Reflection Papergreenspun.com : LUSENET : MEd Cohort III : One Thread
A YEAR IN REVIEW
BY: BRENDA BENDER COHORT III SPRING 1999
As I try to refocus my thoughts on the year of schooling that has gone by, so many memories and reflections I see in my head. Visions of the members of Cohort IIIs faces perplexed and confused, sitting in that auditorium listening to the different topics that the Toxic Child had to offer. Staring at the computer screen whether it be in the computer lab getting instruction, at school reading e-mail, or at home posting things on our web site. I Flashback to articles that we read from our Utnes and other professional journals, the books we read (great or not great), and the discussions we had. Ive experienced many new ideas throughout the course of the year, and it will be difficult to narrow my paper down to a few of the most interesting and educational ones. If I have to choose a couple of things to reflect on in this paper, that had a significant impact on me this year, I will choose to talk about the Toxic Child Series, the articles and books we read and discussed, and the different speakers and presentations that enlightened us. Just who actually knows how difficult it is to deal with the many problems and issues that are out there in the world today? Many of us think we know, some of us do know because weve been educated about these things, and unfortunately, some of us know, because we have to live with them every day. The Toxic Child Series, brought to us a variety of issues that people (focusing primarily on students) are dealing with today. The lectures ranged from dealing with grief and suicide, to drug use, family roles, teenage sexuality, and to how the brain functions. The Toxic Child Series included a huge amount of educational materials and tools to be used in helping to deal with the problems that people are faced with. Most of the Toxic Child presentations were extremely interesting to me. I am currently an educator at the High School level, and tend to hear and see a lot of the issues that the Toxic Child talked about. I feel it is extremely important that we are educated and well equipped with the knowledge and resources we need in order for us to help an individual that may come to us for help, or that we may seek help for. An educators role has become very complicated over the years. These days we are expected not only to educate, but to deal with social, emotional, family, and drug problems that the students bring into school with them. I agree with what some of the other Cohort members had said, that we are expected to do too much. Its almost gotten to the point where its gotten hard to find the time to teach, let alone deal with all of the problems the students are having to deal with as well. I do know one thing however, most teachers deserve a lot more credit (and money) than what theyre given. Another interesting thing I enjoyed about being in the Cohort this year, was the ability to share, interact, and discuss topics with other professionals in my field. I gained a lot of insight into what kinds of things I could try in my classroom through the discussions we had amongst our Cohort group, and also from the journals and books we read throughout the course of this year. A few things I picked up from the others in class and from the Glasser book is to have more group work and work time in my classes, and to give the students more choices, hopefully making them feel more involved. Learning how to lead-manage my class rather than boss-manage was a theory I also found extremely helpful in my classroom as well. As we all know, no one likes to be bossed around and told what to do, so I thought this made a great deal of sense. I thoroughly enjoyed every presentation and speaker that presented their ideas to our class. The Superintendents visit was very insightful, and I particularly liked Vals and Marcia's presentations on their topics of expertise. I truly learned a great deal about the Ojibwe Culture from Val which then prompted me to go to a workshop/field trip about the history of the Ojibwe people. I also took an interest in Marcias topic because I have a deep interest in children, and it was shocking to learn what she has to go through and sometimes see in the course of one day. I also wanted to slip in a little comment about the technology training that we participated in through the course of this year. It was absolutely wonderful, and I cant say enough about Scott Fitzsimmons. He is an excellent presenter for our technology training sessions. Ive definitely utilized the computer more this year, and am becoming much more familiar with many of the programs that are available for us to use. Everyone in the Cohort whos contributed, whether giving a presentation, leading a discussion, or giving us some ideas and suggestions, has contributed to my success as a teacher this year, and as a student whos just completed her first year of graduate school. I can honestly say, overall, that the experience of being back in school with such a great group of peers and a program such as the Cohort with its wonderful flexibility, is an experience Ill be forever grateful for. It has suited my needs much better than a regular Masters program ever could have. I want to thank all of the instructors for doing their best, and I hope that we have an even better year next year.
-- Anonymous, June 17, 1999