Thursday, December 5, 2013

Just put one foot in front of the other

     This week I started my observation hours.  Getting my degree from UoP means that some requirements are just for Florida, and some are straight up university requirements.  And this week I learned that the 100 required hours is just for UoP students - not required by the state.  But that's ok.  I wanted lots of field experience.  It's why I went for the MA and did not go the alternative route. 
     I observed at a local high school, not far from my house.  I can observe any K-12 class, but I'm hoping to be able to do all of it in a high school setting since that is what I will be getting my master's degree in.  The teacher that allowed me to observe was really nice and funny.  A really great teacher.  Her classroom management style is almost effortless.  But I'm guessing that it is absolutely not. Especially in one class that is very.... rowdy. 
    She sat and talked to me about the school.  It has a high population of free/reduced lunch, and a lot of the kids come from...a disadvantaged background.  She told me that some of their backgrounds would just break your heart and it is a difficult balance between being compassionate and being taken for a sucker.  Because some of the kids would milk your sympathy for everything they can get. 
     I'm even more excited to start teaching after doing just 8 hours of observing.  I don't really know what it was about that setting that got me fired up, but it did.  I think that deep down everyone wants to be a good student and get that feeling of accomplishment when they get a good grade.  Knowing that their hard work has paid off.  And I think that's because way back when, I was one of those kids.  My backstory isn't horrific or horrendous, but it sure wasn't all that easy at times.  My mom and dad did the best they could, but sometimes life sucks.  And even though I was sitting there mouthing off to the teacher and giving student teachers absolute hell, I wanted the good grade. 
     And that's enough maudlin talk for one night!  Kids are in bed, house is picked up, and homework can wait.  It's Thursday night and that means Grey's and a glass of wine!

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Nitty Gritty of it all

Today I started the first really real class of my MA.  The other first class was an orientation, and thank God for it!  There are so many resources available through the UoP College of Education it's redonk!
I called the high school here in Rockledge about starting my observation hours, and I'm waiting to hear back from the assistant principal.  If I don't hear anything by the end of the day tomorrow I'm going to call the Viera high school (which is only 5 minutes from my house). 
Our first assignment for this class is reviewing an article about the common core state standard initiative.  Which is a good thing because I've realized that I have no clue how those standards will impact my career.  I know how they affect my second grader, but not how they will affect me.  From what I've seen so far they don't seem so bad, but we'll see if that opinion changes once I'm more familiar with how they affect the classroom.
Tommy and I are still doing karate, and he still really likes it.  Which is good because I do too! We were going all three days it's offered at the Viera Community Center, but there's a bible study at the church on one of those days that I'd really like to check out. 
Now, I've had the Microsoft Surface Pro for about a month now and I must say I really like it.  I've wanted a tablet for a couple years now, but it always seemed like a superfluous item to have since I had a laptop and a smartphone.  What I really wanted was something that combined the laptop and tablet and the Surface Pro seems to be doing that.  I know a lot of people had an issue with how small the app store is, but it doesn't really bother me.  I have a Note II so I have a mobile device for all the apps I use.  I'm using the touch keyboard for it and while I'm not loving it as much, it gets the job done.  Thinking about saving up for the type one. 

Monday, November 11, 2013

Tomorrow, tomorrow, I love ya

Tomorrow starts the last leg of a VERY long trip... Tomorrow is the day I start my master's program.  I am going for a MA in secondary education.  That's right, I'm going to be a high school teacher!  I am sooooo unbelievably excited to finally start this.  It's been a long, arduous journey filled with obstacles along the way.  But it's finally here!
We've been in our home for about 4 months now.  And we still have so much to do.  We are about 85% unpacked.  The other 15% is just odds and ends and will most likely end up in the trash since if we haven't needed in 4 months.... 
Hector Thomas is settling in at his new school.  There have been a number of growing pains.  I'm sure some of it is just part of getting into a new school yet again.  But some of it is the fact that Orlando dismissed his IEP completely.  Now we are starting from scratch and I hope that it will be a smooth process.  Albeit one where I ask repeatedly how it is going.  Finally got approved to volunteer in the school.  One part of me is impressed that they do such a thorough job of vetting volunteers.  The other part of me wonders why it takes over 8 weeks for the process here in Brevard when it took less than 24 hours in Orlando.
Bella is LOVING preschool.  She goes twice a week for now since I'm not quite ready for her to go any more than that just yet.  Next August she'll be starting VPK, which will be 5 days a week.  The following January she'll start going full-time since that is when I'll start my student teaching. 
Hector is doing ok.  Still having some ups and downs, but it's still getting better.  He may have the opportunity to do something school-wise with the Wounded Warrior Project, so we're keeping our fingers crossed.
All in all it's been an eventful couple months, and it's only going to stay busy. But hey idle hands and minds and all that...