Sunday, March 16, 2008

Trying a dream

A month has gone by since my last posting, but what a month it has been! Since I left my television job and went back into the elementary classroom, I've been missing teaching adults. My dream was to teach education students at the college level. This spring has brought me that opportunity. I've been teaching a graduate level education course for the College of St. Scholastica, my undergraduate alma mater. This adjunct instructor position came as an unexpected surprise, a phone call out of the blue. I'm teaching Science methods, one of my favorite things to teach. I decided that this was the perfect opportunity to try my dream on for size, to see if I really liked it. Since I have a student teacher in my classroom (a coincidence that he is in the exactly same program) to help out, I would have the time and energy available to add teaching this course to my schedule.

I won't lie, it has been tough; but rewarding. I am having to travel to St. Paul to teach this course, but only have 6 students. It has been a challenge to learn the online component of the course, but I am feeling more comfortable using the software. My first eight hours (2 classes) of in-class instruction have been rewarding, interesting, invigorating, and exhausting all at the same time. Driving to St. Paul, setting up labs, teaching, tearing down, and driving home have made for a couple of very long days. My students have been so encouraging, telling me how much they enjoy my class and how valuable they feel it's been. As I expected, teaching in this way refreshes my own enthusiasm for teaching and makes me evaluate myself as a teacher.

Now, I have accepted the challenge to teach this course again next quarter, but in Duluth. My student teacher will have completed his time in my classroom, but I feel that I will have the course mostly set up by that time, so it should be less overall work the second time through. I am anticipating more students (maybe as many as 30) but I should be more comfortable and confident of my abilities by that time. I will finish out the school year working both jobs. I am hoping I will survive this schedule, and also have a better understanding of what I would like to be doing with the remainder of my teaching career.

Knitting and spinning, it seems have taken a back seat to the teaching for the past month. I have restarted the beta test sweater for Annie Modesitt a couple of times and it's just not doing it for me. I like the pattern, but as I'm knitting it, I'm thinking I'll never wear this sweater. It's just not me. I love the lace and cable, but I can just envision the sweater pulling up whatever I'm wearing underneath. I'm seeing myself pulling on things and constantly fighting it. So, the sweater is probably going to be frogged. Bob drove me to St. Paul to teach yesterday, so I started knitting a bag that will have fall oak leaves needle felted on it. The bag is about half done already, and it felt good to pick up the needles again.

We are off to South Carolina to see Christy and Bob this week. I'm starting to feel excited about the trip (especially now that I know we have my pay from St. Scholastica to fund the trip.) We have rented a small cottage just a couple blocks from the beach. The kids are excited about our visit, and have many things planned for us. I need the break, and I'm looking forward to knitting on the drive to and fro.

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