College 101

10386364_10204131116014504_3416938176415967577_nAnother RSO I’ve had the opportunity to be part of the past two years is College 101. College 101 is a community service based registered student organization that allows CMU students to impact high school students across the state right here on CMU’s campus.

College 101 works with high school students who are at-risk of dropping out. We coordinate with multiple high schools each year and arrange for traditionally at-risk students to come to CMU for an entire Friday. During their visit, we teach these students all about higher education and how it is possible for each and every one of them to obtain. These students often come to us feeling that college is unattainable and over the course of the day we instill hope in them that higher education is always an option, whether that be a University, Community College, or a Technical Training school.

Throughout their day at CMU, we give them a campus tour, discuss opportunities and Screen Shot 2017-04-02 at 1.14.05 PMoptions available for them to attend post-secondary school. We also facilitate self-discovery activities with these students that help them learn more about who they are and what they want from their life. Additionally, we put on a “major fair” for these students and let them explore different majors and career opportunities that are available, followed by having them sit in on a real college-style lecture.

Being part of College 101 has been one of the most rewarding experiences of my college career. There is no better feeling than helping instill hope in these students that education doesn’t have to end for them after high school. If they have the desire to be successful and work hard, they have the opportunities to do so.

I am very grateful for the opportunity to be involved in College 101 over the past two years and I look forward to growing with this organization in the years to come.

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SMEA

Screen Shot 2017-04-02 at 12.40.46 PMSince Spring Semester of my freshman year of college, I have been involved in an RSO on campus called Student Michigan Education Association. SMEA is a registered student organization for future educators to gain professional development opportunities, networking, and acquire valuable resources before going into the education field.

One of my favorite parts of being part of SMEA is the weekly speakers. At each meeting, we invite a different speaker, usually a CMU faculty member or someone in the education field, to speak about a specific topic revolving around teaching. These speakers often discuss topics that are not talked about in depth in our courses here at school and have helped greatly expand my knowledge about the world of education.

Additionally, this organization has allowed me to network with other future educators Screen Shot 2017-04-02 at 12.41.36 PMwho have become close friends and has allowed me to give back to the community through events such as Relay for Life and our Outreach to Teach Community Service Project.

I’m very grateful to be part of an organization that helps me grow both professionally and personally.

PHL 118L

519BFCtEjqL._SX397_BO1,204,203,200_.jpgAs part of the protocol for the Leader Advancement Scholarship, my classmates and I had the opportunity to take Philosophy 118L: Moral Problems during the Fall 2016 semester.

Every Tuesday and Thursday, my classmates and I met bright and early at 8 am to discuss exactly that, moral problems within society. However, we didn’t debate these topics, but rather we discussed these issues from a moral standpoint, talking about what justified whether something was morally right or wrong. We discussed everything from abortion to capital punishment to wealth distribution and everything in between.

I really enjoyed the course as it opened my eyes to many viewpoints on controversial subjects. I often would go into the class thinking I had a certain view about a topic, but by the time class was over, my viewpoint had completely changed because I never thought about an issue in that way. The course made me realize that there is no “right” or “wrong” viewpoint on any given subject. Rather, it is the moral views that you hold as an individual that shape your beliefs.

As I student studying leadership, I found this course to be very applicable in almost every aspect of life. Throughout my entire life, I will meet people with different views, values, and beliefs. Though someone may hold different opinions than I do, it is important to be able to gain an understanding of the other views that people hold and why they hold them as it can help you understand and get to know that person on a deeper level.

Overall, I found this course to be very valuable as a student leader, in my future career field, and as a human being.

PSC 105

pscThis past summer, I had the opportunity to take an introductory course in United States Government. As part of my Leader Advancement Scholarship Protocol, we have the choice to take PSC 105 or a sociology course. Since I had already taken a few sociology classes in high school, I decided to challenge myself by taking the government and politics course.

However, unlike many of my classmates, I enrolled in the course over the summer rather than during the school year. Since the Teacher Education Program is very long and intensive, I didn’t have room for it during this spring when my classmates would have normally taken it. Instead, I took it in an 8-week online format at the community college at home.

Throughout the 8 week course, we discussed every aspect of government and politics. From investigating every branch to learning about political parties, and governments around the world, we touched on ideas and concepts I had not known of prior to this course. Additionally, I really appreciated how my instructor didn’t hide the flaws and issues that are taking place in our government but rather used them as discussion points for our course.

