I sat down last night, with the university undergraduate catalog, and I read through the course descriptions for all the classes I’d need to take for certification. What I realized, as I did it, is this is the right thing to do now. I have never taught a class before. I’ve never had to do assessment or curriculum planning. Taking classes that will teach me this, now, before doing the graduate degree… that makes more sense. So I’m requesting special permission to enroll in the 300-level classes that are being offered in the major this spring. Normally, I’d need to be admitted to Teacher Education before I could do it, but they do have the loophole in the catalog that I can be admitted “by permission of the instructor.”
I will take the Praxis I (math and writing) on December 23rd. I’ll apply for admittance to teacher education by the deadline in February (for Fall 2009) and I’ll do both spring and summer classes.
I can do this. I know I can. Now the question is this: will the department allow me to register for those upper-division classes and will this get me a second B.A.?
In other news, our marketing director at the office sent out an email to our group that was absolutely energizing. She told us about the dinner group that got together and their feedback about talking to us here at the college. This group is from a local company and they are being forced into a “time off” period, similar to a layoff, but with an end date. Many of them are intimidated about even talking to us here at school and it was a real eye-opener for me. I have been in the university environment, either as a student or as an employee, for the better part of the last 21 years. This is *home* to me. I sometimes forget that it can seem intimidating and mystifying for those outside of it.
Her message also reinforced why it is so important for us to be here. We can be a part of getting people retrained and back to work. Second only to the work I’m looking forward to doing with young children, I can’t think of anything that would be so rewarding for me to be doing. (I say this, knowing full well that I am NOT cut out for the medical field – I HATE needles… shivers)
Anyway, it’s a time of reflection and self-examination. There are times when what I’m going through is painful, but I’m finally seeing the giant lightbulb go off. As each day goes by, I find a little more peace with the choices I’m making. It’s a slow process, because I have to change my assumptions and thinking about where I am and who I am.
The reading I did last night really helped me. In looking at the course descriptions and seeing how the training would help prepare me to be a teacher, it took away the fear that I was still holding on to. Now, one other piece of the fear is my hearing-impairment and my lack of physical fitness (due to being an overweight, stressed-out mom). On the issue of the hearing-impairment, I can’t afford a hearing aid. I can work with people and express that by speaking slowly and clearly (thanks mum!), I will better be able to work with them. I will focus my energy into listening and if, finally, a time comes when I can afford to get a hearing aid – I’ll do it.
As for the energy and the physical fitness. Well, I just need to get time carved out for me. Less sitting… more moving around… more healthy food choices.
And more music!
That’s where I am today and what I’ve discovered so far. Life is really weird. You trundle along, certain about who you are and the choices you are making, only to discover that you went down the wrong path – even if it might have been for the right reasons. That’s part of being human… we are flexible and (sometimes) adaptive. My intuitive sense kept telling me that I was heading in the wrong direction. I just needed to stop, listen to it, and develop a new plan.
Now I have more faith that I will learn the skills I need. I have more faith that I can be the kind of teacher who can make a difference. I’m not perfect – not by a long stretch – but I care. And that’s a start.