Self Assessment - Karen Rigdon : LUSENET : M.Ed./International Falls : One Thread

A Self Assessment

By Karen Rigdon

January 1999

Roots. Long deep roots that provide a secure anchor. Wanderlust. New places and faces, constant change. Which will the future bring? Does it really matter? Both sound like attractive possibilities. How much attachment should I place on one or the other? After having spent a life being blown about like a piece of chaff in the wind wouldnt it be nice to sit perfectly still? But teaching computer skills to special needs children at an American school in Chili would be an incredible adventure.

For me, there will be no attachment to a specific job in a specific location. What is important is not to stagnate. I must keep learning, growing, and developing myself to remain a vital human being. The opportunities will present themselves. My focused intentions will make a difference. But, I will only be satisfied if I feel I am making a worthwhile contribution to society by passing on, with a loving and enthusiastic spirit, whatever wisdom, knowledge, and life skills I have gained in my own personal journey.

My life is in the beginning stages of a major transition. I have been accepted into the M.Ed. Partnerships Cohort III. My direction of study will shift away from music education and towards special education and technology. The past classroom teaching experiences that I have had give me the confidence to teach large groups of children while my private lesson teaching experience has shown me the potentially powerful advantages of working one-on-one with certain students. In the next year I will seek to update my teaching techniques and methods through my own research, graduate courses, and collaboration with other teachers. Advancement in the area of computer skills for research purposes and for use in instructional settings will be a high priority. The next several years will be dedicated to moving my life forward in these new directions as well as working part time.

Long-range career options would include teaching education and/or technology courses at the college level, working in the area of pupil support with special needs children or working as a private tutor with learning disabled students. Other possibilities include teaching special education technology courses, providing psychological counseling services, working as a social worker or continuing my studies to receive a Minnesota teaching license for secondary level computer and technology teaching or special education teaching. My years of experience working with children from ages 3 to 19 in classroom settings and through private music instruction (twenty seven years) makes me a potentially valuable asset to any school district.

As I began to ponder the thesis project that is a part of the Masters degree I had first to decide if I was going to do the thesis alone or in a group. My initial gut feeling told me that solo flight would be the best choice. However, in the wake of reading and studying about new and preferred techniques of learning, I have decided to give collaboration the ultimate test. On January 6, 1999 I asked a thesis group of four cohort members if I could join their group. After reading their writings at our web site I was impressed by the quality of their work. The thesis project will ask address the issue of right brain / left brain learning. The narrowed down question has not been developed to date. I believe that we will have a better idea what specific direction we will pursue after we attend a conference in Minneapolis on right brain / left brain learning.

There is a feeling of exhilarating excitement as I finally have the opportunity to do graduate studies. A new scholastic adventure has begun. An old Zen proverb declares, When the student is ready the teacher will appear. I am ready and the teachers miraculously have appeared here in International Falls. My waiting is over.

-- Anonymous, January 10, 1999

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