Category Archives: Education

Prepared?

After what happened in the last 24 hours it makes me question if I am prepared.  Am I ready for my future?  I am ready for the unexpected that is going to happen, all the good and the bad?  All the pretty and the ugly?  How do I prepare for the future?  What can my mentors do to assist me?  What can I learn from their past experiences that will make my future ones better.  What can we all do to make tomorrow more exceptional than today, and more outstanding than yesterday?

Studying to become a teacher I have seen a lot of situations that I wasn’t prepared for.  Before I was even in the program I was volunteering in a 4th grade art room, and I had a young student who was usually out going and happy very quiet during class.  Some of her friends came up to me and told me she was acting different.  So I went up to this student and asked her how her day was going.  Right away I could tell something was different.  Her eyes gave it away.  After a little bit of small talk, I asked if she would go out in the hall and chat some more with me.  She agreed, so we walked out to have some privacy in the hallway.  It was almost the end of class by this time, and so we just talked about the upcoming weekend, and how the weather was changing so quickly.  Once class was over we were actually able to talk.  I found out that there were some troubles at home, and this wasn’t the first time.  How do you prepare for this?  When a young student comes to you with a problem, any problem…can you keep your cool, figure out the problem and then move towards finding a solution.  Or do you freeze up, show too much emotion, get too attached….and become more of the problem?

Today the country wept.  I never watch the news.  It is always so sad and it makes my day worse.  I like reading the newspaper, then I can control how much news I take in at once.  But today for some reason when I was home sitting downstairs having my cereal and coffee I thought, “Hey, I’ll put on CNN and have it on as background noise when I am doing stuff around the house.”   That was at 10:30am central time.  Not long after the shooting occurred.  I was hooked on the station.  It started out as only a few people passed away, then it moved onto about 10, then almost 20, then closer to 30.  It kept getting worse and worse, and yet I couldn’t look away.  It took me back to 9/11.  Why is when we see something bad, or hear about it, we ask so many more questions.  We are intrigued   We are curious.  We want details.  We reread all the stories.  We continue to listen to the same report over and over again.  Until we think we know exactly what happened.  Until we believe we have figured out any reason why it happened.  Then we begin to question our own lives.

Within a few hours everyone on Facebook had their status’ about the shooting.  About loving their children, calling and saying I love you.  Hugging them.  Spending time with them.  Praying for the families at the school.  We think that even though we may have no connection to anyone out at the shooting, our short status update will make a difference.  This isn’t really for them, this is to comfort us.  To make ourselves feel better about our own lives.  To tell ourselves that today we are going to do better, we are going to make a difference, we are going to love more, smile more, be happy.  I hope this is true.

It leads to me writing this post.  To wondering what will change in the future as I am a teacher.  What will happen in my classroom with my students in the future, will there be any new laws that will protect my students?  And myself?  Will I be able to do anything to be more prepared?  What can I do to make a difference in my future students’ lives?

I will lay down tonight in my bed, thinking about my life.  Thinking about our country.  Guns.  Schools.  My future classroom. What can I do to prepare?  Maybe tomorrow I can start by doing some simple research to make my day more productive, and then take a deep breath.  I will take each step, each day one at a time and realize that if I prepare myself for the impossible, then maybe I will be ready for the possible.

until again, with love

alc

Life as an….established….

Nothing stays the same, but change. -my mom

I have been wondering a lot lately about the choices I have made in my past.  We make choices everyday, all the time.  Coffee or tea.  What to have for lunch?  Where to live?  Do I go on a date with him?  Do I go on another date with him?  Do I marry him?  Do I go right or left?  What job should I do?  Kids?  What shoes to wear? What time to go to bed?  Do I like my hair color?  Choices. Everyday.  All the time.  Some of the more important ones for myself have included: My education.  Where I want to live. Do I buy or rent? Friendships.  My job.  What about my insurance?  Relationship.  Financial issues. Parents.

I am at a time during my life where I can make big changes.  I am graduating in May.  Once I have my teaching certification I can move anywhere.  Should I go across the country?  Around the world?  Do I stay local (where a lot of my family is centered).  I don’t have a house payment holding me down. I don’t have children.  I have the option to leave.  I came into this town almost 8 years ago as a college freshmen.  I thought I would complete my 4 years as a college student in a college town and then move.  That track changed pretty quickly. My sister and her husband lived here.  We are very close (even if there are times when we don’t talk as much as we would like, I love her and she is my best friend).  Then my mom and pops moved here.  I have lived with them on and off over the years, and I honestly imagine not living in the same town as them.  They are my rock and my best friends.  After I graduated I found a few jobs, and living with my ex-boyfriend at the time.  I thought life was good, but I knew I was missing something.  My career.  I believe that your career does define you (along with many other traits).  Then the time came, do I stay here…or do I move?

I decided to do the most logical thing, I sent in my application to go back to school.  I was wishing and praying to be accepted in the Elementary Education program.  I remember the day I found out I was accepted.  Ironically, I was wearing the Hawk’s colors of black and gold…and I knew it was meant to be.  I was going to become a teacher.

