However, things just seems to crumble from that point on. My grandparents (who are very close to us) are 89 and 87 and over Thanksgiving, I noticed how different they had become. Just last year, very activity and energetic driving up to see us and our kids, now finding it hard to leave their house. While my other grandmother, lives alone and two hours away. I noticed time was passing and I was unsure of my place in the future and my purpose. I looked at my own life, running every night to get my three kids to and from their events, trying to find quality time to be with them, my wife and friends. Trying to find new and exciting ways to engage students in learning. It was all overwhelming to me, for the first time in my life, I was lost. I was done. It was time to give up. I was taking the easy road. I was ready to give it all up and turn inward. I was really done.
Then, reluctantly I read the final reflections of my "last" grad class. I pulled up this one (shared with permission and cut down).
what am I teaching kids?
in the end, what will they remember?
tech is a tool, what I do with the kids and what I allow them to do is what makes a difference....
who am I to the kids?
am I inspiring?
every day I need to be different, changing, hopefully being better
do I want to give kids what I got? or better than I got? (when I was a student)
am I making a difference?
These are questions and comments that my instructor Garth presented on the last night of class. I have to admit that as I drove away from school that last night of class I was a bit saddened. Did I enjoy having a Friday night class? Not necessarily; however, it was more than the content of the class. In five years of university level classes, I was leaving the second instructor that I can say genuinely inspired me in my field of teaching. My mind was further stretched in the concept of learning vs earning a grade. This thought was opened to me last year and I am grappling with it. Is it possible to get an A and still learn? I know for certain that it is possible to get an A and learn nothing. Been there, done that. So why is the education system so intent upon A's? Good question, but I'm not going there in this blog. We'll save that for later. For now, I would like to honor Garth. A straightforward man that was not teaching us because he wanted us to like him. He knew he was pushing some of us beyond our comfort zone. He also was available to take the questions and frustrations. Thanks Garth for being honest- for being real- for not mincing words- for having a heart that actually cares about students and their learning.
So, have I been impacted in the realm of technology? Yes. You may wonder why I am typing when this is all about using technology. Good question. I tend to get my heart out a bit better when writing so I'm going to give this a whirl with text first. I struggled through this course with the idea that technology is the only way to keep students engaged. I am a 36 year old woman. I graduated in 1995 before the internet was part of normal life. I used a computer rarely at school because we didn't have them. I know we are in a different age; however, it is not my age and I can't see things necessarily as persons growing up today would. I am trying. Believe me. Trying. I like seeing technology used. I like hearing how Garth uses technology in his classroom. At the same time it is hard for me to wrap it around in my brain as to how that actually happens. I haven't been in a classroom for awhile. I honestly don't know what to expect when I'm teaching. It can be overwhelming to think that I am in charge of 18-30 students that all have very different learning needs and that each of their parents and the Ohio Education System believe that I need to be the one that makes their learning happen. Do you want some more truth? I love kids. I believe in kids. I believe they have worth and value. My struggle is with implementing education into loving on the students that I am blessed with in my classroom......
This is only the beginning! Watch out world!
It saved me. It showed me that I have a passion that is deep inside me and will not stop. It is me and people can see it and learn from it. This is my purpose and I must carry on. Thank you, Jenny!!!
To see her whole blog click.