Category Archives: Education

Adding to the classroom library

I hit the mother lode!

Every few months I go around to local thrift stores looking for books for my classroom library. While I still am an “unemployed teacher,” I am confident that I will find a job for the upcoming school year. I want to make sure that my classroom library is filled with a diverse range of books for my students to read. On a whim, I decided to go shopping today for used books and I struck gold. I went to three different stores in my area and spent less than $30. I consider today my most lucrative book shopping trip to date. The first two books are just fun books that kids love looking at.

Here is what I bought:

  • Scholastic Atlas of the World

  • Guinness World Records 2004

  • Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, J.K. Rowling
  • Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, J.K. Rowling
  • The Hobbit, J.R.R. Tolkien
  • The Fellowship of the Ring, J.R.R. Tolkien
  • The Two Towers, J.R.R. Tolkien
  • The Return of the King, J.R.R. Tolkien
  • The Diary of a Young Girl, Anne Frank
  • The Giver, Lois Lowry
  • Angels and Demons, Dan Brown
  • White Fang, Jack London
  • Esperanza Rising, Pam Munoz Ryan
  • The Perks of Being a Wallflower, Stephen Chbosky
  • Not Anything, Carmen Rodrigues
  • Someone like You, Sarah Dessen
  • The Boxcar Children #6
  • Lord of the Flies, William Golding
  • The Silver Chair, C.S. Lewis
  • The Horse and His Boy, C.S. Lewis
  • The Magician’s Nephew, C.S. Lewis
  • The Last Battle, C.S. Lewis

The Entire Box Set of the Chronicles of Narnia

And 15 various Goosebumps Books!

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My credential was issued!

I woke up this morning and checked my email. I recieved a notification from the California Comission on Techer Credentialing (CTC) and the issued me a California Single Subject Teaching Credential. WHOOOOO! I’m excited.

I may just go for it

I set up a meeting for next week to talk with my Master’s advisor. It is possible that I cam complete my last class and my thesis/graduate seminar this Summer. I am still evaluating my options, but I am considering to just go all in and finish it sooner than anticipated. Hmmm. Decisions. Decisions.

Almost done!

Due to the fact that I am not able to run right now, my blog is tramsforming into more of just a blog about me and my life. Today, I signed up for my American Red Cross heartsaver CPR class. This is my final requirement for my California Single Subject Teaching Credential. I will take this class in May. In addition to this one day course, I only have 3 more weeks of student teaching and then I can apply for my preliminary teaching credential.

Earlier today I was looking through all of my courses and requirements I’ve completed since I decided to go back to school to become a teacher; I was pretty impressed. I started school January 2009 and now I am almost done. This is one of the best decisions I’ve made my entire life. Honestly, I do not even know why I did not consider teaching in the first place! I love writing and literature, and everyday I am reminded of how much of an impact I can make on my students.

Since I went back to school, I’ve completed the following:
CLASSES
Level 1 computers for Educators
Health Education/Drug Prevention/STDs course
EDUC 460: Diversity, Interaction, and the Learning Process
EDUC 470: Theories and Methods of Education for Linguistically Diverse Students
EDUC 466: Introduction to the Teaching of Reading for Single Subject candidates
EDUC 472: Teaching Strategies
EDUC 476: Teaching in the Content Areas
EDUC 468: Introductory Student Teaching
SPED 457: Introduction to Exceptional Individuals and Their Families
EDUC 478: Advanced Student Teaching  *currently in progress
EDUC 501: Educational Assessment
EDUC 503: Educational Psychology     *currently in progress

TPAs
TPA 1: Subject Specific Pedagogy
TPA 2: Designing Instruction
TPA 3: Assessing Learning
TPA 4: Culminating Teacher Experience

TESTS
CBEST
CSET

WOW! That is a lot! Come May, that is 41 post-grad/grad level credits! I certainly have been busy these past 16 months! I only have one more class and my thesis and I will have my Master’s in Education! That will be an additional 47 credits since college …..and then I can accumulate even more while going through BTSA!

