Friday, December 5, 2014

UW Oshkosh Clinical Semester Part I

Hello readers of this defunct free blog! Sorry for losing track of the semester but a lot has changed. My goals and ideals have shifted. I am still alive, probably more than I have ever been in a long time and didn't have the opportunity or energy to write about it. I've found it, I have taken a deep breath and I am enjoying the moment.

So I am in the final week of my placement and I have learned a gang of stuff that I  need to write about or I will lose the momentum. I need momentum and I realized after 34 years on earth that it depends on me. 

Yes, I know. Very, "After School Special," but it is true. Hard lesson for me to learn and even harder to take full responsibility for. I was lacking follow-through because my accountability of myself and my work ethic have been idle for so long that I forgot what it felt like to be challenged and work hard to get to this place. I want to tell you it's euphoric but the reality of daily life cut the feeling a little short. 

I have had so much support and love and understanding from so many people in the field that I didn't hang my head for long when things weren't as easy as they had been. I was humbled. I am still humbled and I have taken the initiative to want to learn more and want to be constructive and intentional in my career and I can't help but love the change, and embrace the challenges and i was never prepared for the change in ME as a person to happen so quickly.

I drove home the last week of my science lesson knowing that I was where I wanted to be. My first indication was that I found myself rethinking the next days lesson through and finding ways to adapt my approach to the activities to meet individual student needs. I also realized that I loved the idea of changing something minuscule to allow a student freedom or the opportunity to have that light-bulb moment. 

Following my last and final week of class I have been going back to the books and looking at approaches and pre-planning criteria and outcomes. Lots and lots of planning outcomes to meet or exceed high and lower level learners. I am in love and comfortable.

I feel confident, I know when I enter a classroom I am more confident. I know that I can share my ability to learn and to teach in ways I didn't know existed as a paraprofessional or even a program coordinator. I've bridged the support and professional divide and I am humbled to know that my twelve years of experience have been in preparation for me to teach.

I have heard people say that children are out most valuable asset to the world. I wasn't fully aware of that responsibility until now. I realize that the role of a certified teacher is asking someone to give even more of themselves by sharing their world and present the rest of the universe in the most trustworthy and transparent way so a student can feel that confident of their place within it.

I could have never imagined myself reaching this goal. The most wonderful feeling about it, and something that was shared very early in the cohort is that its totally attainable. I am looking at curriculum and instruction programming cohorts in local universities, I want this, not only for myself but for my students and my children. I want to help others find a way to reach students that are proven to work and can help build confidence in a student. 

Luckily for me I was placed with someone who knows how to do that. I have found myself with a teacher who has the knowledge, experience, and drive to want to have each student own their ability to learn. The amount of information and structure and student desire to excel is beyond amazing. I love the idea of such a seasoned teacher open to allow student teachers and clinicians to learn from her and take away everything she has to share. I believe I am where I need to be. Lucky me.