EDU 107 Reflection

Screen Shot 2015-12-08 at 1.16.13 PMMelinda Pellerin-Duck once said that “I couldn’t see myself doing anything else but teaching; it is my vocation. It is part of my life, my soul, and my heart.” Going into my first semester as an undergraduate student, I was beyond ecstatic to be taking my first education class. For as long as I can remember, I’ve wanted to become a teacher. Once I stepped into EDU 107, I felt like my dream of becoming an educator was actually becoming a reality. Introduction to Teaching has furthered my perception of teachers’ roles both inside and outside of the classroom, helped me view myself and others with a more open mindset, demonstrated how to create a welcoming classroom environment, and reinstilled my love and passion for teaching.

While I have had previous experience working in a middle school classroom as a teacher aide, I’m grateful that EDU 107 has continued to further my perceptions about teaching. One of the most beneficial aspects of this course was that it made me start to think from an educator’s point of view. The more we listened to speakers, talked about different aspects of being a teacher, and actually did field observations, the more I could really see myself having my own classroom. I found this to be especially when I was back at my high school doing my observation hours with one of my favorite teachers. Everything about being in a classroom helping students, grading papers, and facilitating discussion felt so right. It was through these experiences during Introduction to Teaching that helped me start to really think like a teacher.

Additionally, EDU 107 has allowed me to view myself and others with a more open mindset. We spent a significant amount of time in this course discussing student diversity and inclusion. I am an advocate for promoting diversity and I feel that this course has furthered my understanding of diversity really means. Contrary to popular belief, diversity isn’t just about skin color. Diversity is about every person we come in contact with having a different background, different beliefs, and different perspectives. During class, we did an activity that really helped me redefine diversity; we had to answer a few questions about ourselves, our background and then share our answers with others. Although our class is not very racially diverse, we all differed within the answers to our questions. EDU 107 has truly helped me broaden what diversity means.

Walking into Introduction to Teaching every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday was a breath of fresh air. I absolutely loved coming to this class because teaching is something that I’m very passionate about, but I also really loved the classroom environment. Unlike most college classes, the atmosphere in this room was always warm, welcoming, and friendly. I think that part of what created this warm environment was the interactive component of the course. If this course was set up in lecture format, the environment would’ve been more formal and professional. However, since the content was very hands-on and interactive, I felt that it created an environment where students felt comfortable to share their experiences and collaborate with other students. In my future classroom, I will definitely arrange the furniture so students can sit in groups because I feel that groups allow for discussion and collaboration that traditional rows do not.

Even though EDU 107 has come to a close, my heart is still set on becoming a teacher. I know in my heart that being in front of a classroom of students and helping them succeed, both academically and personally, is my purpose. My teachers have been some of the most inspirational and influential people in my life; they have challenged me, changed me, and empowered me to be the best me I can possibly be. I want to be that person for my students. Education is one of the most powerful tools in the world and I want to make learning fun. I want to help my students to enjoy learning and help them understand the immense value and purpose that education serves in our society.

After much pondering and doing field experience in both middle and high school level classrooms, I have decided to pursue a Secondary Level Certification from the state of Michigan. I believe that being a high school teacher is really the place for me to be. As a high school student, my teachers did an exemplary job developing meaningful relationships with me and showing me that there is more to learning than simply taking a test. My characteristics of being empathetic, kind, compassionate, and dedicated would allow me to fulfill the role of being an excellent high school level educator. Becoming a high school teacher would allow me to develop my own relationships with students and help them find value in learning as well. One area that I plan to further develop myself to becoming a phenomenal high school educator is finding how to motivate students who simply don’t value their education. I plan to develop myself in this area by gaining experience working directly with these types of students during my field experiences and find out what motivates them.

EDU 107 has been a very rewarding, eye-opening, and intriguing course. Throughout this class, I was able to gain new perspectives about teaching, broaden my definition of diversity, and gain insight on my future teaching style and objectives. Through this course, I have reconfirmed that teaching my passion, love, and purpose. The meaningful discussions, readings, and experiences have truly impacted me as a future educator and I know that I will carry the content learned in this course throughout my journey to becoming an educator.

