PAUSING TO PONDER

In the beginning…

One of my favorite teachers in high school once told me that she was going to teach until they “drag my dead body out of the building.” In 2009, just as everyone in my life was trying to discourage me from pursuing a career as a teacher, I thought that her sentiment was beautiful. I too wanted to be a classroom teacher and couldn’t imagine myself in any other position. So, when I applied to the Master of Arts in Education (MAED) program at Michigan State University, I went in with the idea that it was to improve my classroom teaching. 

image from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Michigan_State_University

If that was my goal, why didn’t I apply for a Master of Arts in Teaching and Curriculum? Well, my philosophy in life is to understand the big picture whenever possible. The MAED program offered an opportunity to take a peek under the hood of educational organizations and I took it. 

What to study…

I chose the P-12 School and Postsecondary Leadership and Literacy Education concentrations because I thought that being a literacy specialist might be an interesting twist on being a classroom teacher and I was interested in what leaders in education were learning.

However, I found that the courses I’ve taken have provided me the tools I am able to use in a variety of contexts. It has given me the confidence and flexibility to teach a wide range of subjects and students. 

The Present is a Gift…

As I prepare myself to graduate with my Master of Arts in Education, I am looking forward to the future. Just as I felt when I began this postgraduate journey, I would love to continue being a classroom teacher working directly with students; however, I am now entertaining the idea of eventually becoming an instructional coach. 

I became a teacher because I love sharing knowledge and pulling exemplary work out of others. That has always been applicable to students, but now I feel like I am holding a secret with so much potential energy, it’s painful to keep it in. My colleagues have gotten used to the fact that when I get “the look” on my face, I am about to tell them about another gem I’ve uncovered. My heart sings when another teacher uses something I suggested and they tell me how well it worked in the classroom. At this time, I don’t think I’m ready to leave the classroom, but I am in favor of adding opportunities to share my ideas with other teachers.  

Looking into the future…

In a world full of possibilities and choices, one thing is certain; I will continue to pursue knowledge wherever I can. I don’t know what I don’t know and I plan to learn as much as I can from both traditional and nontraditional sources. I want to travel to education conferences, read books, listen to podcasts, watch YouTube videos, talk with teachers from as many diverse backgrounds as possible, and synthesize the information to improve my practice. 

The best way to learn? With a cup of hot tea and a book.


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