Recently I am becoming increasingly aware of the importance of seeing the connections between my professional and academic time at Grand Valley State University! It has been an extremely demanding semester for me so far. I am at school for 22+ hours a week, then daily I drive downtown to Grand Rapids for 15.5+ hours of class per week. This sounds like a normal 40 hour work week, until I consider the 9+ hours I am traveling from place to place throughout each week. I constantly struggle, finding that I have a hard time connecting my time teacher assisting and going to class. I think part my challenge has to do with the psychological reset that occurs as I drive to Grand Rapids from my placement over 45 minutes away. I really think a year from now when I look back on my experience I am gonna remember how I made a decision to transition. What transition? That transition I will unfold right now!
Starting tomorrow, I am gonna utilize my driving time and after school time to carry out at least 15 minutes of active reflection and connection daily. Instead of being overwhelmed by my separate feeling academic and teaching worlds I am going to do my best to connect them. From time to time I will need to post here to do that, but most times the connections will involve concentration and perseverance to utilize the traveling moments in my day!
One year from now, I want to remember that I made this change. I decided that I can learn, and apply my learning to my profession immediately. The practice of reflection that I will develop through perseverance and focus could be one of the best decisions I ever make.
As I think further, some other things I want to remember one year from now are how scared I was when I first started teaching. I was amazed that I am less confident in front of a room full of 7th graders than I am in front of 30 college students. I want to remember how much I have grown from a timid by the book teacher, to a teacher that is not afraid to do difficult and different things to enhance student learning and engagement. A last very important thing that I want to remember is how much I have struggled, sacrificed, and learned on my way to becoming a teacher! I did all of that because I believe that each student has the potential to become an awesome individual and to grow from learning mathematics whether that be from the content or from the perseverance and abstract thinking skills they gain to defend their own arguments. I am so excited for what the rest of this semester brings, but I am excited starting now to better connect my teaching and learning in college!