Thursday, June 9, 2011

Looking - again

Our school year ended early, which has given me time for all those things I didn't have time for before: an on-line statistics class, my last class at CGU - and our first trip back to Denmark in 7 years, which had to be squeezed in between 2 CGU Saturday sessions.

Even though I probably could have continued with a part-time position where I was, I decided that the commute was impossible. After all I'm teaching now instead of retiring. I want to enjoy teaching, not wasting all my time sitting in my car!

Because of the last position, I will be able to qualify in Math and Science. In fact I'm really looking for jobs in continuation high schools, or other alternative schools, where there is a better chance of working closely with the students. I have always felt my greatest triumphs as a teacher when a student has regained his/her curiosity about school. Some of those kids are in fact quite gifted, but got left out somewhere, and gave up.

One of my special tutoring students told me he did great in math until 8th grade, when he began running with the wrong crowd. Then he discovered he'd missed out on so much that he couldn't find his way. He was very disappointed that I wouldn't be returning, since he said that I was the only teacher who had figured out how to help him learn.

My science classes were the really exciting part of this past semester, since I had not taken the official science pedagogy courses at CGU - just summer extension courses at UC Riverside. It was fun figuring out how to present the standards material to the students so they enjoyed it and wanted to learn. I had a lot of help from fellow NSTA email list participants, who suggested books, experiments, provided PowerPoints, etc.

Right now I of course don't know what I'll be teaching in the Fall. It's hard to prepare for the unknown. But I continue to read and take courses, above and beyond CGU. I hope it will be a position with both math and science - and students who really need me to guide their learning!

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