Sunday, January 29, 2012

Week Two: "Bad Days"

This post is coming from a very emotional place, but I think it touches on aspects of teaching that we all need to consider at some point. We all have bad days, we're human, and most of the time I think we can all walk into the classroom and leave the other "stuff" at the door...because we have to. That doesn't necessarily mean we have to pretend (because then there's the tendency to overcompensate), but we need to genuinely focus on the positive while recognizing that the negative exists.

We need to be able to allow ourselves that bad day in order to get past it, but it's also essential to do so in such a way that it doesn't effect our students. Thus far, I've never had to face this situation in the classroom as a teacher, but I have as a student. I've seen how a teacher's or professor's "bad day" can affect learning for their students, and I've seen how my own "bad days" effect my ability to learn. As a teacher, what are your strategies for addressing those "bad days," and what positive aspects would you choose to focus on?

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Week One: Curriculum

It feels good to be back in the game, to be back in classes, and to begin my last semester at the College of Wooster. I have a new roommate who came back from abroad, new classes to get excited about, and only one more semester of I.S. (my senior thesis) to complete! It was incredible to walk in on the first day of class and get to see familiar faces and "geek out" about education again. So, talking point number one, I'm happy to be back and I'm SO excited that education is still a part of my life this semester (not that I could ever separate education from life)!

I had a fantastic albeit busy and hectic first week with a lot of loose ends to tie up in the next few days, but I'm already excited about where this semester and this class will be taking us. I'm relatively sure that curriculum is not supposed to be this exciting. Isn't that the part that most teachers hate? For me, it's a puzzle...problem solving...a new perspective on the whole teaching profession that we really haven't been exposed to before. We've spent so much time focusing on how to teach a single, isolated lesson that it's refreshing to finally look at a larger perspective and see where your students have been and where they will be going in terms of the "big picture" rather than "yesterday they did THIS, and tomorrow they will do THIS."

In keeping with this week's theme, how do you personally view lesson/curriculum planning? Do you look at the big picture first, or do you have a tendency to sit down and go "oh, and then I could teach my lesson on _____ and then I could do ______"? Do you let the big picture dictate your lessons, or do you let the lessons dictate the overall curriculum?

Thursday, January 5, 2012

"Some Enchanted Evening"

The last few days have been bittersweet...yes, I AM on break so I can't complain about that, but the people I love are scattered all over the world and I desperately miss them. Thankfully chocolate has tamed the hormones, but my brain continues to torture me with "what ifs." I'm not much in the mood to write at the moment. In fact, I plan to distract myself with mindless television and more chocolate shortly. I did, however, get a message from Joseph today...he always knows just what to say to brighten my day, but it also reminded me just how helpless I feel sitting idly at home while he is thousands and thousands of miles away in Israel. Darn my inner control freak! Anyhow, before I curl up by the fire, gobble chocolate, and watch Jeopardy, I wanted to share the beautiful sunset we had tonight with all of you...SO magical! :)

And yes, the title of this post is, in fact, a South Pacific reference! I know, I just couldn't help myself...after all, "Wonderful Guy" has been stuck in my head since last weekend (wonder who the wonderful guy is *cough cough*)!

Sunday, January 1, 2012

New Years Resolutions

I hadn't realized just how long it had been since my last post attention was temporarily diverted to another blog where I was required to write about my experiences during my education field placement, and I'm afraid I have neglected my readers here! So very much has happened since then. A semester has passed and my life has been touched by so many wonderful people. Joseph is still in Israel, we Skype when we have the chance, but now he calls me girlfriend. I met my Godson, Sebastian, and got to hold him for the first time...he was two weeks old. Life is beautiful, I've faced obstacles, there have been long tear-filled nights, but I'm so thankful for all of it! Goodbye 2011, we had some good times, we had some bad times, but I think I'm ready to move on! :)

I've never been one to make and keep New Years resolutions (mostly the second part), but there ARE a few things I want to remember in the new year. I promise to be true to myself, to follow my heart wherever it leads me, to always try to be the person I want to be, to find happiness in unexpected places, to love and be loved, and to never give up hope. I have one life, and I plan to make the most of every minute...I don't want to look back and wonder where my life went, to realize that I had wasted precious time. This year, I hope you all live life to its fullest and surround yourself with people who love you and will be there to get you through the next challenge, the next obstacle, the next crisis. To all the people in my life...I LOVE YOU and I absolutely couldn't do it without you! <3

Best wishes for the New Year,