Student Teaching is ALMOST over

I have four weeks of student teaching left. I can’t wait for it to be over because then I can apply for my California teaching Credential! Yay! Student teaching is going well and I am excited about the lessons I am teaching in the next few weeks. I am continuing my persuasive essay writing unit with the juniors, and I am starting a unit on the play Cyrano de Bergerac with my sophomores. I just read this play for the first time and I LOVED it! Well, except for the ending.

My knee is doing better. I am able to walk without crutches now, but I still can’t straighten my leg. I am enjoying my newly acquired mobility, but I know it will be short lived. Surgery will most likely be on May 18th and after that I won’t be moving around much. I’ve also been working on keeping my cardio fitness up and keeping my leg muscles strong. The stronger they are going into surgery, the easier recovery will be. I even bought some leg weights so I could do some exercises at home. I bought adjustable 5lb ankle weights.

Finally, as weird as this sounds, Zac and I are beginning to plan a vacation for the fall that we hope we will not be able to take. We want to travel a bit before we move on to the next phase of our life and we are thinking that this fall may be a great time. Even though the timing might be perfect, we are hoping it won’t. If Zac is in a fire academy, or if I beat the odds and land myself a full time teaching position in Southern California’s horrible economy, we will not be able to go…and that is what we are hoping for. But, if things do not work out career wise, we plan on fully taking advantage of his vacation time and my time off by planning a nice, long vacation to Italy!
We want to go to Rome for a few days, visit his friend in Reggio Emilia, and visit Lake Como, Milan, and possibly Naples and/or Genoa. Over the past week I have shopped around for Hotels and flights and I have found quite a few details. We just can’t plan right now because we aren’t sure if he will be in a Fire Academy, or if I will have a teaching job. If we can’t go this fall, we are hoping either next fall or summer we will go.

The Glass Castle, by Jeannette Walls

This semester I am enrolled in Educational Psychology, which is a requirement for my Master’s Degree in Education. One of the required texts for this course is The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls.
The Glass Castle is a memoir of Walls’ turbulent, deprived, poverty-stricken, and nomadic childhood. At times this book was difficult to get through because of the unfathomable circumstances Walls and her three siblings had to endure, but her childhood perspective of the events unfolding around her kept me glued to the pages. Her father’s addiction to alchohol and her mother’s blatant dislike of motherhood broke my heart page after page. While reading this book, it was easy to pass judgement on her parents, however this story is told through the eyes of a child and Wall’s love for her family is very strong. As a child, she seemed to not pass judgement on her living situation or on her parents because things simply were the way they were.
I recommend this book to all educators, future educators, and anyone who likes learning about people. Her incredible story further exposed me to how many young children live in our nation.

I want to combine running and education together for my thesis

For my Master’s thesis, I want to combine two of my passions together: running and education. Here in L.A. County, there is a program called Students Run L.A. This program is targeted toward at-risk youth and essentially they are challenged to complete one of the ultimate endurance challenges -to run a full marathon. This non-profit organization supplies the youth participants with gear, running coaches, mentors, and a stable factor in their otherwise unstable lives. Once I get my credential, I would love to be a part of this program because I believe it brings nothing but positives to these students. Most of the students who participate not only complete the Los Angeles Marathon, but they also graduate High School and learn that they can accomplish anything they put their minds to.

Essentially, I am tailoring my thesis down to this, at-risk high school students who participate in exercise and team related programs and activities, such as the SRLA program, have a better chance of graduating High School than their peers who do not have this type of outlet in their lives. Some of my main points to support this claim will be that (1) students learn that they can set and achieve any goal they work toward, (2) exercise related activities, such as SRLA, take at-risk students off of the streets and places them with positive role models on a consistent basis, (3) physiology explains that exercise helps reduce stress and tension, which helps the at-risk youth in all aspects of life, including academics, (4) students gain a sense of accomplishment upon completing the marathon, which is once something thought unimaginable, and place higher expectations upon themselves. And so on and so forth.

I know I have a lot of work to do for this still. Right now it is just an idea and I will probably have to make my topic more poignant and expand on every detail, but for now I’m excited to have a topic in mind. I officially start my thesis this summer when I take my Research Methods class. I’m hoping this is a topic that I will get approval on because I’m very passionate about all of the benefits of running.