Tuesday, December 7, 2010
I AM READY TO BE DONE WITH SCHOOL!
I can't take it anymore. Seven more days and I feel like I am losing steam exponentially each day. And what stinks about that is that these classes are not just typical, 500-people, freshman level classes that I don't care about. These classes are important! They are supposed to be training me to become a teacher. But because I have lost momentum and am beginning to feel like I am failing at school, I am beginning to feel like I will fail at teaching too. I know this sounds really dramatic and I'm sure they are not inseparably linked, but I really need to find my chi. Because if you fail at a "teaching class," isn't that a bad sign for when you actually start teaching?
There is hope. I will endure. I will find a way.
Saturday, December 4, 2010
Thursday, November 18, 2010
Wednesday, November 10, 2010
7:45pm - Take dinner break and buy 3 cookies to get through the long night
10:10pm - Start getting sleepy from lack of previous night's sleep.
10:15pm - Lay head down on arm and fall asleep for 15 minutes.
10:30pm - Wake up from arm-sleep, work a teeny, go down aisle to find book
10:40pm - While flipping through book, get sleepy again
10:45pm - Lay down IN THE AISLE and fall asleep because you're shameless and have no control. This time it's 40 minutes
11:25pm - Get woken up by the vacuum guy. Stand up awkwardly and pretend like you weren't sleeping even though you both know you were. Go back to table.
11:30pm - Get sleepy again and succumb to arm-sleep once more.
11:40pm - Wake up from arm-sleep and decide maybe it's time to walk home.
11:55pm - Arrive home and spend all night on the couch in and out of sleep while writing said paper.
I think maybe I have a problem...
Monday, November 8, 2010
Today, I was teaching my crazies again in the ESL class. We ran out of time and I was telling them about the issue of slavery in writing the constitution. The BEST part was when I told them we didn't have time to finish and they had to put their binders away. Seriously, 4 or 5 of my CRAZIEST kids got all worried and said, "Wait! You have to tell us what happened! What did they decide?!"
Wha...?! They wanted to learn for the sake of learning? It wasn't to get a treat or a prize or anything? Yes. They just wanted to learn. I realized right then that that is a moment I will live for as a teacher. I told them that if they hurried back to their seats before the bell rang I would tell them. All the kids ran back to their desks and were SILENT so I would finish the story.
Wednesday, November 3, 2010
Well, this week I discovered that teaching is not all sunshine and roses.
For the past month, I've been working with a middle school ESL class and to put it lightly, they are THE MOST OUT-OF-CONTROL CLASS I've ever seen. Cute kids, but seriously crazy. Their teacher's style of discipline was very different from any I've ever been taught, and from what I could tell was not very effective. So on Monday I had the opportunity to teach them for the first time. And despite the very clear warning signs that I had been given, I was under the impression that they would never be a problem for me. I would surely be able to handle them with a healthy little dose of TLC. After all, they had shown during the previous month that they liked me and gave me high-fives whenever they came into their classroom and saw me there. That's a recipe for a healthy teaching environment, right?
No. No. No. It was one of the hardest days I've ever had. Just an hour and a half with those kids and I was at my wit's end with how to deal with them. They yelled, chatted, were constantly up out of their seats, never listened, were never on task, complained, you name it. I came home that day more depressed than ever. I was blindsided. By 13-year olds. I never even saw it coming. I cried a little, said a prayer, cried a little more, called my dad. For the first time since choosing my major, I started to wonder if this is something I'm really cut out for. What if I was just a horrible teacher and I just never had enough experience in the classroom to realize it? The moment that day that had broken my heart was when one little girl, who had previously been my biggest fan, threw her head back at one point and said (rather loudly), "I would rather be ANYWHERE but here!" Okay, how do you not take that personally? I word-vomited all this onto my poor father, who lovingly replied, "Ang, you're going to be fine. It was one day. To be honest, I don't know why you ever wanted to be in a middle school anyway." Then my heart sunk as I realized, maybe they were all right. All those people who told me it's crazy to want to teach kids in middle school full-time. What if I should really be in a high school?! It's too late!! I'm already set up to teach in a junior high in DC!! What if I die?!?! Ahhhhhhhhhh!!!!!!!!!!
Luckily, as outlined by the title of this post things got better. 1000X better. Today, Wednesday, I had the chance to teach my beloved crazies again. And something magical happened.
I don't know what did the trick. Whether it was the new seating arrangement, the new rules, the different activity for the lesson, or all three. But for some reason, we connected today. They weren't out-of-control, in fact they were the most in-control I've ever seen them. In the beginning they complained of course, but by the end of the lesson my biggest complainers, "the divas" as I like to call them, were more into the lesson than anyone. They were shouting at the other kids to go faster! To say their part right! They were running to accomplish their task! It was AWESOME. Not only did they have fun and get really into the lesson, but they LEARNED it. At the end of class I wanted to see how effective it had been so I was throwing out questions fast,
"What was our first form of government after the Revolutionary War?"
