursing, psychology, English, business… and many more- prior to a golden revelation: I should teach!
I’ve had my fair share of painstaking, non-engaging courses (direct instruction, I’m talking about you), yet I’ve never hated school. Although I may not have my own full-time class yet, and though I still have a couple years of undergrad studies left, I’m already witnessing the effect that my passion for the yet-undiscovered has on the learners I have taught so far!
I am determined to maintain a lifelong attitude of discovery-driven curiosity. I sincerely believe that is key to not only my success as a teacher, but also the opportunity for my future learners to reflect the same passion I have for lifelong learning and discovery.
Note: My apologies in advance for the sketchy readability and conciseness of this post. Ever the future teacher, I took on way too much today and am, quite frankly, exhausted! Of course, I really wanted to get on board with the #MTBoSblogsplosion, so here we go!
Thank you for reading!
Have I been busy or what! I have several semi-new developments going on in my life:
I am thrilled to declare that I have finally been hired as a math tutor at my community college! This position is one which I have been boundlessly excited about all summer; however, due to many changes within their department, my early-summer application got lost in a whirlwind of craziness. I applied once more early last week and heard back almost immediately! I went in to meet with the coordinator on Monday and she hired me on-the-spot! Now for the most thrilling piece of information linked to this job:
Upon informing my math professor of the last two years about my hiring, he promptly responded, “Great! Now be my supplementary instructor for Math 127 (Trigonometry)”! This is a great honor to me because I have a profound level of respect for this professor. He is brilliant in both math and physics and has written many well-recognized mathematical publications. That he sees the ability in me to teach his students well is one of the highest honors I can imagine at this point in my early mathematical career!
I have also been hired as a peer mentor for my major program! Again, I am thrilled. Last week, my professors from my program approached me saying they will be offering new externships this semester, particularly ones for peer mentors within the program. I applied right away and a mere three days later, I was hired.
What does this position entail, you may wonder? Our program has two introductory courses, Step 1 and Step 2. In Step 1, students are introduced to teaching at the elementary level. Right away, they jump into classroom observations (typically with young learners between grades 3 and 4) and begin devising their first (of three) lesson plans. I was part of the inaugural class for my program, so I didn’t have peer support from those more experienced than I; however, my job is to be just that! I will be helping my new peers plan their lessons and will additionally be advising them on classroom management and instructional success. I am very excited to begin this journey!
Both of these are, of course, very large and time-consuming developments. Because of this, I will likely have to completely set my challenge on the sidelines (so early on, too); however, my academic success and learning are ever my priorities!
I will continue to share more as I delve ever-deeper into this wildly promising semester!
As the new semester approaches, I have been planning, scheduling, and planning some more. Beginning August 29th, I will be taking a total of five classes: Knowing & Learning (a methods course for my education major), Introduction to Proofs, Differential Equations, Computer Science (programming in C++), and either a history course on technology or Linear Algebra.
I will also be continuing to substitute teach once or twice a week throughout the semester. In addition to this, I’m trying to learn Russian! Needless to say, I have a lot on my plate this Fall. Fortunately, I have a lot of support from my handsome Russian beau (coincidence?).
My Summer was spent studying Calculus 3, which was great fun. I also went adventuring, which was even more fun! Now I’m trying to jump back into my pedagogical thinking as I prepare for the upcoming semester. My beau also happens to be a teacher. He teaches 4th grade, so it has been a thrill getting the perspective of someone who has been in the field a few years! I also enjoy contrasting our perspectives on primary vs. secondary education. More on that to come!
So far this blog is rather empty and unhelpful, but I think I’m going to jump on the #BlAugust boat halfway through its journey! Considering I still have two or so years to go until I graduate and attain full licensure, I think I’m still a step or two ahead of the game.
More to come soon!
Miss P. (:
It’s been a couple of weeks, and boy has a lot happened in that time!
The UTeach National Conference was a blast! It was a very informative experience. I had the opportunity to network with many of my peers, plenty of whom have already taken the upper-level UTeach courses. It was so thrilling having the chance to hear about their experiences and testimonies of their growth. I am more excited than ever to become a teacher. I am learning more each day about how to establish a classroom culture of engagement and respect, with much gratitude due to all those who put together the conference in order that I may meet with others in my field.
Another exciting change that is in the works is what I’m currently most excited for! About two months ago, I applied to my local community college for a position tutoring college math. This would be a great opportunity for me to develop my abilities to break down and conceptualize higher-level mathematical concepts in ways that make them easier to understand for those who are still new to the concepts. Now, I have been pretty anxious about this. Roughly three weeks after submitting my resume, a friend who works for the tutoring center informed me that his boss spoke to him and mentioned that they received my application and would likely be asking me to come in on a Saturday for an interview. I was thrilled! After another couple of weeks, my hope started deflating; however, just last week my Calculus 3 professor spoke to me after class and mentioned that he spoke to the woman in charge of hiring and personally recommended me! I take this as a high level compliment, and I’m really proud of my skills so far. Anyways, she informed him that they will be contacting me any week now for an interview! I can’t wait to see what opportunities the near future will hold!
One bittersweet yet still refreshing change implied by my upcoming new work opportunity is that I’ll have to put my current job on hold. Although I love substitute teaching, it’ll be a breath of fresh air to not have to worry about jumping around to five different schools in a week. Instead, my job would be right on campus, allowing me significantly more time to focus on my studies. It also means not having to master classroom management while I still have about three years left in my program!
More updates to follow!