Hitting the Books…Again

For those who read this and do not know me, I have just graduated from St. Norbert College with a Bachelor’s Degree in Choral and General Music Education. This past May I was able to ‘walk’ at Commencement with my classmates, but had to finish student teaching this past Fall semester. I’m expecting to receive my diploma in the mail soon!

Student teaching was a blast. I had no idea that I would enjoy being in front of a class so much. I began in September at an elementary school in the Pulaski school district. For 9 weeks I was teaching K-5 grade students. These kids were a blast! When I started at this placement I was very nervous. I had limited experience working with this age group. I had observed many great elementary school teachers, but having to work with them on my own was a new challenge. However, I soon learned that these kids were full of energy and were very, very eager to learn! So energetic and eager that there were a few times in that 9 weeks where I would get home from school at 4:30, eat dinner, shower and be in bed at 6:00! I was very sad to leave at the end of October. Recently though, I went back to visit. The kids were very happy to see me, as was I glad to see them.

After my first placement was finished, I went to a local Catholic high school. Again, for 9 weeks this would be my home. I was looking forward to teaching high school choir, as it had been the level I wanted to teach ever since I decided to become an educator. The high school was obviously much different than the elementary school (most of the time), but the students still had the same drive to learn, and the energy to make class time a fun time together. I was able to help with the Christmas concert as well as start them off on their musical rehearsals. I’m going back in a few weeks to see the musical and the kids again.

Like I said earlier, I did not think I would have so much fun in front of a classroom. There is nothing that compares with being able to help students achieve and understand new things. Additionally, one of the most important things I learned was that I still have to be open to learning from my students as well. I was taught so many new and valuable lessons that I will carry with me forever. I miss being in a school setting so much.

Why am I not teaching now, you ask? Well. I’m a student again…That’s right. I’m no longer assigning homework but doing it. 😦 I forgot what that was like in only 18 short weeks.

I am currently taking 3 courses in Philosophy at my alma mater. I decided that because I only had accumulated 4 credits of philosophy in my tenure at St. Norbert, I should get a few more in light of seminary in the future. The pre-requisite for Catholic Theological Union, the school where I will be studying in 2 years, is 30 philosophy credits. So I have my work cut out for me.

It’s not been too bad so far. I feel like my semester of being a teacher has made me a better student. I just had a test today, and didn’t think I did too bad. Definitely a few things are wrong, but I’m have a feeling I did better than I expected to do.

My classes this semester consist of Medieval Philosophy, studying the works of Sts. Augustine and Anselm mostly, with a bit of Thomas Aquinas thrown in as well. My most feared class is Logic, exploring how to construct and evaluate arguments. Not as bad as I thought so far, but we are still looking at arguments in English, not symbolic notation yet. This was the class I had a test in today… And finally, Philosophy of Religion. This class is pretty interesting, but it’s also very dense. I have to work hard to understand the concepts presented in the class. Not to mention, they aren’t the easiest of concepts. What is religion? Does God exist? What evidence supports God’s existence? Whew!

This is already the third week of classes, and so far no sleepless nights or panic attacks 🙂 Let’s hope the rest of the semester is the same way!

Pax!

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