Cathedral Building

Another Teaching Blog

Posts tagged secondary education

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Anonymous asked: How did you get into therapy? Why did you decide to dual BA? I am hoping to do the same thing, but am currently in community college and convinced I will never be able to actually finish my bachelor's degree.

First, let me promise you — however you get there, however long it takes, whether you get through community college and then transfer or go the online route or take a year off and do something solidifying and come back to a bachelor’s program from scratch or go back after a decade of other all valuable life experiences, you will get to where you want to be wherever you decide you want to be. And every route to that degree is valid.

It took me two different college programs and a City Year to get my BA, and then another two years of “failed” job experiments (none failures, all experiences) to realize I wanted to get into therapy.  I went into my first school knowing I wanted to help people but not knowing how; I thought maybe I wanted to be a diplomat or a hostage negotiator.  (A lot of the work I do now does sometimes feel a little like both.)  When I had worked my way through a half a dozen declared majors in under two years and realized in the midst of a breakdown that I was on comparative literature and had no idea what I wanted to do with myself, I took a hard look at my loves and my options and joined City Year in Little Rock, AR, half a country away and completely out of my comfort zone.  And I fell in love with working with the “problem” kids, and thought, “I want to do this forever.”  So for another half a year after that dawdled while thinking I was pursuing other life goals before a teacher I was babysitting for recommended my now-alma mater when she heard I wanted to teach.  I jumped at the direction.

When I got there I needed a second major/school within a year.  I had no idea what that was going to be.  I’m being totally honest when I tell you that the psychology part started because I was required to take a child psych class and just happened to really like the professor.  So I took another class of hers and found that the content was actually far more interesting than my 500-person textbook-provided-powerpoint Intro lecture at the first college had ever been, and that I connected very personally to a lot of the material.  So I took another, plus one of her wife’s classes, and before I knew it I had declared a psych major with the education and thought it would be one of those things that I love LEARNING about, but wouldn’t pursue, because teaching.  Except as I did more work in classrooms, I realized that I cared far more about helping the kids with their socioemotional difficulties than their academic ones — not because academics weren’t important, because I would and may still absolutely pursue a resource room/academic intervention position in a heartbeat, but because I saw the way these things affected the students and, moreso than math or reading, this was what preoccupied myself and them.

I ended up in another AmeriCorps program after school, because teaching in my area was highly competitive in a small location churning out a lot of teachers.  I left the term halfway through because past the desk work, all I wanted was to do what the social worker was doing for the kids at the drop-in center that was part of our organization, and got a position with a Boys and Girls Club in a small town with some big challenges for the kids who lived there.  And more often than helping with homework, I ended up as mentor and counselor, working on craft projects and anger management and communication and social skills.

So in the gap between that position (part-time, not enough for rent) and where I’m at now, I sat at another desk job daydreaming about the most important things to me at that position had been, and had that epiphany, and started looking at positions that would use the psychology piece of my degree until I landed where I am now. 

And even though the reasons that spurred the dual BA were a little shallow at the time, I have to tell you — it’s one of the best decisions I’ve ever made.  So please don’t hesitate to ask more questions.

Filed under education therapy mental health social work psychology careers college secondary education the road is rarely as smooth as is expected Anonymous

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Space Lab Wants You: Your Experiments Could Be Performed on the International Space Station!

Are you a student between the ages of 14-18 who has an idea for an experiment to be done in space? Well the YouTube SpaceLab is calling for submissions by December 7th to decide which bright young scientist will get their project picked!

Check out the entry details and more info here! I’d love to see one of my followers get their science shot into space.

(by spacelab)

Whoah!  Reblog, reblog!  Every high school science teacher and student needs to see this!

(via jtotheizzoe)

Filed under education science high school secondary education secondary ed

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Sandra Day O'Connor and Verizon Foundation Announce National Civics Contest for Students

"Retired U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor and theVerizon Foundation have announced the launch of a new national contest for middle schools designed to help renew the teaching of civic engagement.

The contest, Civic Impact Challenge, involves using iCivics (an online education project that O’Connor spearheaded) to teach students civics, encourage them to learn about their rights and responsibilities as citizens, and learn and understand the workings of the U.S. government.

The Civic Impact Challenge contest is open to classrooms (grades 5-12) across the country. Classes participating in the contest can earn “impact points” by playing any of fourteen civics games that are part of the iCivics curriculum. Games cover such topics as civil rights, how a bill becomes a law, and the role of local government. The class that earns the most impact points between October 3 and November 30, 2011, will win a VGo telepresence robot and receive a virtual visit from O’Connor.

After the contest, students can donate their earned impact points to benefit a variety of community projects run by other youth, connecting their classroom civic education to real-world civic participation.”

This looks so cool — I wish I still had my students right now.  You all will just have to do it instead and I’ll live vicariously.

Filed under education grants civics government social studies middle school middle school education contest icivics high school secondary education secondary ed sandra day o'connor supreme court verizon