As I reflect back on this semester, and even year, I am in amazement by how fast and SMOOTH it has gone overall. Please see my blog for the my full journey story here: https://karliewrites.blogspot.com
Last semester was not bad at all - even though I feared the travel would make it so. Though, by December I was definitely tired, it was so worth it. And while I am tired again now, I also know that I am renewed.
In my life, this year has brought on:
Many Decisions -
Do I go back to school?
Do I stay on part-time at work?
Do we buy a house?
Go to WVU and live at home? PSU and travel every week?
Much Stress -
How are we paying to remodel a house? - IN A MONTH
28 credits. I repeat - 28 college credits in one semester. I thought I was insane.
How am I possibly supposed to get everything done - each week
Was this the right decision?
And Much More Happiness -
Yes I went back to school at PSU.
Yes we bought and remodeled a house a month before I left in August.
Yes I successfully completed 28 credits last fall - with a minimum amount of stress.
Yes, everything gets done - one assignment at a time. And I was still in bed no later than midnight every night.
Yes, I completed student teaching and (proving my worst fear wrong) LOVE IT.
Absolutely, this was the right decision.
I am HAPPY.
I am not saying I wasn't happy before. I am a generally happy person, but this new career for me has proven again and again to feel right. I truly believe that God has placed me where I am and that he has carried me through the last year. I have had ups and downs for sure - but no sleepless nights. I taken the good with the bad.
I was given an excellent University Supervisor (they are all fantastic!), but Dr. Ewing was a great fit for me and has kept me grounded and is a helpful ear when I needed it. He is someone that has taken time to get to know me - and my crazy obsessive compulsiveness with things - and I know that I can call with any questions throughout my career.
And I was placed with the amazing Jodie Hoover at Fort Cherry high school, who is a saint that I will swear was sent to guide me this year. She does not take and "crap" and will just tell you how it is - which is what I like and needed. Someone who could tell me, "that sucked' and we could work through and make it better. Someone who understood that I wasn't going to teach just like them, but instead of changing my teaching methods, strives to make me better at how I teach. Someone who was not afraid to learn from me too. Someone who was not afraid to equally learn from me, the way I learned from them, when the opportunity arose. A mentor that treats me like an adult and who I have no doubts I can call in the future if I need anything at all - including figuring out how to make me a better teacher in the years to come.
I have learned that great teaching comes from experience, the ability to learn from your mentors - ALL of them!, the ability to listen to what your students are telling you, and be willing to adapt at every turn and bend in the road -- and that the road to great teaching will be long, and a winding road for the next 20 years. Know that - even when this journey seems impossible - that it is possible. One assignment at a time. I can honestly say, that I don't think I did anything that was a "waste" of my time. While some assignments seem so at the time, one of two things come from it - 1. Wow, that was great! I am going to continue this throughout my career. OR 2. Eh, I think that I will have to pass on that have I am done with school.
There will be good and bad days while you are student teaching - in the bad moments, remember that tomorrow is another day and learn from it just as you would expect your students to learn from their mistakes. Do not be afraid to ask questions or ask for help. - There is always someone willing to help.
While I do not yet know what the future holds, I am sure that God has a plan and I know that it will be great, whatever it is!