After taking this course, I feel more well-rounded as both a United States Citizen and a student studying leadership in general. It is so important to educate ourselves on actions taking place within our government and to be an active citizen. Also, this course taught me a great deal about the many leadership positions held within the government and how each of these leaders make decisions that greatly impact our everyday lives.

Overall, I really enjoyed this course and greatly enjoyed learning more about our nation’s government and politics.

HST 110L WI: The American Experience

Screen Shot 2016-03-22 at 3.17.56 PM.pngBefore going into HST 110L WI, I heard many different opinions from upperclassmen about this course:

“Get ready to read 200 pages a week”
“She doesn’t like to give “A’s” very often so if you care about your GPA, Take it credit/no credit”
“Good luck..”

After hearing these comments, I was a little scared for this course.

Over the past 10 weeks, I’ve come to realize HST 110L WI has been one of the most challenging courses I’ve had to take this far. With 150+ pages of reading a week, multiple choice exams every other week, 5-8 page papers, and essay exams, let’s just say I became a frequent Starbucks customer.

Though this course has certainly been challenging, I have enjoyed getting to learn more about leadership in the government over the past couple hundred years. It has been intriguing to learn about renown leaders such as George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, and Teddy Roosevelt and how each of their leadership styles created different changes that affected America forever.

Though there are still 6 weeks left in HST 110L WI, I’m hoping that I will be able to further my understanding of influential leaders in American history.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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.

Dreams do Come True: Observation Hours @ HHS Part 2

It was a blessing spending an entire school day observing one of my favorite high Screen Shot 2015-10-24 at 2.08.51 PMschool teachers. In high school, Mrs. Street was my World History teacher, Economics teacher, and my Student Leadership/Student Council Advisor. As one of her students, Mrs. Street was always someone I thought was a phenomenal teacher. After my day of observation, I’ve learned that what makes her such an incredible educator is her genuine care for her students, her interactive, meaningful lessons, and her inviting, warm, and welcoming classroom culture.

During my day at Holly High School, I observed two classes of 11th grade Economics and two classes of 9th-12th grade Student Leadership. Although I graduated from Holly High School and have already completed a full day of observation there, I did notice some new differences in the students. Observing predominantly upperclassmen students was very different than observing freshmen. These more mature upperclassmen almost found it hard to stay on task and complete the assigned task because they “simply didn’t want to” whereas when I observed freshmen, they just seemed to be confused about the expectations of them, still trying to adapt to high school level courses. Additionally, it was the day of HHS’ Annual Pink Football Game and the students were very lively, especially the leadership students who planned the event, and were excited to get through the day and experience the Pink Game Pep Assembly and the football game later on that night.

HHS Administrators, Mrs. Street, a few leaderships students and I after the Pink Game Pep assembly!

HHS Administrators, Mrs. Street, a few leaderships students and I after the Pink Game Pep assembly!

One aspect that makes Mrs. Street such a phenomenal educator is her adaptability to different learning styles and her ability to engage students. In economics, Mrs. Street utilized independent work time, turn and talk to a partner, and class discussion to ensure she was meeting the needs of all her students. In leadership class, the instruction was completely individual work time so students were able to complete various tasks such as spirit day counting, selling t-shirts, and painting posters. The hands-off teaching in leadership allows students to take control of their learning and leadership experience while Mrs. Street is there to support her students and help when necessary.

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Mrs. Street’s Pinterest-y classroom

If you look up a picture of the perfect classroom, a photo of Mrs. Street’s classroom would most likely appear. Her classroom is one of the warmest, inviting, welcoming classrooms I’ve ever been in. I really loved how all the inspirational quotes and decorations made students feel so at home in her room. Additionally, although you’d expect a classroom with many decorations and even four large comfy chairs to feel cluttered, there was plenty of space to move around and the classroom did not even give off a cluttered vibe. As I saw students become so at home in her room when they entered, I came to the realization that I want to decorate my classroom so it has a warm, welcoming climate where students feel at peace.

My day of observation at Holly High School was a true learning experience. I discovered the difference between freshmen students and upperclassmen students within the classroom and the effect that a large event, such as the Pink Game, can have on students’ learning throughout the day. Additionally, I was reminded that it is essential for students to have lessons that encompass all learning styles and is both relevant and meaningful to them. Also, Mrs. Street’s picture-perfect classroom gave me ideas to make my future classroom as homey and welcoming as hers. I’m grateful for all the lessons I learned throughout my experience observing Mrs. Street and I’m excited to translate these learning experiences into my career as an educator.