lechatdu503

A girl and her cat take on the world with nothing more than a cup of tea and a good book and enough dreams to fill the universe.

In Retrospect

As this semester draws to a close and I become increasingly lazy, I thought I would take a moment to look back and think about everything I’ve done and learned.

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In numbers:

32 blog posts

57 blog followers

334 tweets

49 twitter followers

218 tweeters followed

2 conferences

21 credit hours

who knows how many work hours

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In words (because sometimes the numbers aren’t enough):

I have learned an incredible amount this semester. I have learned about cheetahs and the bottleneck effect; I have learned about geothermal energy sources. I have learned about how to put inquiry into a classroom and how to identify the signifier and signified. Though it’s not understanding what the endoplasmic reticulum does in a cell or why Othello is so afraid of sex that has made this semester so invaluable, but the lessons I’ve learned from the people around me, especially in my special methods class. I would like nothing more than to go through the class roster and tell each and everyone of those girls what I’ve learned from them, but for brevity’s sake, I won’t. Instead, I’ll say thank you to all of them.

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I’ve learned how to be okay with myself as a teacher and how to begin embracing failure. Failure has always terrified me. In my mind it shows up in flashing red letters and gnashing teeth. Failure is a monster, but it’s also my friend. This semester has taught me that I need to bring failure into my classroom. I need to know failure to learn. Learning isn’t easy and effortless and learning from failure takes work. Allowing yourself to fail takes courage and the knowledge that you’ll be able to pick yourself off and still be okay. I feel confident about failing now and that’s something I never expected to happen.

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I’ve also realized I have a desire to become a bit of an activist in the education world. For most of my life, I have been fairly content sitting on the sidelines watching other people make a move for change. I can agree with the change and be a follower, but I never had the impulse to pick up the flag and march on the front lines. Now, that’s all I can think about. I get excited when people bring up educational policy and have a different opinion than I do. I want to join the debate. I want to refer people to different sources so they can see that there are other people who think the way I do. I want to persuade more educators and people in general to embrace workshop, inquiry, and project-based learning as a better way of learning than standardized testing. I want my future students to realize that education doesn’t have to hurt. I want to make a difference. I want to be part of the change in education. I want to be the next Penny Kittle or Nancy Atwell, I just don’t know how yet. I know failure will be part of my journey, but I am so excited to get started.

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Learning about project-based learning and inquiry methods revolutionized my idea of education. I realized that education doesn’t have to fit in a tiny, one size fits all box and that there are other people out there who have ideas like mine. Using twitter and attending NCTE and GSA, I learned that I am not alone. I may be a bit of a lone nut in the panhandle of Nebraska, but I am part of something bigger, something that is gaining steam and taking off. Developing a professional network has been incredible and something I didn’t think I’d actually achieve until I graduated. Personally, I hope that all of my classmates continue to blog as they begin their teaching careers and I hope that I can keep with my own blog, so I can continue to participate in the ongoing conversation. There’s so much to learn and to do, I love living vicariously through tweets and posts of other educators. I always come away from twitter and blogs with so many new ideas, I feel I could just burst.

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So, I just wanted to say a quick thank you to everyone for helping these few months become some of the most life changing, view shifting months of my college career. I don’t know where I’d be without you all and I hope you’ll stay with me as I keep learning and growing as an educator and human being.

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