13 August 2010

Life as I know it

Right now, life as I know it is about to get incredibly busy. Is this a problem? No, I don't think so. Life as I know it is getting busy because I have purposely chosen to do things that are important to me. They are activities about which I am passionate. No surprise that they all revolve around education.

I'm working on my syllabus for Physics for the upcoming year and thinking about my kids (yes, my own children) being my students for the upcoming year. One of those two will be a Senior here at Putnam City HS. (How many people have the opportunity to spend every single school day of their child's Senior year with them? Hooray!) I initially was thinking, "I've got to make this the best year ever", just for Jess' and JC's sake. But then I realized, why should this year be special for them? I want this year to be the best, but really I want it to be the best year for ALL of my students. I hope to build deeper relationships, get to know my content at a deeper level, and motivate students like never before. School starts on Thursday of next week. But, between now and then, it's going to be crazy.

I've already started teaching at SNU as an adjunct professor in their Bridge program. I'm driving to Tulsa once a week, on Monday nights, to teach Earth's Natural Disasters. I have another class, by the same name, here at the Bethany campus that starts a week from this Monday. Teaching adults is definitely a new experience for me and I am really enjoying it. I have been able to pass on my passion for Science through this experience and hopefully, it's just the beginning! (I'll be learning to be an Instructor in Astronomy and Geomorphology during the month of December).

I'm continuing in my Master's program in Curriculum and Instruction and that one night a week keeps me busy every weekend with lots of writing, reading, and thinking about my classes. This really is the reason I'm a bit stressed about the next school year. I have so many ideas and new things to try that I've been learning over the summer that it's going to be like starting from scratch. In some ways its exciting to think about a brand-new group of students with whom I can share my passion for Physics. In other ways, I feel a bit overwhelmed.

I'm going to try to take 6 hours as a "traditional graduate" student in some "by arrangement" classes to make up for my decision not to do National Board Certification. I need the hours to finish the Master's. That won't happen until the Spring, but I'm trying to get it all "lined out" so we are on track to walk at graduation in May and be done with degree #2.

I've been asked to teach several professional development classes between now and next Thursday. I'm doing an in-house webpage class, talking about assessing students through technology integration, and I'm trying to work on integrating our school calendar into all teacher webpages. It's really a lot of fun to be given a problem and asked to solve it using technology integration. I am learning that is something at which I can be successful. I have some really great colleagues that I am able to collaborate with on projects and that makes it a wonderful experience.

Science. Technology. Education. Those are three things I can get excited about! When someone asks me to share about any of those? How can I refuse? Even if it means I am (possibly) over-extending myself, I can't say no.

I have learned so much about myself over the last 5 years. My education at SNU and my experience teaching Physics at Putnam City has been the most rewarding vocational time of my life. Have I made mistakes? Sure! Will I still make mistakes this year? More than likely. Will I learn something new every single day? I sure hope so. If you see me in the halls and I seem a bit distracted, please don't take it personally. Just know that I am thinking about the next opportunity to share my passion.

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