Now that I am almost done with my program the question is up again, do I stay or do I go?  Some items have stayed the same, others have changed.  Now my sister and her husband have a beautiful home filled with my amazing 5 year old niece, and crazy (but adorable) 2 year old niece and nephew who are twins.  I have 4 other nephews that are hours away from me, and I miss them like crazy.  How could I leave these 3 munchkins?  Then there are my parents.  They still live here also, but over the years I have become more close with them.  Which I didn’t realize would be possible….but my mom and I talk to each other almost every day.  And I call my pops for advice and to just chat all the time.  I need to clarify that when I say pops, that means my step-dad.  He came into my life as a blind date for my mom.  My older sister and his daughter set them up on a date, and they have been together ever since.  I was only 12 and he jumped in.  What an awesome time to “gain” a daughter.  Yes, he and I have had our bad moments in the past, but I adore this man and I never want to think about him not being my dad.

As for my career…I am of course working on my teaching certification  but to pay the bills I have been working for the city for the past 2 and a half years.  I work in a parking lot as a cashier.  This job is wonderful.  I am able to do my homework while I work, and I am offered benefits.  This job has been a main reason that I have stayed here.  I know that I would love to get a job locally once I graduate, but teachers don’t leave their jobs around here.  The school that I am in for my classes is in a really good neighborhood and I love the community in the school.  My CT told me that on day one, she could tell that I have the ability to connect with the students and I feel comfortable working with them.  In a short amount of time and words this validated my choice of going back to school to become a teacher.  How wonderful would it be if I was able to get a job in a school that I have already worked in for almost 6 months, and then be offered my own classroom!

Here I am in “my” 2nd grade classroom.  I love these students, and they are teaching me how to become a wonderful teacher.

Making a difference…. Each day I get up, get ready, head out the door, and make my way across town to head into the classroom.  I love how on the mornings that I am sleepy or cranky my students make me smile immediately and then I am in a great mood for hours after I tell them goodbye.  Working with the students each day is amazing.  I can see their progress.  I have a rapport formed with them.  I am able to create my own lesson plans and teach them.  I love the fact that I am working towards my career that I can’t wait to do everyday.

So I have established myself here.  I don’t own a house or a condo, I rent.  I have my routines that I follow each week.  I have my favorite spots to get coffee, and they know me.  I have friendships that have formed since I have graduated.  I feel as if I am a “townie”…not a visiting college student.  One of the major questions that I feel like almost every person my age asks themselves is…”Is this all there is?  Is this really going to be my life forever?”  I am there.  I am wondering this.  I am happy currently.  I love the way my has formed into what it is now.  But is this really all there is?  Do I want more?  Or do I stay with what I  know?  If it is about comfort only, I stay.  I graduate and find a job at a local school.  I buy a house and continue to live in this town until…well for the years to come. If I move and leave, wow….I’m not sure if I am ready to even have those thoughts to come out into written words.    I would guess by this feeling alone that I am ready to stay here.  To be an official townie.  This town, that was once seen as a college town to me would then become my official home.  I think I am ready for this step. For this moment.

How do you know when you are ready to settle?  Which I do not like using that word..settle…it seems like you are just letting things happen because it is the easy way out.  When really, if you settle you could have thought out your choices and then make the best option for your life.  Why is that considered  settling?  I would rather say decide, confirm, or establish.  Yes, I believe I want to establish my life in the current town I am in.

until again, alc

Guess what…. I did it

I did exactly what I didn’t want to do. I started the blog.  I filled out the blog.  I reviewed the blog.  People read the blog.  I stopped writing the blog.  Why am I not surprised?  Oh yeah, because I have done this in the past…. although I have noticed that I use the excuse that I am too busy to update it.  That I forgot.  That I would rather take a nap, or do something else instead.  Although in the past when I have updated my blog I have felt more refreshed, more relaxed, and happier.  So why wouldn’t I continue this process to get this amazing outcome?

My cousin, who I have mentioned in before has a blog and a vblog and an esty account and pinterest and youtube and facebook and twitter and she updates them all the time. In addition to all of her digital world she is building a brand new home with her boyfriend, working, going back to school, and potty training a new puppy!! (talk about putting me to shame)  I know, I know, I work and go to school, but I want to use her as my yardstick for this blog.  She has themes for her days and I think that if i do this for a few days (even if I only post on those few days a week for now) it would be better than none at all.  Some of her themes are: Throw back, short stories, letters to her mom, weight lost, and her crafts. (Check out her blog at http://daniellejhildebrand.blogspot.com/ )

Some of my ideas for themes that would portray to my life are: Life as a 2nd Grader, Completing my to-do’s, Local Fun or Trying Something New, Flashbacks, and My Updated Style.  

I am going to finish up this post, and then create a new post on Life as a 2nd Grader 🙂

My life lately has been full of writing lesson plans, being critiqued while teaching, working, and trying to organize/clean my home.  I am taking 18 hours this semester…4 mornings a week I am at a local Elementary school teaching (along with the classroom teacher) for 3 hours each day.  This semester has been the first time since I started the education program at Iowa where I feel as if I am a real teacher.  Each day I wake up thankful for the life changing decision I made a few years ago to go back to school.  Before I was accepted into the program my nerves were out of control.  My emotions were changing from happy to sad to confused daily.  I wasn’t happy with my career, correction I didn’t have a career at this time, I had a job to pay the bills.  Then I received my notification that I was going back to school.  And so my life finally felt as if it was complete.  And now I am working on my educational experience better each day I wake up and walk out the door to go to class.

What is one change that you have made in the past that has changed your life??

Until again,

alc