Worn Out Leaders: Getting Yourself out of a Leadership Rut

1089a5d31ecd9cf300ffa77f4059d6d2During the Connections Conference, I had the opportunity to attend a session presented by Suzy Herman about Leadership and being worn out. I was very excited to attend this session because as a college student nearing the end of my first semester, I was getting a little worn out.

What the ordinary person doesn’t realize is that leadership isn’t just a switch that can be turned on and off. Student leaders, like myself and members of my LAS Cohort, are being leaders twenty-four hours, seven days a week. We’re full-time students, involved in multiple organizations, have leadership roles, have jobs, have a social life, and we’re trying to balance all of that at one time. We’re also devoted to helping others in any way that we possibly can, even if it means sacrificing something from ourselves. At times, being a student leader can be pretty overwhelming.

Suzy Herman’s session was a breath of fresh air; it was everything I really needed to hear. During the session, we identified personal signs we are worn out (like binge-watching a season of Grey’s Anatomy on Netflix when you have two five page papers and a presentation due tomorrow). It was very comforting hearing other students share their experiences with being overwhelmed trying to balance being a leader with everything else. I was happy to hear that I wasn’t alone. It was also very beneficial to discuss various strategies of how to get out of a leadership rut.

If you’re reading this and you are feeling stressed, worn out, or overwhelmed, remember this:

Take each day, one at a time. It seems simple and cheesy enough to be put on one of those generic classroom posters, but it works. Trying to accomplish everything at once is unrealistic and will make you want to crawl back into bed and eat a large chocolate bar. The solution usually boils down to one or both of these: either do something or stop doing everything.

This session reminded me that it is essential as a student leader, even during finals week, to take a little time every day to renew myself and rejuvenate.

 

Fred Factor Reflection

41R6kggnMZLAs part of my LDR 100, Introduction to Leadership class, we were asked to do a project on Mark Sanborn’s book, The Fred FactorThe Fred Factor is a story about Sanborn’s mailman, Fred, who consistently goes above and beyond doing his job. Sanborn was so impressed by Fred that he decided to write a book called The Fred Factor to help ordinary people live a life with as much enthusiasm, love, and passion as Fred.

For our Fred Factor Project, we were split up into groups and our assignment was to “Be like Fred”. While many groups in my cohort decided to target their projects towards bringing positivity and happiness to random strangers, my group took a different approach.

During one of our many group meetings, we came to realize that we are all blessed with so many wonderful people in our life, whether that be family members, friends, roommates, LAS family, teachers, etc. We also came to realize that we don’t appreciate these people in our life as much as we should.

As a result, my Fred Factor Group decided to write little notes of appreciation, also known as warm fuzzies, to our entire LAS cohort. We arrived a half hour early to class one day and left each of our classmates an appreciative note to open once they got to class.

By showing our gratitude for people we care about and mean the world to us, we demonstrated the four principles of being a Fred: Everyone makes a difference; Success is built on relationships; You must continually create value for others and it doesn’t have to cost a penny; and you can reinvent yourself regularly.

COM 267L Reflection

41ZYgbWZIbL._SX350_BO1,204,203,200_After finding out that COM 267L, Introduction to Debate, was one of our LAS Protocol classes, I was looking forward to it. I hadn’t had any prior debate experience, and I was excited to both gain debate experience and further develop my argumentation skills.

Introduction to Debate really helped me understand how arguments are formed, their purpose in everyday life, and how to spot faulty arguments. While debating against my fellow LAS classmates definitely put me outside my comfort zone, I actually found the experience to be quite enjoyable.

Although Introduction to Debate has come to a close, I know that the information I’ve learned will stick with me. COM 267L continues to remind me to critically think about arguments made in my everyday life.

PSY 100L Reflection

51UCfA0vclL._SX412_BO1,204,203,200_As soon as I found out Introduction to Psychology was part of our LAS Protocol, I couldn’t wait for the class to start. I took two years of Psychology in high school and was really intrigued by learning abouthuman behavior. I was excited to further my knowlede about why people act the way they do, especially with my LAS cohort learning beside me.

My favorite aspect of this course was the relationship to leadership. Although I have had prior knowledge in psychology, this course challenged me to contemplate why leaders act the way they do in various situations.

Although PSY 100L has come to an end, the knowledge that I acquired about Psychology and it’s correlation to leadership will stay with me in the future.