"Why didn't it work?"
"What year was the constitution written?"
"What was Shay's Rebellion?"
"Why was it important?"
They knew every. single. one.
They got it! They understood the history behind the lesson. And they knew it well! I was thrilled. And then, to top it all off, my biggest fan little girl ran up to me after class and said, "Are you gonna be our teacher for the whole term?!" When I told her I'm just teaching her class for this week, she let out a big, sad groan and said, "No! Teach us all the time!"
I almost cried again. Not really, but it would have been appropriate.
Tuesday, October 26, 2010
To say life is busy is an understatement. I frantically run from class to work to classroom observations to work to class to home where I pull out my computer and do my homeworks until the wee hours of the morning. Monday through Thursday I generally get about 3-4 hours of sleep and then try to catch up on the weekends, except I have to go back to work and the cursed homework that just won't let me be. And sometimes I just want to scream AAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!
And then I remember something really great. Something amazing. Ready? This is the last of it. This is the end. And I'm going out strong. And sometimes it sucks. But in the end, it will ALL be worth it. Do you want to know why? Because come January 1st, I'm moving to
Tuesday, August 31, 2010
Anxiety about writing a 25-page research paper for my History 490 class (Senior thesis...ugh...). I'm sure I'll probably be complaining about this throughout the course of the semester so allow me to apologize in advance. Sorry.
Hesitation about having the same teacher for two really hard history classes. With just one class, I can sometimes fool them. With two right in a row, he's bound to figure out I don't know how to write a research paper.
Excitement that I get to study a lot about Italy this semester. Right now all I know is Venice and Pizza. This may lead to a mandatory educational journey to that beautiful land sometime soon to really make sure I've got it all down...
Anticipation for the day I get to start teaching in a real classroom. We begin our practicum in 6 weeks (observing and teaching in a classroom setting) to prepare us for our student teaching which is only FOUR SHORT MONTHS AWAY! Seriously, in preparation for our practicum our teacher today was discussing why history matters and how we can show that to our students and my heart just started pounding with excitement. I'm scared, but I really can't wait!
Nervous Joy at the thought of doing that student teaching in Washington D.C! I started filling out the application today and it's going to take a big leap of faith if it's what I really decide to do. But if I do...wow.
Fear when I think about how I'm going to be able to find the time to observe SEVENTY-FIVE HOURS in a classroom with ESL students (while also taking 19 credit hours and working 20 hours a week).
This last one might be the most surprising of all...
Sadness that it's ending and Gratitude that it happened. You'd think after 6 years of FULL-TIME school here (not counting the mission) I'd be ready to leave. Truthfully, parts of me are but I was looking today through a bunch of classes that I still really want to take that I'll never be able to. I've had access to hundreds of amazing classes taught by masters in the subject area. Even after the amazing experiences I've had, I still feel like I've missed out on so many more fascinating classes I could have taken. Weird? Yes. Unexpected? Yes.
So there you have it. I can honestly say that my outlook on this semester has made me both more EXCITED and more TERRIFIED than any that have come before.
Bring it on.
Sunday, July 11, 2010
I might use that word a lot in this post but it's hard to find another to adequately describe how it felt. I suppose the best way to explain it would be through pictures. I have added a few visual aids for your enjoyment (I had to pay the big bucks for these pictures so I better put them to good use). Please do not feel guilty for laughing when you see how gomer-ish we looked. I think they dress us like that for their own entertainment value. Can't say I blame them. We laughed. A lot.
Are you ready yet?
In the plane! This expression is 100% genuine "Holy-crap-what-the-heck-am-I-doing?!?!?!"
All the fear was gone, replaced by pure joy
Tuesday, June 1, 2010
Why is it that when you don't have to read you suddenly have a HUGE desire to? I mean like lay in the hammock all day and read your life away? I am here to tell you that it's one of the greatest feelings in the world.
Due to my spring term classes having come to an end, the past few days have found me with an abundant amount of free time and
- Three Cups of Tea
- The Book Thief
- Hunger Games
- Catching Fire (the sequel)
- Rough Stone Rolling
- Kite Runner
- The Sweetness of the Bottom of the Pie
- The Great and Terrible Series
- Into Thin Air
- Undaunted Courage
- Killer Angels
- The Alchemist
- To Kill a Mockingbird
- A Tale of Two Cities
- The Power of One
- Mere Christianity
- The Life of Pi
- Uncle Tom's Cabin
- Man's Search for Meaning
What about you? Any recommendations? What are some of your favorite reads?
