Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Long Time No Study

I have just completed my first evening of studying for the Generalist EC-6 test. There are a few problems with that statement. First of all, the test is on January 23rd. I wish that I had started studying days ago. But I had to get through the holidays and then get back into the swing of things and then find study guides... so there you go. I'm cramming. Yuck. Second of all, let's zero in on the "EC-6" part. Early Childhood through 6th grade. Last year (and all of the years previously) it was EC-4. It changed this year. All of the study guides are for EC-4. That's helpful.

If I could choose any position, I would want to teach middle school art. I LOVED my middle school art classes and I think that I would enjoy teaching art IMMENSELY. Not to mention, it's what I am trained in, so I feel that it is the subject I am most qualified to teach. But when I decided that I needed to be certified in another area, because art jobs are few and far between, I chose Early Childhood thinking that I would love to be with little kids. Umm... now that I start to study and observe classrooms and get a better picture of what that means, I'm thinking I'd rather be with 4th or 5th grade. I'm reading all of these development concepts, and while some of them are mostly common sense, others are loaded up with words that I had to get a dictionary out to even know what they were saying. I'm totally serious... I am sitting next to a dictionary!

I honestly believe that I could be a good teacher. It will take a lot of hard work, but it is possible for me to be the kind of teacher I want to be. To be a Ms. Cray (my fourth grade teacher who ASTOUNDED me with her ability to motivate us) or a Mrs. Allibon (my middle school choir teacher who made her class desirable in every way imaginable) or a Mrs. Gooding (who made the world of art accessible in ways that I didn't realize existed). But it will be harder for me because I am not classically trained, like they were. I am going through an alternative certification program. Do I wish that I had majored in Art Ed instead of Graphic Design like my work study boss told me dozens of times that I should? No. I really don't. For two reasons. (What's with my speaking in lists tonight?) First of all, I am thankful for the skills that I have developed as a graphic designer over the past ten years. I know that God had that path chosen for me for a reason. And secondly, now I KNOW I want to be a teacher. I didn't make the decision when I was young and everyone was telling me that is what I should do. I made the decision after trying something else and realizing that teaching isn't the give-up choice for me, it's the right choice.

But it sure would be nice to have four years of education classes under my belt before I start teaching. I'm reading about these concepts that are foreign to me and I would love to sit and study them. But I'm not a student anymore. I have responsibilities and expenses, and going back to school for an entirely new degree, is not an option for me right now. The speaker (who I have to say one more time, was AWESOME) on Saturday said that AC programs exist because the goal of teachers is to help students, and we want to do that NOW! Not in four years. Now. Even if I did sit through all of those classes, I wouldn't know everything there is to know.

So anyway. If you are wondering where I am for the next several weeks, I'm studying. With my dictionary. But I will post when I can! I have to empty the overflow in my brain now and then, or I will go completely crazy! Teachers, feel free to send your advice my way! Marie, Jennifer and Krista, I'm talkin' to you!

1 comment:

Marie said...

Advice?? You don't need advice.. You are doing just fine. Really. Don't let the teacher talk bum you out. If ya want, we can Skype and I'll talk to you like a teacher for a while so you can see how it just rolls off the tongue. Kind of like French, but without sounding sexual at all. "Document for differentiation." See, nothing naughty there at all. Well, I guess anything can sound naughty if you say it in a French accent.. but I digress..

Advice? Study. Assume there are no discipline problems. every case study assumes there are no other children to be taken care of. Go with a Technology answer if it's offered. Learn the process of language acquisition. And trust your gut instinct. :)