• Musings

    The Musings of a Mid-Life Crisis Career Changer

    A couple years ago I decided that I was tired of sitting behind a desk, tired of collecting records and shuffling paper, and tired of being what I was. I think it’s common for people to hit the middle of their life and be unsatisfied or want more. They get new cars or new partners or change careers. I upended my world by deciding to change careers, get married to an Englishman, buy an electric car, and adopt a bluetick coonhound. Yep, closing in on 50, I feel a whole lot better! … And sleep-deprived. For my new career, I decided to follow my dream of teaching. Not just any…

  • From the Classroom,  Student Teaching

    When do we Go Home?

    It’s been nearly a month of in-person classes. The coronavirus is spreading through the communities. Schools are losing students and teachers to COVID. The students are good at keeping their masks on for the most part, but they eat and drink on campus. They take their masks off. As teachers, we take our masks off. The virus is airborne. It’s honestly only a matter of time before someone comes into contact with the virus with their mask off and becomes infected. There are spiking cases this week…almost right on time with several private guesses I’ve heard. I predicted schools would stay open into October…not because there were no cases but…

  • From the Classroom,  Student Teaching

    Two Weeks In

    Today I sit at the start my third week student teaching. Here is what I have learned about myself and others. First, I ADORE teaching! There are hard days, there are frustrating children, and there are some bitter, worn-out co-workers (not in my department, mind). However, this is truly the best job. Each day is new and each child is a unique glimpse in how the world works. In Special Education, some children work so hard and try so hard that it is inspiring. They struggle to make sense of what many “get” easily. However, because it is so hard, there are also children who have given up long ago.…

  • Student Teaching

    First Placement

    Life is an inevitable parade of trials, tests, and obstacles to overcome. They are simple and complex all rolled into one. I have my first student-teaching assignment finalized and ready to go Monday. A middle school resource room veteran teacher has agreed to let me join her class for 8 weeks. I start by just getting a feel for things then slowly take on more and more responsibility until I’m teaching the class myself, while she just sits and watches. I am terrified. I keep reading about all the things I’m supposed to do and I’m overwhelmed by all of that. Trying to think how I’m going to do all…

  • Student Teaching

    T-Minus Two Weeks

    It’s just over two weeks until I join the experiment that is opening schools with an out-of-control pandemic comfortably settled in the community. I do not think this is wise but I also feel like I have no choice in the matter. People I would NEVER follow into battle are using their coercive power to force me and countless other teachers and students into crowded classrooms. We will wear masks and wash hands and social distance as much as possible, but we will not be safe. My prediction: Back into lockdown by October. My goal: not dying. I don’t know how much learning on the job I’ll be doing with…

  • Musings

    Get Thee into a Classroom!

    It hit me the other day just how little regard our society has for teachers. Here we are in the midst of a pandemic and our political leaders are forcing everyone to go back to school. “Kid’s don’t get it [COVID-19],” “They don’t die from it,” and “All the other countries are doing it!” [insert tired child whining at the store here.] Oh, good. The children don’t get it. … But their families do and their teachers do. You know, the people that do die from it. I find myself with two options at this point: go into the classrooms with the rest of the teachers or sit out the…

  • Musings

    Coronavirus Lockdown

    As my time learning to be a teacher draws to a close, I find myself in an odd limbo. I am required to observe students and teachers in a real-world teaching situation in order to progress but all the schools are shuttered due to the once-in-a-lifetime pandemic. I have an enormous amount of free-time to work from home in my old career and continue mastering how to teach children for my new career but it seems more and more likely that I will not get to actually be in a classroom until next fall. (fingers crossed) In the meantime, I remind myself that I taught pre-school for nearly a decade…