Wednesday, May 5, 2010
Tuesday, April 13, 2010
“Instead of studying for finals, what about just going to the Bahamas and catching some rays? Maybe you’ll flunk, but you might have flunked anyway; that’s my point.”
— Jack Handy
Monday, March 22, 2010
Every once in awhile I get inspired with an insane amount of things I decide I have to do. Coincidentally, this usually tends to occur right about when I'm supposed to be focusing on something else (say for example....homework....?). It's when I get my best ideas about the path my life is taking. Let me fill you in on what the past two days of the attempt (and avoidance) of writing this paper has brought into my mind. Here is my (tentative) three-year plan:
- Stick it out in Provo until December. This will be the longest I have stayed in one place since I was in high school. It's a big deal. I'm planning on having my first summer in Provo which I've heard is a party. I personally feel dedicated to making that rumor true and already have several ideas in the works (while also working a lot a lot and making money I promise Dad!)
- Begin my student teaching in January, but not just anywhere. No no, not just anywhere. In the city I've been dying to travel to for the last five years of my life....drumroll please......Washington D.C! It will be fabulous. BYU has an option giving teaching majors an alternative to student teaching in the too-highly-saturated-teaching-field-of-Provo. You can opt instead to teach in D.C. or Houston, Texas. With all due respect to all the Texans out there, I can't think of any other place I'd rather be than D.C. My plan is to stay until April when I will come home for.......
- COLLEGE GRADUATION!!! I know, you thought it wasn't gonna happen right? Sometimes I wondered myself if this seemingly eternal schooling would ever end. But there is a light at the end of my 8-year tunnel. Faint, still distant, but it's there. In April 2011 I will officially be a college graduate in History Teaching with a TESOL minor.
- Next, (this is the new exciting part which I may have forgotten to mention to my family just yet) I'm hoping to be a part of HELP International. It's this awesome humanitarian group that I've been learning a lot about lately. They have programs in six different countries and their projects are really beneficial to the communities they serve. I could tell you all about everything I've been learning but it might just be easier (and more eye-pleasing) to check out the details for yourself http://www.help-international.org/
- After I get home from wherever I end up going during that summer, I will need to start making money, being a college grad and all with student loans to pay back. But here's what I'm thinking just to mix things up a little. I will start teaching as planned. However, not history just yet, but English! (as a second language). I've been learning lately of a lot of really cool programs overseas where governments will pay for your flight, housing, PLUS pay you monthly wage to come teach English in public schools. So I'd still get to teach the age that I love if I can find a job in a secondary school somewhere. And I figure, I'm still using my college education since TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages) is my minor. I don't really know how long I'd stay, maybe a five or six months, maybe a year. It just depends on what happens between now and then.
- Finally, after returning home from this golden opportunity, I will dive into teaching my favorite subject: history. Who knows where. Somewhere exciting though. But still in the states because U.S. History is my favorite and I don't see a lot of international opportunities to teach it.
So there you have it. That's the tentative plan. I realize that it sounds crazy, I'm not so naive as to think that I can pull it all off easy-peasy. I also realize that what I want could easily change with each new day I have. But I have a pretty strong will (some might call it stubborn), and I know that if life continues to lead me in the direction I'm going now, this is all possible.
And that is exciting.
And if somehow life leads me down a different path that is even better, well, that is even more exciting.
Tuesday, February 23, 2010
Nevermind the seven page research paper I have to write. Nevermind the two ugly midterms I have to study for. Nevermind the technology teacher tests I have to take. Here I sit. Blogging.
Is there something wrong with me?
This must be why people shouldn't take 8 years to get through college.
Friday, February 5, 2010
I decided a while back that I wanted to be a history teacher, and I've been super excited about teaching junior high aged kids. But every once in awhile I get a little freaked out. Am I really gonna be able to control 30-40 kids? Am I creative enough to come up with fun lesson plans? Do I even know enough about the subject material? Although I know I love history, these questions sometimes haunt my dreams.
Well, in one of my classes this semester, we've had the chance to teach a number of times, including an elementary school, a charter school, and to our fellow classmates. But today, my friends, was a big day. Today I taught a junior high class for the first time. And seriously, it was the funnest 45 minutes of my week.
And that leads me to believe that I chose the right career.
And that is a very good feeling.
Saturday, January 2, 2010
A growing family with three new babies (and two more on the way)
A better and truer celebration of Palm Sunday and Easter than any other
A verse of "Master the Tempest is Raging" on the Sea of Galilee
A trip back to Romania
A chance to see the people that changed my life
A reunion of three close friends
A new addiction to SYTYCD